Travel Itinerary: Zermatt, Switzerland
The village of Zermatt is lovely and car-free, with old-fashioned brown chalets and winding alleys. It is a world-renowned resort with many luxurious accommodations that set the standards for high-end travel. Fashionable boutiques, posh night clubs and exquisite cuisine welcome visitors. Guests can walk from one end of the town to the other in about 15 minutes.
Yet, it’s the enormous peaks that surround Zermatt that draw tourists from all over the world year round. But in the winter, wine flows.
Where to stay:
• Riffelalp Resort – It may take a while to reach Riffelalp but everyone needs time to leave the daily grind behind. At 2222 meters (7290 feet), it disappears entirely from view. A warm welcome awaits every guest. www.riffelalp.com
• Omnia Unique – The Omnia is the contemporary interpretation of the traditional mountain lodge. This subtle interplay between design classics and custom-made products underscores the basic concept of the mountain lodge – The Omnia is the fusion of a multitude of different elements and influences to make a single harmonious whole. www.the-omnia.com
• Mont Cervin Palace – The Monte Rosa is the oldest hotel in Zermatt. But the Mont Cervin Palace, built in 1852, is also one of the most historic establishments and a key part of the history – and future! – of tourism in Zermatt. www.montcervinpalace.ch
• Grand Hotel Zermatterhof – When guests embrace the hospitality of the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, their notion of what “hôtellerie” can be will unfold: noblesse and heartfelt hospitality, style and joie de vivre, elegance and panache – guests can find them all in the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof. The relaxed comfort of the highly-traditional establishment and the fragrant Alpine air will revive spirits and open the soul to new experiences and dimensions. www.zermatterhof.ch
• Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn – Starting January 27, 2013, the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGB) will be offering brunch train trips. As a new offer, passengers can use the line between Brig and Zermatt. The new route for these brunch train rides aboard the GlacierExpress coach leads from Brig/Visp to Zermatt. The panoramic car enables riders to enjoy an amazing train ride to the highest mountains in the Alps that are navigable by rail. www.matterhorngotthardbahn.ch
• Bodega Bacchus wine cellar at Hotel Alex – Eat in style in elegant surroundings as the Bodega Bacchus wine cellar offers the very finest wining and dining in their stylish wine cellar. Groups of up to 22 people can enjoy Valais specialties, gourmet menus and selected wines from all over the world. Booking is essential. www.hotelalexzermatt.com
• Restaurant Heimburg – Christian Geisler and his crew surprise guests with their alpine dining experience menu. As diners enjoy his delights, they will be able to choose the amount of courses “a la minute”. Eat as many starters, entrees and desserts as one desires is the hospitality goal at Restaurant Heimburg. Also, with more than 300 wines on their wine list, guests will be sure to find the right drop for their occasion, be it a glass or bottle. Mainly concentrated on the old world, one can enjoy small family affairs as well as sought after rarities. www.heimberg-zermatt.ch
• Chez Vrony – The transformation of a small, Spartan farmhouse in the high Alps into restaurant Chez Vrony is more than just a story. It encapsulates the history of the past 100 years, chronicling the Julen family. Chez Vrony is one of only a few restaurants that serve their own organic produce, made from cattle that have eaten nothing but the grass that grows on the mountain pastures. All the dishes are natural and authentic regional fare but often with a cosmopolitan touch. www.chezvrony.ch
• Zermatt Unplugged – April 9-13, 2013 marks the sixth annual Zermatt Unplugged, an extraordinary music festival. Once again, Zermatt Unplugged gives tourists a chance to get up close and personal a plethora of musicians. Advance ticket sales are available at Starticket, Zermatt Unplugged and as well as in Zermatt at the ZAP bookstore and at the post office. www.starticket.ch
• Gravity Park Zermatt – The Zermatt Gravity Park has a new big attraction: freestylers and pros can now perfect their jumps on a huge airbag. The airbag, called Air2Bag, is 15 meters (16 feet) wide 15 meters (16 feet) long and almost 3 meters (9 feet) high. Tricks in the half pipe can go wrong with even a simple move. The soft landing on the airbag means that technically difficult jumps in the repertoire can now be practiced with reduced risk of injury. This Air2Bag has been available for use since mid-August 2012 and will be a permanent fixture in the Gravity Park. www.zermatt.ch
• Glacier Palace – Discover mystical, icy worlds in the highest glacier palace in the world. Visitors arrive at the glacier palace with one of the 2 lifts directly from the Matterhorn glacier paradise station. Then they walk into the palace through an ice tunnel that is almost 15 meters (50 feet) below the surface of the glacier. Adventurers and daredevils can return by walking through a glacier crevasse.
Discreet lighting and ethereal sounds accompany visitors through a minor wonder of the world of glaciers. Information about the creation of the glacier palace, glaciology and impressive statues sculpted from ice round off an experience of a very special kind. www.zermatt.ch