When Trish and I were booking our Germany (Berlin and Munich/Oktoberfest) trip, we wanted to tack on a few more days to our vacation. Since we have both been to so many places, sometimes we lean on random travel lists to help us narrow down our choices. This time...it was the fact that The Matterhorn was listed as one of the 100 world's greatest places in the Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel Coloring Book (which of course we both have!). I had also never been to Switzerland, so it meant another country checked off for me!
Lessons learned for this portion of the trip: 1) It's easy to book the bus/train 1 / train 2 ticket from Munich to Zermatt (via Zurich and Visp). 2) It's a super quick train switch in Visp - like 6 minutes - run!! 3) Don't panic when your AirBnb gets canceled the day before you are going to Zermatt?! eek. I quickly went online and found another hotel - crisis diverted. 4) We should have bought our train ticket from Zermatt to Zurich in advance. Buying it at the Zermatt train station the day before was way more expensive! Chalking that one up to everything is expensive in Switzerland. 5) We didn't have any tours/excursions booked in advance. It probably helped it was low season - but we bought same day gondola and glacier paradise tickets very easily.
All in all - everything worked out perfect - and this portion of the trip was beyond relaxing, beautiful and invigorating. It was definitely nice to get some fresh mountain air and small hikes in after all those days in Germany drinking beer and eating heavy food.
Sleep on the bus from Munich to Zurich. Then get ready to enjoy all the beautiful views from Zurich to Visp and especially Visp to Zermatt - it got prettier by the minute on the last stretch!
View from the Train
Views from the train
On the train up to Zermatt
EJ enjoying the views
It's a fairly easy walk from the train station to most any hotel in Zermatt. Beware of some hills, but otherwise - enjoy the beauty of the quaint village town from the minute you step out of the station!
River through Zematt
Trish making her way up the hill!
As I mentioned, we had a very last minute hotel change in Zermatt. Our new place - Hotel Ambiance - ended up working out great! Nice place, good breakfast included, and the location was convenient.
The gonergrat going up the mountain
On our first full day in Zermatt we walked over to the Sunnegga-Rothorn valley station and bought tickets to take the funicular from Zermatt (5,315 ft) up to Sunnegga (7,507 ft). Then the gondola up to Blauherd (8,435 ft), and finally the cable car up to Rothorn (10,180 ft).
The views from Rothorn were amazing and we enjoyed walking around at the top for about 30 minutes checking out each angle of the mountain and surrounding glaciers.
Finally we took the cable car back down to Rothorn and from there we followed the hiking trail for almost an hour to weave our way back down to Sunnega. Most of it was spent taking photos - because as they say everywhere in Zermatt is a photographers dream!
In Sunnega we were starving by that point, so we grabbed a nice hot bowl of gouloush at the cafeteria and sat out on the patio to enjoyo more of the views while eating.
Last but not least, we took the funicular back down to Zermatt - and ended our day's adventure.
Boarding the funicular
Gondola up to Blauherd
Cable Car up to Rothorn
Panoramic views from Rothorn
Trish enjoying the views
Feet overlooking Matterhorn
EJ with The Matterhorn
EJ in front of the glacier
This bench just begged for a photo op. Trish enjoying Matterhorn
We're hiking down!
The trail down to Sunnegga
Trish and EJ
Enjoy a hot bowl of goulash when you back it back down to Sunnegga.
Sheep at Sunnegga
Warming us up with Goulash and Beer
Walking around the Zermatt village town doesn't get old. Go explore the winding roads, shops, restaurants and bars. It's expensive - fair warning! Do mostly window shopping, and just don't think about the money spent on meals. It's an experience - enjoy it!
Walking through town
The only motor vehicles (taxis) allowed in town
Fondue is a must while in Switzerland
Ready to dig in
Our on second, and last, full day in Zermatt - the clouds broke and the sun was shining!
It was a gorgeous day to take the cable car up to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise at 12,739ft (Europe's highest cable car station).
We enjoyed the views, and then took the lift up even further to the 360 degree platform view of Matterhorn at 13,132ft. It was beautiful - but so cold!!
The sun just popped out!
Cable Car up to Glaciers Paradise
View of Matterhorn from the cable car
EJ on the viewing platform - 13,132ft
Surrounding views from the viewing platform
That's a lot of snow!
View of Matterhorn
Finally, we went down 49 ft below the glacier surface to walk through the ice complex. Now that was cold!!
Trish in the tunnel down to the ice complex
Queen for the day
On our way back down we popped outside for one final view of The Matterhorn from up high.
Beauty above the clouds
Look at the view! Amazing
No matter where you look in this town - it's just breathtaking
One last view and photo op before the sun goes down.
EJ with Matterhorn
Beauty below the clouds
Trish and EJ. Too bad The Matterhorn is washed out
The Matterhorn Feet Photo
Behind the Scenes foot photo! My balancing partner! ;)
Ok I lied...now this is really the final photo of The Matterhorn! (It just got better at every view we made today). That peak is so shy - we were lucky to finally see it in it's full glory during our short visit!!
I found the peak!
Slideshow of more Zermatt photos - use right/left control arrows or scroll and click to view