This is a lovely little church set high on the hill overlooking Zermatt. I make it sound as though it is miles away from town but it is not. Just follow the signs from the main street and you'll soon get there. It's a bit of a climb, but I've had worse. It is a very heavily timbered building inside and whilst not as big or as ornate as the Catholic Church it has a charm all of its own. Well worth the walk up the hill.
There are some very interesting sculptures and monuments in Zermatt. I was particularly struck by their simplicity. There was no need to analyse what the artist was trying to say. What you see is what you get. In and around the area of the Matterhorn Museum and main square you will find the monument to Alpinism, the wonderful ibex and the fountain with what seems to be beavers or some such animal in abundance all over it. I don't know their history, but I do know that I liked them all.
There are many possibilities for hiking in Zermatt. Our second trip was to Schwarzesee above Zermatt. You can get there by cable car but also by foot.We chose the second variant.The trip was quite easy, we were going up 3 hours. On the top is a restaurant and the finish point of cable car. From Schwarzesee we went to Hirli,which was 40 minutes from Schwrzesee.From this place you can go also to Hornli Hutte under Matterhorn.
The trail we went down from Hirli to Zermatt is called Schwarzesee Paradise.It was so nice trail with great wievs of Matterhorn,Zermatt etc. We were back in Zermatt after 3 hours.
Enjoy fantastic panoramic views from Rothorn Paradise (3103m). You can see the Matterhorn from its most beautiful side, and a view on 38 summits higher than 4000m surrounding Zermatt.
On the way to Rothorn is "Sunnegga Paradise" (2288m). It is a ski area that forms part of the Zermatt ski resort. The Sunnegga area catches a large amount of sun due to its unique topography, often despite the rest of Zermatt being submerged in cloud.
VIDEO of my visit:
OK, here's my hike! Before I begin, PLEASE NOTE that this is a moderate to strenuous hike, and takes 4 to 5 hours. As always, be sure you have a map, and check with the tourist office to get advice on the latest trail conditions.
If the weather's clear, get an early breakfast and head for the GornergratBahn. Purchase a 1-way ticket to Riffelalp (CHF 18, 50% discount with Swisspass or Swiss Card). At Riffelalp station, cross the tracks and exit in the direction your train is going. Then follow the trail and the signs to "Grünsee." After about 45 minutes, you'll find yourself at a house (the Berggasthaus Grünsee) and a lake. From Grünsee, continue on the trail, following the signs to Stellisee. After about 90 minutes, you should be at the Stellisee. If conditions are right, you'll get the "Money Shot"!
If you still have energy, continue on and follow the signs to the Unterer Rothorn. After about 90 minutes to 2 hours, you'll arrive at a restaurant. Enjoy the view, have lunch, and take the gondola/alpine subway combination back to Zermatt.
If you're tired, follow the signs to Blauherd. From there, you either can take the gondola to up to the Rothorn, or down to Zermatt.
Th sumer Zermatt is beautiful and generous. Matterhorn towers up gracefully in the blue sky. The mountain visitors are tempted to breath deeply and stand motionless with a sigh of admiration for the greatness and beauty of the nature.
Klein Matterhorn is a great ski area 365 days a year. Winter sports enthusiasts from the Matterhorn glacier paradise resort station to Schwarzsee paradise or Matterhorn glacier paradise, can even connect to Breuil-Cervinia -Valtournenche (Italy).
Blauherd is the stop just below the Rothorn on the "Rothorn Paradise" Metro/cable car combination. It is the starting point for hikes to destinations such as the Stellisee and Fluhalp, as well as up to the Rothorn. One cable car descends from Blauherd to Sunnegga, where you can connect with the "Alpine Metro" back to Zermatt. Another cable car continues up to the Unterer Rothorn and the Restaurant Rothorn at the summit.
At Blauherd itself, there is a hostel and mountain restaurant known for its pizzas.
Finally they did it! From December 2006, an useful direct link is available between the Matterhorn and Gornergrat skiing areas thanks to the brand new Riffelberg Express.
This new 8-seat cable car connects Furi and Riffelberg via the intermediate station Schweigmatten, which offer by the way a very convenient access to Furi if you arrive from Gornergrat downhill as before you had to walk a while before taking the lift up to Furi. Up to Riffelberg, you will have the choice among to the 6-seat chair lift Gifthittli or the cogwheel Gornergrat train. No queue in prospect as its capacity is 2400 passengers per hour.
Great and efficient!
Looking for something else that skiing or not enough at ease on ski?
No worries, try the tobogganing on the slopes. A lot of fun for young and less young snow fans. You could also combinate this great adventure with an evening dinner and slide downhill during a Full Moon night.
