Walking down into Zermatt gives you the chance to explore the back streets where you''ll find charming old barns -the mazots on - have much more rustic appeal than the modern hotel which throng the main streets of Zermatt.
Although I got a slight reflection of the Matterhorn in the Grinjisee some of the other peaks around were better framed - as in this pic. It really is an idyllic spot and there is a path around it. This is a hike I could easily do again.
After the hike around the lakes we'd planned to take the sunegga funicular down ..but we still had plenty of time before the mini-bus was due to take us back to Saas Fee. So we walked through the village of Findeln where some of the best views of the Matterhorn can be had and down through the forest to the centre of Zermatt (another 1.5 hours) What a contrast to the previous year -so glad we extended our hike here. The village is so quaint and picturesque and worth a vist in itself.
The Leisee was a short detour UP off the path from the Grindjisee to Findeln. You could easily reach the Sunnegga funicular in a few minutes from here and ride the easy way back down to Zermatt. This pic in July is so different from the view we had in August of the preceding year. What a difference the weather can make!
Part way up the Gornegrat trail, just near the Riflesee station - a great place to have your pic taken with the Matterhorn in the background - just a shame it was clouded over by then, oh well thats mountain weather for you ;-/ Some day we will be back yet again I think for that perfect reflection of the Matterhorn in the lake near here!
The Moosjesee (2140m) completes the 5 lakes - Stellisee, Grunsee, Grindjsee and Leisee being the others. Again this was a bit of a detour below our target of Findeln so just another shot from up above it. It looked more like a man-made dam lake to me and judging by the turquoise colour of the water would not be reflecting either :-S. So the Stellisee or the Grindjsee are best options for the scenic views and good spots for an alpine picnic on the 5 lakes walk.
An easy broad path from Stellisee leads to Grindjisee (2334m) another of the mountain lakes where a reflection of the Mattenhorn can be found on a clear still day. Its an idyllic lake fringed with pine trees and is a wonderful place for a picnic and bathe - be warned water is icy! These mountains lakes are easily reached just a short hike from the Blauherd or Sunegga mountain transport systems so don't miss them.
The Grunsee lake is a bit of a detour from the the other lakes on the lakes hike, its across the valley. We decided not to actually go right up to it - it was a long enough walk down from Rothorn to Zermatt town itself - so settled for a picture from distance. The terrain around it is more barren anyway, not as picturesque as the alpine meadow ones and it didn't look as if there was a reflection there either.
Well it was an unplanned trip from Saas Fee during our holiday in July 2004 that brought us back for a day trip to Zermatt. The weather was perfect we had 7 hours and I knew exactly which walk I wanted to do - the five lakes tour!
We took the underground funicular to Sunegga again, then the cale-car to Blauherd and another to the Rothorn. From here we gradually walked all the way down to Zermatt and enjoyed most of the 5 lake views :-)))
The Stellisee (2536m) must be one of the most photogenic places to capture the Matterhorn. A few ripples on the lake meant not quite a reflection but it was so beautiful here I did not mind and couldn't complain with such a picture postcard landscape.
These are some of the quaint old barns at Zum See - tourism has not changed these to holiday chalets......yet. Lets hope this place retains its charm and peacefulness as the centre of Zermatt becomes more and more touristic.
The Glacier Express is one of Switzerland's most famous train excursions. The Glacier Express, which has been operating since 1930, is billed as "the world's slowest express train" and averages 22 mph (36 km/h) during the 7?-hour trip between Zermatt and St. Moritz. The 169 miles (272 km) of narrow-gauge track are punctuated by 291 bridges and 91 tunnels. Trains reach a peak elevation of 6,670 feet (2,033 m) at the Oberalp Pass near Andermatt and traverse the 9.5-mile (15-mile) Furka Tunnel, which takes a shortcut beneath the Alps between Andermatt and Brig.
Trains are a curious mixture of old and new. Modern passenger cars have panoramic windows for enjoyment of the spectacular scenery, while the antique dining cars feature wood paneling, brass fixtures, and special tilted wineglasses that are designed to prevent spilling during the steeper portions of the journey. Some trains have glass-roofed observation cars with a narrated trip commentary that first-class passengers can visit when they aren't dining or occupying their assigned seats.
I love marmots... and was a tad disappointed that we didn't see lots of them during our hikes (I think we spotted just about 3 or 4 of them during our walks).
Then we went to the Marmot Observation post at the Sunegga skifield. In a bunch of rocks was a whole colony of marmots who pop out and sunbathe then scamper away at the slightest noise. And then come out again. Honestly, I could spend hours just watching them.
In the little village of Blatten, a short hike from Zermatt, is a little patch of grass with all the famous herbs used in manufacturing the famous Ricola herb candies. To be honest I actually thought they produced it there, but it turned out to be a cute little garden with some information on Ricola and the benefits of the various herbs used.
No payment required to visit.
It was quite an overcast day....so didn't want to go too high. We opted for the Sunnegga funicular which goes underground. The village of Findeln, a short walk from the funicular summit, is quite scenic for the Matterhorn....but we didn't see the Matterhorn that day.......hiding in the cloud somewhere.
Take the underground gondola up to Sunegga. There are mountain lakes up here...we actually saw someone having a dip in the lake, but it was a bit too cold for my liking! There are great Matterhorn reflection shots to had in the 5 mountain lakes here -unfortunately it was too cloudy for us this day :-( ( If there's one walk that calles me back to Zermatt (having done the hike around the Matterhorn in lovely weather) then its this hike around the lakes.