With culture centred around its beautiful mountains and being free of cars, Zermatt is one of Europe's most popular destinations and is home to possibly one of the continent's most recognizable peaks, the Matterhorn. Largely regarded as Switzerland's top resort and with a large glacier to allow the summer skier options, Zermatt is a year-round destination.
With over 150 miles of trails served by over 71 lifts, Zermatt may not be the most beginner-friendly resort but with over 50% of those trails geared towards intermediates it is a moderately experienced skier's dream. This is not to say beginners are not be tailored for, with 15 trails dedicated to beginners and leaving around 30 designated for experts. As well as this Zermatt also caters for snowboarders with a half pipe located near Riffelberg, a park on the Klein Matterhorn and a new terrain park also near Riffelberg.
As well as ski and mountaineering Zermatt is ideal for cyclists and many visitors hire bikes from one of the many shops around town. It is worth mentioning that the main street (Bahnhofstrasse) is closed to cyclists from the train station to the church unless dismounted and pushed, for most part of the afternoon although they can also be carried onto most ski lifts for a small extra charge (if not already included in the pass cost). With over 45 mountain restaurants in Zermatt, visitors are presented with a vast selection of 'Hansel and Gretel' style chalet eateries. Ranging in price from as little as fifteen Euros to anywhere up to around fifty there is something to fit any budget but it is definitely worth taking the time to wander around the villages to find the more charming outdoor terraced ones than the easier and more visible cafeterias
Along the Bahnhofrstrasse you can find numerous tearooms serving fantastic pastries and 'Cafe in the Walliserhof' is ideal for late afternoon/late evening serving much the same fare but leaning more towards being a bar, serving the Swiss version of 'Irish' coffees. As well as this the Vernissage is a combination of movie theatre, art galleries and bars that is a must see for visitors. For late night entertainment Zermatt caters for all ages with quaint little jazz bars, 'GramPi's Pub which is popular with English speakers and the hugely popular Hotel de la Poste which houses numerous bars and pub/clubs for all ages.
Zermatt's reputation as the top destination is not difficult to understand with its outstanding ski, late afternoon cafes and bars and late night dancing and music to keep you entertained to the early hours. Plus, with the added benefit of being car-free, there's no guilt over having 'one for the road'.