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Ski Holidays | Lakes Holidays | City Breaks | Mountain Holidays
Zermatt – Matterhorn ski paradise
Winter sports in the Matterhorn ski paradise in Zermatt mean skiing fun on 360 kilometers of slopes between Switzerland and Italy, at altitudes of up to 3,883 m and with fabulous views of the Matterhorn and numerous 4,000-meter peaks. With fashionable Zermatt in the center, the cross border ski region offers a unique holiday destination – not just for the brave, but for winter sports enthusiasts of all levels.
- Highest ski area in Europe between 1,562 m and 3,883 m
- 360 kilometers of slopes around the Matterhorn
- Highest 3S cable car in the world “Matterhorn glacier ride”
- The longest slope is 25 km
- Popular freeride and heliskiing spot
The Matterhorn ski paradise ski region consists of the Rothorn, Gornergrat and Schwarzsee ski areas near Zermatt as well as Breuil-Cervinia and Valtournenche in Italy. Together they form a huge, modern winter sports Eldorado with 360 kilometers of slopes and 54 lifts in the border area between the Swiss Valais and the Italian Aosta Valley, including the highest 3s cable car in the world since the 2018/2019 season! This “paradise” around the most famous of all Swiss peaks reaches up to 3,883 m and is therefore the highest ski area in the Alps. The varied slopes are spread across the ski areas on the Rothorn, Riffelberg, Schwarzsee Gornergrat, the Theodul Glacier and behind the Italian border on Testa Grigia (3,280 m) near Breuil-Cervinia and Valtournenche.
The majority of the runs are on the Swiss side around Zermatt. Of the 200 km of slopes, 69 km are marked blue, 119 km red and 12 km black. On the Italian side, at Cervinia and Valtournenche, there are another 160 kilometers of pistes, most of which are of medium difficulty.
Above Zermatt, winter sports enjoyment lasts all year round, as the lifts on the glacier never stand still. The “Matterhorn glacier paradise” has the highest lift station in Europe and, with 21 kilometers of slopes, is one of the largest summer ski areas in Europe. Here, snow sports are guaranteed 365 days a year.
Due to the modern lift systems and the very high level of snow security, the Matterhorn ski paradise ski area receives 4 and 5 stars respectively from our experts in the two top criteria “lifts and cable cars” and “snow security”.
2) Matterhorn ski paradise trail map
3) Skiing in the Matterhorn ski paradise – Zermatt ski area
Overall, the slopes of the Zermatt-Breuil-Cervinia-Valtournenche ski area extend from 1,562 m near Zermatt to 3,883 m on the glacier and thus have an altitude difference of up to 2,200 m. Some runs are correspondingly long. The longest slope from Klein Matterhorn all the way down to Zermatt measures 25 km and is one of the longest slopes in the entire Alpine region. If you have strong thighs and enough stamina, you shouldn’t miss this descent..
The Matterhorn safari, which an experienced skier can master in one day, offers a wide variety of panoramic views of the ski region. The tour leads across the cross-border ski area on two different routes (Safari Silver and Safari Gold). You use each slope and each lift only once and with the gold version you cover a total of 12,500 meters in altitude.
Another special feature in the Zermatt-Breuil-Cervinia-Valtournenche ski area are the “Slow Slopes”. All skiers must ski slowly and in a controlled manner on these specially signposted slopes. A perfect area for cautious drivers and connoisseurs who are not necessarily looking for the thrill of speed. Special offers like these are also reflected in the expert rating for family and beginner friendliness with 4 stars. Speaking of enjoyment: there are over 50 mountain huts in the ski area, where Swiss specialties are served and their sun terraces offer fabulous views.
The snow park offer also gets 4 out of 5 stars. A snow park is prepared for snowboarders and freestylers both in winter and in summer. In winter, the Gravity Snowpark at the Furggsattel Gletscherbahn on Theodul Glacier awaits you with a superpipe, a beginner line, a border cross and a rail garden. In summer, the park is relocated to the Plateau Rosa, where over 30 obstacles and a halfpipe are prepared. On the Italian side of Cervinia there is also the Indianpark, a sizeable 400 m long fun park area with various kickers and rails for beginners and professionals.
Our experts give the best ratings with 5 stars to the freeride and advanced skiers offer in the ski area. Because in the ski region on the Matterhorn, even extreme action athletes don’t miss out. Zermatt is an ingenious spot for deep snow fans: for heliskiing it goes to the Dufourspitze (4,634 m) in the Monte Rosa massif and on the Gorner glacier and the surrounding 4000m there are various ski touring and freeride routes.
