Zermatt is situated at the end of the 30-km Mattertal valley (also called the Nikolaital) on the border with Italy in the western Swiss canton of Valais. Visitors from all over the world are attracted to this village at the foot of the Matterhorn, a place where Switzerland shows off its sunny side, high in the Alps: sublime, unspoilt. Almost a third of all the four-thousand-metre peaks in the Alps are to be found around Zermatt. Ever since the Matterhorn was first conquered in 1865, the area has been a magnet for mountaineers from Switzerland and elsewhere. And the local hotels and restaurants enjoy world renown too.
The Matterhorn skiing region is the highest in the Alps, and it is considered to be one of the best ski resorts with the steepest slopes in the world. Snow sports enthusiasts can revel in the fact that the Matterhorn ski paradise has guaranteed snow 365 days a year. And the decidedly mild climate is another reason holiday visitors flock to the area – it enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and less precipitation than anywhere else in Switzerland. The air in Zermatt is clear, dry and clean: since 1947 only electric vehicles without combustion engines have been allowed in the village. Zermatt is a world of its own, and a place where visitors instantly feel at home.
Download the street map of Zermatt here.
Breuil-Cervinia (2003 metres above sea level) is situated at the northern end of the Italian commune of Valtournenche in the autonomous Aosta Valley region. The name comprises the French and Italian names (Breuil and Cervinia) and roughly translates as “swampy area by the Matterhorn”.
In 1936, Breuil-Cervinia acquired its first cable car system. This well-known resort has been a popular destination for celebrities since the 1950s, and its location close to Zermatt's glacier ski area (Theodulgletscher, Plateau Rosa, Klein Matterhorn) attracts skiers and snowboarders all year round.
From Breuil-Cervinia, a mule track leads to Zermatt across the Theodul Pass at an altitude of 3301 metres. The latter half of the 19th century saw the first mountaineers tackling the Matterhorn.
The Matterhorn (Italian: Monte Cervino, French: Mont Cervin) is a mountain in the Valais Alps, where it forms part of the border between Switzerland and Italy. In 1865, after several previous attempts to conquer the Matterhorn had failed, a mountaineer named Edward Whymper finally became the first person to reach the 4478-metre-high summit. It did not take long for the Matterhorn’s curious pyramid outline to become a symbol for the whole of Switzerland. The high-profile mountain turned Zermatt into one of the country's most famous tourist resorts, and it has grown into a small town with around 5000 inhabitants. The Matterhorn was even the template on which chocolate manufacturer Tobler based its famous Toblerone product.