Additional information about a holiday in Zermatt
There is a lot to tell about Zermatt and its mountains, specially by having been there several times. Zermatt is always worth to travel to, either in the summer as also in the winter. In the following, there are some further tips for a pleasant and recovering holiday in Zermatt.
Hiking in Zermatt
Zermatt is one of the most beautiful hiking paradises I ever visited. There are nearly countless hiking paths that are very well signposted. Indeed, I always took one or two hiking guides with me, but I actually only walked by following the signpostings. Sometimes, I planned a completely different tour that I actually did, as the signposting provide one continuously new ideas where to go and places that one did probably not read on the tour guide yet.
What was important to us was to have a peak pass (see following chapter), so that we practically could return at any time and/or get home with the gondola. The whole hiking area of Zermatt is arranged with a close meshed gondola network, so that it was never a long way to get to the next station.
There are some standard tours that swarm with hikers and hiking groups, as for example the route at the Stellisee or from the Schwarzsee to the Stafelalp. But on most of the ways, one can unhurriedly enjoy the nature and the world of mountains. Encounters with other hikers do happen, but they are rare enough so that everyone is greeted. The Swiss and French language dominates.
There are numerous mountain huts with restaurants within the whole area of Zermatt. All of them have beautiful and cozy outdoor terraces, from which one can enjoy a dream view to the surrounding mountains, glaciers and valleys. But there, also excellent food is served; it never happened that I was disappointed by a mountain restaurant; just the oppposite, whereever we had a stop, anything what we got served was a treat.
The mountain trains of Zermatt
As it should be for a modern ski resort, all mountain trains of the Zermatt area belong together, this means that with one single lift pass, all trains can be used. The same applies in the summer. Those who go to Zermatt for one single day and visit one of the view peaks, can't help but buying a shockingly expensive on-way-ticket. And the prices are steep: a return trip to the Klein Matterhorn costs approximately 50 € the railway trip to the Gornergrat is at least 10 € cheaper.
Those who stay longer in Zermatt should buy in any case a Peak Pass. With such a ticket, one can make use of all mountain trains any time. The peak pass for three days costs also nearly 100 € but each additional day cost only approximately 10 € more. Thus, for a whole week, one pays approximately 140 € per person.
The peak-pass is not only good to get from view point to view point, but one can also plan the hiking tours in a much more flexible and independent way. Practically, one can get out of the train everywhere and start to walk, as long and far as wanted; there is always a funicular in the proximity.
And there is another advantage of having a peak pass: those who absolutely want to look over from the Gornergrat to the Matterhorn when the day is clear, can simply "go up fastly" and down again on the right day, and even if it is only done for taking a picture that failed the other day a little due to a cloud.
Winter activities for non-skiers
Those who think that in the winter season in Zermatt it is only possible to ski or snowboard, are completely wrong. Maybe, someone prefers to sit on a slate instead of standing on boards the whole day; no problem in Zermatt, there are enough possibilities for tobogganists. There are cross-country ski-tracks for country-skiers, on which I actually never saw somebody country-skiing. Also ice skaters get their money worth in the winter in Zermatt.
But of course, the mountains of Zermatt can be also climbed in the winter, indeed not the highest points as the Rothorn, but for example a hiking tour to Zmutt in order to have something to eat in one of the cozy restaurants there, is possible at any time. Also a hiking tour through the Riffelalp can be done in the winter from Zermatt. Of course, one needs some good foot-wear and maybe also some hiking sticks.
And finally, there is not to forget that it is already a joy to ascend the height by mountrain train on a nice winter day, in order to enjoy a nice lunch with breathtaking views.
Back to the index Zermatt
Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz