Located in upper Valais, Switzerland, Zermatt is a village where car driving is not allowed. It is a very popular destination for mountaineering and skiing. While the village has breathtaking surroundings, this comes at a great price and accommodation facilities in Zermatt are extremely expensive. The area is beautifully surrounded by fabulous mountains like Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn. It is a great place to experience life without cars. With just 5 streets, Zermatt is home to about 20, 000 people. Internal combustion cars are very rare and only seen during occasional delivery or specialist services. It is a place of utter tranquility. Tourists will spend most of their time sitting on hotel balconies and listening to various songbirds as they watch the striking sun set at the mountains.
In the morning, you get chance of waking up with sun in your 4 or 5 star hotel or canvas tent and you will be welcomed by sweet sounds of church bells, children’s laughter, crickets and birds. Most of the few cars found in Zermatt are driven by battery and almost silent completely. You will also come across the horse drawn cars which act as local taxis. Most tourists also prefer strolling or cycling around Zermatt as it is very safe. Visitors driving their cars inadvertently into Zermatt are fined heavily on the spot. You will not be pardoned on the grounds that you never saw the sign and this might even land you to jail.
The Breithorn is the major attraction in Zermatt and you can walk to its top in just two hours. You will need a rope and the company of a local guide when visiting the Breithorn. More experienced mountaineers can easily climb Matterhorn and possibly spend a night at the top. To climb Monte Rosa, your physical condition must be excellent but this it is an experience that you will definitely not want to miss. There are many travel companies specialized in Alps that will help you organize such climbing safaris. Skiing in Zermatt is another momentous activity that tourists shouldn’t miss. Rosa plateau is home to largest European ski area.
Zermatt is also a wonderful place for mountain biking/ cycling even though biking is not a very popular activity among the tourists. There are several shops where you can hire bikes at an affordable price including a helmet. If you opt to cycle in Zermatt town, keep in mind that cycling along Bahnhofstrasse, the main street is not allowed but you can push your bike all the way to the nearby church. You will be surprised to note that there are more hotels in Zermatt than you can find in some big cities.
In fact, there are more than 2700 rental apartments and 126 hotels for your holiday. Another great sleeping alternative for budget travelers who can’t afford the expensive accommodation is to camp. Time shares are still another option and if you are planning to be involved in extensive hiking, you can opt for mountain huts.