Named one of the top ski resorts in the world, Zermatt is an enchanting village situated in the canton of Valais in the southern region of Switzerland. Once a humble town of agriculturalists to now a popular travel destination for the rich and wealthy. It boasts numerous ski slopes with impressive views of the legendary 4,478 meters high Matterhorn – and, let’s not neglect the infinite amount of hand selected, regional cheeses for evenings filled with laughter and fondue.
You may wonder; how did this small town grow to become what it is now? After a tragic expedition in 1865; Zermatt was put into the spotlight. The Matterhorn was the last mountain in the region to not be “conquered “. Edward Whymper had 7 failed attempts at climbing the mountain from the Italian side and decided to try out his luck from the Swiss side; starting off in Zermatt. Whymper organized a group of seven men to tackle along with him the challenge at being the first to reach the top of the summit. Another team of Italians leaving from the Italian side left the day before making it even more of a competition. Whymper and his team made it first to the top of the summit! Although, on the way back, the rope holding the men together snapped after the 4th person fell down. Zermatt was then put on the map for risk-takers and adventurous souls who sought out the challenge at mountaineering the Matterhorn.
We arrived in Zermatt on November 23, 2017 from the ever-so convenient train which will drop you off right in the heart of village. It’s hard to go to the hotel and drop off the luggage as the snow-covered, cobbled stoned streets and logged cabins enchant one’s mind to wander with curiosity. The village consists of two sections, the old city and the new city. Both sections as inviting as the other. With wooden heart shaped decorations, silver bells, fresh white snow and red plaid, I felt like I was set up for a romantic “lifetime” Christmas movie. For such a frosty wonderland, my heart has never felt so warm.
Although Zermatt was first a hiking ground for the summer months it soon after became a prime ski location during the winter months. If you are an avid skier or snowboarder, you will be happy to know that there is 360km worth of ski slopes. We decided to brave the famous Swiss Alps! It was my partners first time skiing and we were lucky to learn that there were ski slopes for every ski level. Fortuitously, there is also highly skilled trainers who give lessons daily. After much research and “googling” we decided to get our ski’s at Bayard Ski & Fashion Chalet. It’s located conveniently on the way to the ski slopes, you cannot miss it! I highly recommend them as they really take their time to make sure you are settled and have the right size skis.
If skiing or snowboarding isn’t your cup of tea (or in this case, cup of hot chocolate!), fear not, there is a multitude of different activities to keep you entertained. On our second day, we took the opportunity to do the “Glacier Paradise”. The Glacier Paradise is a cable car that takes you all the way up to…. At --- km high. On top of the --- there is a restaurant with tall windows so you may stay warm and enjoy a bite to eat all while being surrounded by the most breathtaking views in your life.
After days filled with excitement and snowy adventures; it’s always nice to go back to a snug and relaxing hotel. During my stay, I decided to stay at the Cervo Zermatt. The Cervo hotel is notorious for it’s’ “traditional and pretentious alpine chic décor”. Cervo is more than just a hotel but a resort comprising of multiple chalets (ginormous log cabins). Located on an elevated hill, you have a great view of the humble little village. I especially enjoyed going out on my balcony at night to watch the lights flicker as I was surrounded by complete darkness.
If you are not a skier/snowboarder, Cervo has a wonderful spa with steam room, sauna, lounge, and the famous outdoor Jacuzzi (with mountain view) … and that is where I decided to cozy up with my partner and appreciate life. The spa has a wide range of massage services for a relaxing day of warmth. Enjoy the selection of teas located in the lounge for even more warmth than your cozy Cervo robe can give you.
Zermatt is even more charming than I can detail. Please let me know if you have any questions or want some restaurant suggestions. I will be posting a separate piece for the hotel as it needs to be more elaborated on!