Zermatt, Switzerland

Best Ski Resorts in Europe

Even if it didn't have great terrain, Zermatt would be worth visiting for the unsurpassed scenery. It is an isolated town at the end of a long valley at whose head looms the Matterhorn. There is no better backdrop than this singular and commanding peak.

Zermatt (www.zermatt.ch) was the first car-free resort, which means everyone arrives by train, and guests and luggage are transferred to their lodgings by traditional horsedrawn sleigh or more modern electric cart.

The skiing is segmented into several distinct sectors, some of which are now interlinked, but whether you can ski between them or not, one lift pass accesses some 40 lifts. You can zip to the heart of the Sunnegga-Blauherd-Rothorn sector via underground funicular to ski some of Zermatt's easiest runs, as well as many intermediate and expert ones. Take a slow ride on the historic Gornergrat railway, which accesses huge bowls and snowfields, or just to enjoy the incredible view from the hotel at the top station.

The most dramatic area is the Klein Matterhorn sector. The highest lift unloads on a rocky point, offering an extraordinary 360-degree panorama, of which the fabled Matterhorn is just one feature. In addition to the scenery, you will find excellent on- and off-piste terrain for intermediate and better skiers and riders. The same life also accesses the Plateau Rosa, from which you can ski 4,700 vertical feet down into Cervinia, Italy, arguably the best two-nation experience in the Alps.


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »