If you’re a devoted Busbee Style follower, then you already know that Erin and her family spent several months living in Madrid. You can read all about the complete, behind-the-scenes story, here. As we enter travel season and life slowly gets back to (a new) normal, we thought it would be fun to share some information about all of her European getaways while in Spain. Each month, we’ll highlight a different destination to help inspire your vacation plans. So, update your passport, check possible travel dates, and start a packing list. Here’s everything you need to know about Erin’s fabulous weekend getaway in Zermatt, Switzerland.
For quick snippets on all of the places Erin traveled while living in Spain, make sure you read this post.
Where to Stay
Zermatt, in southern Switzerland’s Valais canton, is a mountain resort that lies below the iconic, pyramid-shaped Matterhorn peak. At an elevation of around 1,600 meters (about 5,250 feet), the area is renowned for skiing, climbing and hiking. Since Zermatt is a car-free town (electric vehicles and horse-drawn buggies serving the population), the ideal place for visitors to stay is on one of the three main streets downtown running parallel to the Matter Vispa River. Another great place to stay is close to the two train stations: Gornergrat, the highest open-air railway in Europe, and Sunnegga, a steep-riding tunnel funicular.
While in Zermatt with her family, Erin stayed in one of the apartments at Matterhorn Lodge, which she highly recommends. Other beautiful accommodations are Hotel Firefly, Hotel Mont Cervin Palace, the only ski-in, ski-out hotel CERVO Zermatt, or Bellerive located just off main street downtown. Interlace, every view in Zermatt is gorgeous, so you can’t go wrong with any of these choices.
What to Do
When most people think of Zermatt, they think of the Matterhorn, the world’s most iconic mountain. As such, it’s a top destination for skiers. However, Zermatt isn’t just for skiing. The resort town has plenty to offer for those who love the outdoors including rafting on the Vispa River at the foot of the mountain.
As mentioned in “Where to Stay,” you can ride the Gornergrat railway for one of the most impressive panoramas in the Alps including the Breithorn, the twin peaks of Zwillinge, and the Lyskamm.
One of the most spectacular experiences is on the highest cable car in Europe, from the Trokener Steg to the north face of the Kleines Matterhorn. From the upper station, there is a lift to the summit at 3,884 meters (over 12,400 feet).
For hikers, check out the melting snow and ice from the Gorner Glacier that swells the Gornervispe each spring. It’s only a 15-minute walk from the village of Zermatt. First, you’ll see wooden walkways descend into a world of waterfalls. Then, green serpentine rock that’s carved into shapes over thousands of years is simply fantastic.
Where to Dine
A day on the slopes or hiking will spike anyone’s appetite. Visitors to Zermatt can rest assured that there’s no shortage of world-class cuisine for après fun dining. From family-friendly and rustic mountain restaurants to Michelin-starred dining experiences, here are a few recommendations:
Zum See is in a tiny hamlet between Zermatt and Furi, and one of the few places in the landlocked Alps where top-quality seafood can be found. Oysters, tuna carpaccio, and giant prawn salad are just some of the items on the menu.
The Omnia Restaurant, run by the hotel of the same name, is a favorite of locals and travelers alike. The menu is distinctly Swiss using ingredients like quark, soy, Wagyu beef and guinea fowl. In addition, an extensive vegetarian menu is also available, as well as over 200 different wines.
After Seven is probably the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the world where you can also catch a movie while enjoying your dinner. Entry to the “Cinedinner” experience comes with an aperitif and a three-course dinner that changes weekly.
And finally, Café Du Pont is an affordable, cozy restaurant, and one of Zermatt’s oldest businesses. The authentic food includes fondue and raclette, as well as other traditional Swiss dishes like Schüblig (dried sausage) and rösti. Leave room for dessert with a delicious homemade apple strudel served with custard.
Have you visited Zermatt or anywhere else in Switzerland? Please share your experiences in the comments below.
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