4) Expert evaluation
The Matterhorn ski paradise ski area is one of the best-rated ski areas in the Alps. This is also shown by our expert test, which gives the ski area an incredible 4.4 out of 5 stars. Above all, the high level of snow reliability and the resulting deep snow opportunities are major pluses.
The Zermatt test report is made up of the categories top evaluation criteria, evaluation criteria for special interests and further evaluation criteria, which, with their respective weighting, flow into the overall result.
5) Off-piste activities
Zermatt is the pulsating center in the Mattertal and guarantees versatile après-ski after a day of skiing. In the ski area, after the last descent, you can go to the champagne bar, the Papperla pub or the legendary Hennu stall. In Zermatt itself, around 100 restaurants and 60 bars, pubs and nightspots await those who like to party and night owls.
In car-free Zermatt everything can be explored on foot, but you can also take the train, the electric bus or the horse-drawn carriage. Exclusive shopping, events and leisure activities such as ice skating, ice stock sport, curling and tobogganing ensure the best entertainment in the afternoon. Numerous winter hiking trails lead to undiscovered hamlets or to sunny viewing terraces above Zermatt.
A highlight is the trip to the Gornergrat and the view from there of the Matterhorn. The Gornergratbahn, the highest open-air cog railway in Europe, takes you from Zermatt to the mountain station on Gornergrat at 3,089 m in 33 minutes. There is a fine mountain restaurant and a viewing platform from which you can enjoy a great view of the Matterhorn and the surrounding 4,000m peaks – Enjoying the summit. You can also go snowshoeing on the Gornergrat mountain ridge.
Another attraction for the whole family awaits in the mountain: the Glacier Palace. The huge ice cave is located in the Matterhorn glacier paradise ski area directly in the glacier, 15 meters below the surface of the earth. Worth seeing!
In the Matterhorn Museum “Zermatlantis” you will also find an interesting exhibition on the first ascent and Zermatt’s local history. In 2015 the city commemorated the 150th anniversary with cultural events and events of the first ascent on July 14, 1865, when four of the seven climbers had an accident.
6) Places in the ski area
The health resort of Zermatt is the centrr of the Matterhorn holiday region that is well worth seeing. Located in the middle of the Valais at an airy 1,620 m altitude, the picturesque mountain village with 5,700 inhabitants exudes a cozy and at the same time sophisticated ambience. Despite the tourism, Zermatt has lost none of its original charm. 500-year-old wooden houses in Valais construction and many winding streets exude a traditional charm. But Zermatt is also modern, cosmopolitan and undisputedly one of the most popular vacation spots in the Swiss mountains.
Things are even more rustic in Täsch, which is around 5 km from Zermatt. If you travel to Zermatt, you cannot pass this place, because in Täsch you leave your car in one of the parking garages and continue with the train shuttle. Another 4 km north is Randa, a smaller, cozy village with a relaxed and tradition-conscious atmosphere.
On the Italian side in the Aosta Valley, Breuil – Cervinia and Valtournenche are connected to the ski area. At an altitude of 2,050 m, Cervinia offers everything a vacationer’s heart desires, from WiFi reception to a fitness and wellness centre to the highest museum in Europe. About 6 km from Cervinia is the quiet, tranquil neighboring town of Valtournenche at an altitude of 1,524 m.
7) Arrival in the Matterhorn ski paradise – Zermatt ski area
Since Zermatt is located in the middle of the mountains and traffic-calmed, guests can only get there by train or taxi. Drivers have several travel options: from Germany via Basel, Bern, Thun and Kandersteg to Visp or via Zurich and Furka Realp-Oberwald to Visp. From western Switzerland you can take the A9 from Lake Geneva to Visp, from where you can continue by train to Zermatt or by car to Täsch. In Täsch, cars must be parked in the Matterhorn Terminal. From there, take a train shuttle for the last 5 km to Zermatt. The journey only takes around 12 minutes.
If you want to leave your car at home, you can also travel comfortably by train. Trains run from Zurich and Geneva to Visp, from where you can take the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn directly to Zermatt. The “Glacier Express”, which runs from St. Moritz via Davos and Chur to Zermatt, offers a particularly pleasant and panoramic journey. The breathtaking mountain panoramas during the journey increase the anticipation many times over.
The nearest airports are Sion (approx. 85 km), Bern (approx. 135 km), Milan-Malpensa (approx. 200 km) and Geneva (approx. 240 km). Those who have the necessary change can also fly into Zermatt by helicopter via “Air Zermatt”.
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