Another relaxing way to discover the alpine nature is the snowshoeing, a delight in forest on a fresh powder snow coverage.
Do not forget the building of an Igloo, the Snowman and win a snow battle...
More practical info will be before the next winter season:
Special winter 2005/06
1) Tobogganing fun at Furi
Every Thursday and Friday, from 22. December 2005 until 17. March 2006 at 7.30 PM there is a special toboggan fun-ride from Zermatt to Furi.
Inclusive package: Ticket Zermatt - Furi one-way, (toboggans not included) CHF 8.50
Toboggans can be hired from local sporting goods stores.
Important: Since this is a special ride, the ski pass is not valid. No further reductions possible.
2) Moonlight ski runs - Rothorn paradise
Get into your warm ski clothes again and join our nightly ride up into the snow-covered and magical mountain world on top of the Rothorn paradise. Here you will enjoy a cosy atmosphere and a delicious fondue followed by a romantic ski run in the moonlight. The ski run will be accompanied by the experienced Zermatt slope- and rescue service.
Dates: 14 January 2006, 14 February 2006, 14 March 2006
Meeting point: Bottom station Rothorn paradise 7 p.m.
Reservation: Restaurant Rothorn, 027 967 26 75, until 3 p.m.
3) Gornergrat toboggan fun
Experience winter with a difference. Having lots of fun and enjoying yourself on the Rotenboden-Riffelberg toboggan run. The ride from Rotenboden (2819 m) down to Riffelberg (2582 m) lasts about 10 minutes. Trains from Riffelberg up to Rotenboden depart approximately every 10 minutes. Perfectly maintained toboggans are available for hire at the Rotenboden station.
Price: Adults CHF 40.- Half-day pass (from 12:15 PM) + CHF 8 for toboggan rental.
If you have not much time you should at least do this short hike: Take the Gornergratbahn to the top (approximately a good half hour) as you might anyway. Then walk down to the Riffelsee for some good photo opportunities with the lake and the Matterhorn (normally mirroring in the lake). For not so experienced hiker (however good shoes needed) about an hour walk.
Price September 2010 for return ticket half tax 38 CHF.
There is a really lovely path that runs on both sides of the River Vispa through Zermatt. On a clear day, this makes for a wonderful method of soaking up the ambience of the Zermatt area and of course the mountains which surround it. You should be able to get some good shots of Miss Matterhorn if she is free of cloud cover.
I don't know what the significance of the white cross on the mountainside over Zermatt is. It is just a simple wooden cross which stands as if on guard watching over the little town. Maybe someone could throw some light on it for me. As simple as it is, it fascinated me. Perhaps it was put there to mark an anniversary of some sort or in memory of some climbers who met their fate on the Matterhorn. Whatever it is, if you know, could you let me know please?
Matterhorn glacier paradise is located on the Klein Matterhorn area.
This is the highest European lookout accessible by an impressive cable car, which arrived directly into the summit of the mountain! Just drop off the cabin and follow quietly the tunnel which cross the mountain.
At mid-way on your left, you will have the possibility to take a lift and stairs up to the panoramic outdoor platform at 3’883meters above sea level. There enjoy the 360° breathtaking (because of the stairs and the scenery ;-) view on some 38 four-thousand meters peaks.
When you will reach earth again, head to the exit and you will discover the eternal snows and a glacier. You could visit the heart of the glacier thanks to an ice grotto digged 15 meters under the glacier surface (entrance free of charge, open everyday from 9AM to 3PM). Inside this iced cave (glacier palace), you could admire some iced sculptures and learn more about the glacier world and science. You will be even able to do a wine tasting (each Friday in summer, see my tip under Off the beaten path).
After all these emotions and discoveries, you could go back to the civilization by ski or by cable car as you wish.
How to go up: take the Matterhorn Express gondolas to the intermediate station Furi, change here for the cable car to Trockener Steg, then up to the Klein Matterhorn thanks to the European highest cable-car.
I advice you to take a break between each station as you could easily acclimate to the high altitude.
I spent a great deal of my time in Zermatt studying the headstones in the graveyards. So many of them have a story to tell, mainly about people (usually pretty young) who have come to grief on the mountains, most especially the Matterhorn. The Catholic church (by the river) and the English church (on the hill) have very interesting graveyards. At first I felt so very sad at so many young lives being lost, but along the way I gathered that these people had a passion to conquer these mountains and knew very well the risks they were taking in attempting to do so. One headstone in particular was for a 17 year old boy from New York City, whose grave was adorned with his climbing tools, and whose epitaph read, "I chose to climb". I feel that a visit to these churchyards are a must on any visit to Zermatt. If you enlarge the pics they will be easier to read.
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