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Despite its status as a world-class resort, Zermatt has not lost its authenticity as a Swiss mountain village. Chalets, old half-timbered houses and cabins, restaurants or shops, line the streets with geraniums spilling out of window boxes in the summer, and in winter, the sun shines bright, the snow is clean and horse-drawn sleighs jingle through the streets. Zermatt is a car-free village, which makes a special vacation atmosphere as soon as one gets out of the train. There are three main streets which run along the banks of the river Matter Vispa, and numerous cross-streets, especially around the station and the church which forms the center of the village. In general anything is within a 30-minute walk (at most).
Zermatt, at the foot of the famous Matterhorn, is simply a must for any traveler to Switzerland.
At the end of the 18th century the first visitors came to Zermatt - mainly mountaineers who were trying to get to one of the 4,000 m (13,120 ft) summits of which 38 are situated within the community of Zermatt; others visited to gather healthy Alpine herbs or simply to enjoy the natural beauty of the region. In 1865, the news of the first ascent of the Matterhorn with the tragedy on the descent made this majestic mountain and the picturesque village on its foot world-famous. Since then, more than 3,000 climbers have reached the summit - many others failed to do so - and over the years, numerous hotels have been built to accommodate these mountaineers and other tourists.
Today, Zermatt also is well known as a skier's paradise offering more than 300 km (approx. 200 miles) of ski runs, some of them on the glacier are open even during the summer. Gondolas and other mountain rides provide for easy access to the Gornergrat, the Rothorn or the Klein-Matterhorn from where you enjoy magnificent views of the Matterhorn and other surrounding peaks, and in summer, these mountains offer some of the world's best hiking opportunities with more than 400 km (250 miles) of marked footpaths through varying terrain for short, easy walks in the valley or steep hikes to the summits. More attractions and activities in the Zermatt region
Zermatt is located in the south of Switzerland in the Vispa Valley in the Valais bordering Italy. At 1,620 m (5,314 ft) above sea level, the village is surrounded by several high mountains. The community of Zermatt with 243.4 km2 (94 sq miles)is the 3rd largest in Switzerland, and includes the "Dufourspitze" - with 4,634 m (15,200 ft) Switzerland's highest peak.
Distances to other Swiss Destinations:
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Getting to Zermatt:
The nearest international airport is Geneva-Cointrin, but also from the other Swiss airports (Zurich and Basel) Zermatt is reached within 3.5 to 4 hours by train or car (same as from Geneva), and landing at the Malpensa Airport in Milano, Italy is an option as well (transfer time approx. 4 hours).
From any airport or destination in Switzerland (or neighboring country) look for train connections to Brig. In Brig (or Visp) you need to change trains and get on the regional train, the narrow-gauge Matterhorn-Gotthard railway, which takes you through the Vispa Valley up to Zermatt (approx. 80 minutes). The most memorable way to travel to/from Zermatt is with the scenic train Glacier Express
from/to St. Moritz, Davos or Chur via Andermatt - Brig.
Zermatt is a car-free resort. Private cars of visitors need to be parked in Taesch (5 km / 3 miles from Zermatt). You get to Taesch via Brig / Visp from the west (Montreux, Geneva) driving up the Rhone Valley, from the north (Bern, Basel, Zurich) through the Loetschberg-Tunnel (car transport train), from the south (Italy) via the Simplon Pass or the Great St. Bernard Pass, and from the east (Ticino and Graubunden), via the Furka car transport train. In Taesch, you park your car either at a public parking lot / garage and get the train up to Zermatt, or in case you prefer a private taxi transfer, you can park your car at the parking lot of your taxi company.
Private Transfer Services to/from Zermatt