Travelers headed to Switzerland will want to visit the mountain town of Zermatt, known for its ski slopes and views of the Matterhorn. We recently spent time in this snowy ski town as part of Switzerland’s Travel Mart and have some tips.
First, check into Hotel Riffelhaus, which is surrounded by the Alps in Riffelberg (a short train ride above the village of Zermatt). Thanks to its prime mountain location, this hotel offers scenic views of the Matterhorn and surrounding mountains. Adventure seekers will also like that this property offers a ski-in and ski-out service. After a day of skiing, it’s a reward to return to the hotel and warm up in the spa’s hot tub, which has beautiful views of the mountains. The scenic scapes continue in the Junior Suite (one of the two suites on property). This suite has a bedroom, separate living room and, of course, a large balcony with a fabulous view of the Matterhorn — It’s all about the mountains. At this hotel we also liked the touches of wood panels on the walls, ample amount of cozy blankets and cabin-like ambiance.
Zermatt also offers other outdoor activities besides skiing. There are several hiking trails to choose from. One of those trails will lead you to a site where glaciers left large caverns in the ground, also known as a glacier garden. There will be large trail signs at the village limits that will lead hikers the correct way. Here’s a tip: Yellow trail signs point to easy trails, red signs point to intermediate hikes and blue signs point to alpine trails, which are the most difficult. Hikers will encounter a suspension bridge along this hike that was built in 2011 from cable car wires. Those with a fear of heights may want to skip this bridge, but it is stable and strongly built.
Not interested in hiking? Zermatt is the perfect place for snow bunnies. There is ample shopping at luxe stores and delicious chocolate shops. For a true dining experience, we hear that Chez Heini is known for its lamb, but that’s not all. Chez Heini is also known for its upbeat, 80s dance performances, a local favorite.