Just as Rome has the Colosseum and Paris the Eiffel Tower, so Switzerland has the Matterhorn. Located above Zermatt, this 48,195-foot wonder attracts hordes of visitors, eager to see the morning sunlight beam off its four faces, ski its neighboring mountains, or even attempt to climb the beast itself. The Matterhorn, however, is not for the faint-hearted and has claimed the lives of more than 500 people since it was first scaled in 1865—an average of 12 per year. It’s also been replicated at Disneyland in California as a rollercoaster.
By Simon Willis, AFAR Local Expert
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Snowy Swiss-Italian Border
From Zermatt, a cable car takes skiers and snowboarders over the border to Cervinia, Italy, in the Aosta Valley on the backside of the Matterhorn. When conditions don't cooperate and the cable car is closed, skiers must brave what may be the world's longest T-bar ride to reach Cervinia. I make the trip just to have the pasta with lobster and fish soup at Chalet Etoile (hidden beneath the Rocce Nere chair lift). Beware of lingering too long over the complimentary post-lunch grappa. Lifts back to Switzerland stop at 3:30 and it's a long and pricey taxi ride back to Zermatt.
By Jen Murphy, AFAR Contributor
The Swiss and Germans call it the Matterhorn, the Italians call it Monte Cervino and the French call it Cervin. I can't imagine a more perfect view to wake up to each morning.
By Jen Murphy, AFAR Contributor
A ski town with no cars
Zermatt, Switzerland is amazing for a bunch of reasons: the Matterhorn is always in the background, there is great skiing within minutes of the town, classic Swiss architecture, and no cars. There is a train that takes you into the town, and once there it is mostly walking to get around.
By Derek Butcher, AFAR Staff
It's a long journey to the village of Zermatt, Switzerland. A village magically situated at the base of iconic Matterhorn. We arrived after driving hours of precariously winding alpine roads, followed by an enchanting but just as precarious train ride to Zermatt. You see the village is closed to all automobile traffic, and through winding pedestrian streets and charming timber chalets we were finally viewed the Swiss Icon we had traveled so far to see. Zermatt offers some of the best view of the Matterhorn. It also offers the best opportunity to get up and close with this natural wonder. From Zermatt you can hike, bike, and even ski the famous mountain. No trip to Switzerland is complete without a visit to Zermatt and the Matterhorn.
By Jimmy Zuehl
Skiing on the Matterhorn
Zermatt had some of the most difficult and beautiful slopes I’ve ever skied on with breathtaking view of the Matterhorn everywhere you look, and being able to ski from Switzerland to Italy was absolutely amazing. http://0dysseusjournal.blogspot.com/search/label/Zermatt
By Sharon In
Beautiful and a must see in Switzerland. After all I am sure many people have heard of the ride at Disney named after the Matterhorn. The ride up the mountain is fairly inexpensive , once on the mountain there are many places to hike and enjoy a lunch. The town below is Zermatt and it offers the feel of a ski village similar to Vail, beautiful however very expensive.
Kickbiking in Switzerland
I’d never heard of kickbikes before a visit to Zermatt, but I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as we rolled our way down the mountain. For more information and booking, visit www.zermatt.ch.
By Ellen Barone