The nearby excursion mountains of Zermatt are popular destinations for mountaineers, hikers and nature lovers who want to experience a mountain experience of absolute superlatives. First and foremost the Matterhorn (4,478 m), the Gornergrat (3,089 m), the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (3,883 m), the Rothorn (3,103 m) and the Sunnegga mountain (2,288 m).
The 4,478-metre-high Matterhorn is the most famous sight in Zermatt and Switzerland and a must-see for every visitor. It is one of the highest mountains in the Alps and a symbol and landmark for Switzerland. The Matterhorn is one of the most famous mountains in the world due to its striking shape and history of ascents.
The first ascent took place on July 14, 1865 by Edward Whymper in a 7-man rope team. Today, the Matterhorn is the most photographed mountain in the world.
The Gornergrat at 3,089 meters can be reached by cogwheel railroad from Zermatt. From the Gornergrat, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Matterhorn, the Monte Rosa massif and the glaciers.
The ridge itself lies at an altitude of 3,135 meters and is around three kilometers from Zermatt. It is located between the Gorner Glacier and the Findel Glacier. The view of more than 20 four-thousand-meter peaks is breathtakingly beautiful.
Highest mountain hotel in Europe
The Kulmhotel, which is the highest mountain hotel in Europe, is located on the Gornergrat. The Kulmhotel serves as an ideal base camp for mountain tours. Guests can expect pure high mountains with a gigantic panorama, surrounded by several four-thousand-meter peaks.
The views of the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa massif from every room at the Kulmhotel are incomparable.
The mountain station of the Klein Matterhorn is located at 3,820 meters. A tunnel leads from there to the glacier plateau and ski area to the south, which is called “Matterhorn Glacier Paradise”. In the middle of the tunnel is a staircase and a passenger lift that lead to the actual summit at 3,883 meters.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise at 3,883 m is the highest viewing platform and mountain railway station in Europe. The summit lift takes you up to the 360-degree viewing platform. The view from there: heavenly!
Guests are guaranteed a panoramic view of the largest glaciers and 38 Swiss, Italian and French Alpine giants. The world’s highest tricable gondola lift has been running up the mountain since 2018. The four “Crystal ride” cabins with Swarovski crystals are the highlight of the modern lift.
Schwarzsee with Matterhorn
The Schwarzsee is located north of the Matterhorn at an altitude of 2,583 meters. It can be reached by taking the Schwarzsee mountain railroad from Zermatt.
The lake is fed by the glaciers. The Matterhorn, the Monte Rosa massif, the Weisshorn, the Dent Blanche and the Mischabel group lie in its viewing area. The small mountain lake has an area of 0.1 km² and the “Maria zum Schnee” chapel is located right next to it. The small church is reflected in the clear, dark lake when there is no wind. The place where the sun reaches the Zermatt ski area first thing in the morning is known as “Schwarzsee Paradise”.
There is even a beach area where you can swim and sunbathe.
Hiking trails lead from Schwarzsee to the famous Hörnlihütte. The popular Hörnlihütte can be reached in around two hours. It is located at 3,260 meters and is an alpine refuge at the foot of the Matterhorn. Most mountaineers start their climb of the Matterhorn from here.
From the Rothorn at 3,103 meters, you have a unique view of the Matterhorn and the highest mountains in the Valais Alps. The cable car takes you up to the Rothorn, or the so-called Unterrothorn.
In summer, challenging hikes and climbing tours start here. Sunrise tours are also popular. In winter, the many well-groomed and sunny ski slopes with restaurants are a real attraction. The moonlight descents of the Zermatt Bergbahnen are always very popular.
You can get to know the Zermatt mountains and their most famous peaks in the “Peak Collection” sculpture exhibition. Information boards in four languages provide details about the types of rock on the peaks, altitudes of the mountains, first ascents, etc.
The Sunnegga mountain at 2,288 m is considered a family paradise in Zermatt. In summer, the Leisee lake attracts visitors for a swim. In winter, young and old can make their first attempts at skiing in the Wolli beginners’ park. The Sunnegga-Rothorn valley station is just under a 10-minute walk from Zermatt railroad station. The funicular ride to Sunnegga takes just 4.5 minutes. It takes you through the rock tunnel inside the mountain up to the panoramic sun terrace. The view of the Matterhorn is incomparable.
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