Even if you’ve never been to Zermatt (top)you will no doubt recognise its iconic mountain – the Matterhorn, the model for Toblerone and star of many a chocolate box and Christmas card. The sophisticated village is one of the loveliest in Switzerland, with its ancient blackened barns, but Zermatt is a lot more than just a pretty face.

For a start, there’s 350 km (217 mi.) of piste, linked with Cervinia over the border in Italy. If your pocket is deep enough, you can try a day’s heli-skiing, with some fabulous descents including a trip from the top of Monte Rosa.

There are ten ski schools, but some say the best is British-owned Summit Ski & Snowboarding School.

For nourishment, you’ll find delightful little mountain huts wherever you go, offering everything from traditional Swiss Alpine fare to haute gourmet cuisine. You’re completely spoiled for choice, so make sure you try a different mountain eatery every day. For checking in, hotels are a mix of stately five-stars and a few more modern and/or offbeat properties, and there’s also a wide variety of home-away-from-home options at Matterhorn Chalets.

Post slopes, start with drinks at either the cute little Elsie Bar or the more avant-garde Vernissage, then you can move on to a diverse choice of bars and clubs.

To fly here, the closest gateway is Geneva, just under three hours away, while Basel and Zurich are about 3½ hours.

 Read more in our post The Top 6 Winter/Ski Resorts of Switzerland.

Doc Searls Santa Barbara, USA


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