Zermatt: A skier’s retreat

by Paige Norris-Miller,
Contributing writer

Zermatt, Switzerland, is a fabulously posh ski resort town. With the powerful, yet benevolent face of the famous Matterhorn beaming down on this town, it is a perfect spot for rich and committed snow bunnies to come and play in a winter wonderland.

 The town itself is ideally Swiss, with chalet style houses and buildings, snow gracefully softening the edges of each roof.     
No cars are allowed in Zermatt.

 There are tiny electric vehicles that provide taxi services and transport supplies from store to store. The most often heard sound is the squeal of their tiny breaks, as they fight to hold their grip on the icy streets. For those who seek a bit more romance, there are horse-drawn coaches. These options make Zermatt a clean and rather quiet place.

The longest ski run in Switzerland rules here − a whopping 22 kilometers long! Zermatt also holds the record for Europe’s highest mountain lift, topping out at 12,736 feet.

There is some amount of snow 365 days a year, although the winter boasts the best quality snow for the serious snowboarders and skiers. You can also begin your path in Switzerland and finish in Italy; just make sure you buy the right ticket so you can come back! First-timers must be intrepid indeed to learn the mechanics of maneuvering the slopes on the world-famous Alps.

The town of Zermatt is a great place for lively, mobile people to enjoy themselves. There are many different hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and rental apartments to accommodate singles or big groups.

For culinary options, Zermatt has many well-equipped grocery stores and bakeries. Restaurants run the gamut from Chinese, fondue houses, Irish pubs and Italian food. Pasta and pizza are prevalent since they seem to keep the serious snow bunnies fueled up.

This is a wonderful resort town and has everything to please those who seek a snowy retreat. There are plenty of winter clothing suppliers, souvenir shops and specialty item stores in the center of town. It is easy to get to them, as long as you have a sturdy pair of snow boots and a healthy appetite for fresh air.

Zermatt is not an inexpensive vacation option, but the peaceful and spectacular views and quality ski slopes are worth many visitors’ time and money.