Zermatt, Switzerland might be our favorite, year-round winter destination for the après-ski culture alone! This charming luxury town in the shadow of the iconic Matterhorn is the hub of Swiss alpinism and we are giving you a glimpse into this majestic, winter wonderland. Imagine slices of cheese for breakfast, crackling fireplaces and the jingle of horse-drawn carriage bells while strolling through the village.
Stop One: Sky High at Gornergrat
Where: Gornergrat Bahn
When: 8 am
Why: Get your skis ready and head up early! Take a step back in time on this cog railway, Gornergrat Bahn, that climbs up through forests, hills, and tunnels to one of the most incredible vistas in Europe, Gornergraht. Once you unload off the train, you can rack your skis and walk up to the panoramic viewing platform to get an unforgettable glimpse of the Matterhorn.
Stop Two: Hit The Ice
When: 10:30 am
Why: Who doesn’t want to hang out in an igloo? Situated just off-piste from the ski runs is an igloo village, called Iglu-Dorf. Decorated by international artists, it’s quite a sight and worth the visit to their Igloo Bar, with or without skis. Give your body a rest from the slopes and refuel with a warm glass of white glühwein, their igloo mulled wine. And there’s always Swiss cheese, served fondue style!
Stop Three: Lunch, Mountaineer Style
Where: Riffelhaus 1853
When: 12 pm
Why: After you’ve got your morning ski out, ski in to this elegant restaurant and heritage hotel called Riffelhous 1853 for a classic, Swiss lunch such as cheese fondue or smoked salmon rösti. Ski instructors for decades gathered here in cozy fashion. Sip their famous cocktail inspired by a mountain climber for restoring energy, equal parts red country wine and Swiss champagne. You also cannot beat the view of the Matterhorn from this hillside spot!
Stop Four: Go Even Higher
Where: Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
When: 1 pm
Why: Relish in more of the clean, mountain air and head up to Europe’s highest mountain station, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. The cable car is quite thrilling and once you glide to the top through the clouds and surpass enormous glaciers, you can view the Swiss, Italian and French alps all from this place. If you are in the mood for a bubbly aperol spritz, they have a bar up top!
Stop Five – Après Ski
Where: Chez Vrony
When: 3 pm
Why: Once the lifts start to close, ski over to the lively Chez Vrony, just off the blue run Sunnegga, for the ultimate panoramic terrace. This is one of the most authentic spots for après ski in Zermatt. The bar/restaurant is housed in a small wooden farmhouse that has been transformed into a must-visit destination for skiers, and displays the family history of the owners for over 100 years. Wool blankets and Swiss fondue never looked so fabulous!
Stop Six – Shop Till You Curl?
Where: Zermatt Village
When: 5 pm
Why: Zermatt village is picture book perfect in the snow. It is also a wonderful place to shop and, small fact, it’s car-free, which makes navigating simple. Whether it’s luxury watches and jewelery, mountain gear or the ubiquitous Swiss chocolates, Zermatt offers the best of the best. After strolling the many premium shops, expand your horizons in the village at the sport of curling with The Zermatt Curling Club. The world’s top curlers have trained here on Zermatt’s pristine ice, and it gives you the perfect excuse to work up a sweat before heading to the spa.
Stop Seven – Sauna Life
Where: Mont Cervin Palace Spa
When: 6:30 pm
Why: The Swiss take time at the spa very seriously, as you will discover! After a day out in the elements experiencing the mountain lifestyle, there’s truly nothing better than to know you have a spa treatment waiting for you to look forward to before a well-earned dinner. The Mont Cervin’s five-star spa offers saunas, steam rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, and scented wellness showers to ensure you leave feeling revitalized and ready for more, shall we say, cheese.
Stop Eight – Say Cheese
When: 8:30 pm
Why: For a modern take on Zermatt’s traditional and carefree style, we suggest checking out the buzzy spot Ferdinand at Hotel Cervo. Raclette, a famous Swiss style of serving melted cheese is their specialty with an array of cheese selection. Served with warm potatoes and various salts, the ingredients are noticeably sustainable and fresh. This restaurant is an easy place to call it a day on the mountain and tuck in back at your villa.