Zermatt is practically synonymous with the Matterhorn. This Swiss mountain town has long been a launch pad for mountaineers aiming for the notorious 4,478 metre peak – but the Matterhorn is just one of 38 mountains over 4,000 metres in the area, making for dramatic scenery perfect for exploring on foot - paths weave from villages and valleys, through gorges and Alpine meadows to the rockier terrain above. It’s easy to get carried away exploring the spectacular surroundings, but ensure you make time for wandering the pretty town and enjoying the views from one of Zermatt’s many sunny café terraces. This is also the realm of cycling, climbing, high ropes and via ferrata routes – even year-round glacier skiing.
Relax in Zermatt
Before the 19th Century race to climb the Matterhorn made Zermatt famous, the residents were quietly getting on with farming the green pastures here. Many of the old wooden buildings still frame the pedestrianised streets, window boxes overflowing with flowers. You can take your pick of bars, restaurants and shops – and of the suntrap terraces made for sipping a coffee under the watchful eye of the Matterhorn. To find out more about how mountaineering transformed Zermatt, duck into the underground Matterhorn Museum.
Exploring the Matterhorn region
The highest cable car in Europe takes adventurers up to Klein Matterhorn (3,883 metres). It’s no relation to the actual Matterhorn, which lies just a few kilometres across the mountain pass, but offers exceptional views of some of the highest glaciers and summits in the Alps, including Mont Blanc. Aptly named the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, it's an Alpine wonderland up here. The restaurant serves Alpine food and wine, while a cinema screens short films of Zermatt’s wildlife and mountaineering history. Get a glimpse of life beneath the glacier in the Ice Palace or take a panoramic trip on the new Matterhorn Alpine Crossing – a luxurious cable car that connects Zermatt with the Italian village of Breuil-Cervinia.
Beyond the Matterhorn: mountains, lakes and gorges
Despite what some might say, there are mountains beyond the Matterhorn. Dive into the challenging trails of the Rothorn or visit the chapel at Schwarzee, dedicated to Mary of the Snows; it’s something of a sacred touchstone for mountaineers. The network of lifts and mountain railways around Zermatt makes getting to the best viewpoints easy and there's every flavour of footpath to discover. On the outskirts of town, staircases and boardwalks lead deep into the Gorner Gorge, which is a natural spectacle, showcasing the power of nature.
Mini mountain adventures
Gornergrat is one of the most family-friendly mountains in Zermatt. For starters, you get to travel aboard a 19th Century cog railway with views of the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa massif. At the top, you can meet the cute black-nosed sheep that graze on the pastures, admire the plants in the highest Alpine garden in Europe, or wander one of the many well-signposted footpaths. Alternatively, take the funicular up to the playgrounds and swimming lakes of Sunnegga.
Why book a summer holiday in Zermatt with Inghams?
At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of the Zermatt's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.
Plus, we've included two optional guided walks every week in Zermatt. Join a professional walking guide and really get to know the area (see more details in the ‘walking’ tab below).
With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Zermatt include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.