|⤞ Staying in an idyllic alpine town in the heart of alps with the Matterhorn as your centrepiece|
|⤞ Relaxing your muscles at the spa after a day hike|
|⤞ Plentiful choices for local Swiss cuisine awaiting you at every corner (the cheese!)|
1. Stay at a boutique hotel with a view of the Matterhorn
Hotel Couers Des Alpes is the best hotel we have ever stayed in. Everything about it is inspiring: the location, decor, spa and most of all the hosts Leni and Thomas.
Once you arrive you’re greeted and offered a drink. We asked for a glass of prosecco and sipped it outside alongside the Matterhorn as our bags were taken upstairs.
The hotel and rooms are beautifully designed. We have stayed at the hotel three times, once in the least expensive double room, once in the two-story loft, and this time in the Sky Suite with some family. All rooms didn’t disappoint! If you’re travelling as two I would recommend staying in the Romaine loft. It's the two-story loft with the best view of the Matterhorn. If you’re with a group of 5-6 people, the Sky Suite is perfect. It has three separate bedrooms each with their own bathroom.
The hotel also has luxurious amenities: a stainless steel outdoor hot tub, Hammam, indoor plunge pool, sauna, and a steam room!
Each morning we had free breakfast with a buffet of options. We loved the bacon and cafe macchiatos.
2. Hike to Zmutt and stop in for a delectable lunch
There is a wonderful loop you can hike along from the city center that stops at two delightful locations. Make sure to take a map; hiking shoes are also recommended. First, find your way to the Hotel Omnia in Zermatt and from there hike upwards! You will snake through buildings until getting into the forest. Your first stop, The Edelweiss Hotel And Cafe, is beautifully perched on a cliff above the city. Try the homemade carrot cake - you won’t be disappointed! From there travel towards Zmutt. As you crest the cliff, beautiful views of the Matterhorn emerge. Once in the small village of 20 buildings, find The Restaurant Dörflein and reward yourself with a meal. The cheese spaetzle was to die for and the beer was ice cold.
3. Take a rest day and pamper yourself at the spa
After a long day's hike, there's nothing more relaxing than a spa day! We started off with an excellent one-hour 'relaxing massage' at our hotel and then continued to the Hammam. Once in the Hammam, we were given a traditional Turkish towel to wear and had to remove our swimsuit. We first sat in the steam room to open our pores and then used an exfoliating mitt with almond scrub to cleanse ourselves in the next room. Before taking a dip in the small plunge pool, we lay down for a few minutes on the warm stone slab. If you want to take the Hammam to the next level, you can order a mud body mask for 20 euros that you apply to yourself in the Rhassouel. It conditions your skin with valuable mineral salts. We felt squeaky clean after!
4. Hike the Five-Lakes Trail
The 5-Seeweg (5 Lakes Walk) is a must do if you’re looking to get out and about in Zermatt. The 9.8km two and a half hour hike is mostly downhill and offers picture perfect views of the Matterhorn, the mountain can even be seen as a reflection in 3 of the 5 lakes. If you’re up for it you can take a side route off the beaten path to Fluealp, which is a quiet stop with two small lakes and a picturesque view of the Matterhorn. It’s the perfect place to have a picnic!
After descending save yourself for a stop at Chez Vrony, a fantastic oasis with great food, design, and atmosphere.
5. Eat Swiss cuisine
Swiss cuisine is heavily characterized by local ingredients such as cheese, dried meats, wines and garden vegetables, especially salad veggies. Our favourite Swiss dish is Raclette. The dish is traditionally prepared by cutting a big wheel of Raclette cheese in half, sticking the cut side under a heating element and waiting until the cheese is golden and bubbling. Cheese lovers rejoice! The bubbling melted cheese is then scraped off onto a plate and served with boiled baby potatoes, pickles and baby onions. YUM!!! Look out for “Raclette a discression” (all you can eat) and pig out to your heart’s content, plate after plate.
Our next favourite dish is cheese fondue and fondue chinoise (meat fondue with broth). We usually have a starter cheese fondue before our fondue chinoise, which typically consists of slices of pork, beef and veal and an assortment of dipping sauces. Be careful, prices are usually listed per serving with a 2 serving minimum, so it can become a bit more expensive than it leads on.
There's many excellent restaurants in Zermatt, but our favourites are Walliserstube and Schäferstube. If you're feeling like seafood, the chef at Walliserstube specializes in it. The fish soup was uniquely flavoured and very satisfying.
6. Play tennis in the beautiful centre city courts
Don’t feel like hiking? One of the best kept secrets in Zermatt is the public tennis court. Court rentals are 22CHF per hour and racket rentals for the day are 5CHF each. We found the courts to be mostly empty and had to pay for an extra hour since we were having so much fun. Courts and rentals can be booked at the Restaurant Spotspavilion.
7. Fully Loaded Experience: Take a helicopter ride through the Swiss Alps
We were in one of those moods, willing to do whatever it took to get more out of our Zermatt experience. A flyer for Air Zermatt was tucked into our hotel welcome book and after seeing their Valais branded red and white helicopters, we were sold. What better way to experience the mountains than with a helicopter tour. It was our first time on one of these strange flying machines and liftoff was exhilarating. Try not to view the whole ride through your phone. Take in the sights and wave to the brave mountaineers summiting the Matterhorn!