The Luxury Country: Switzerland – Suggestions (Conclusion)
If the mad awesomeness of the Bernese Oberland wasn’t enough for you, we have one more stop, featuring Switzerland’s most famous mountain of all. The one on the Toblerone bars:
What is this mountain? The Matterhorn, of course. The icon of Switzerland, 14,692 feet of Alpine Exhilaration. The last major peak in the Alps to be climbed, and nearly ten times as deadly as the Eiger. Whoa! The Matterhorn has made its main access point similarly world-famous – Zermatt, one of three car-free villages in the country, accessible only by train from below.
Nestled in the alpine folds of the southwestern Canton of Wallis (or Valais in French, but pfftttt to that), It’s a small, pretty place, and exists almost solely for the mountain, but it’s arguably the nicest tourist trap in the world. It’s a year-round resort: an epicenter for snow sports in the winter, and a great spot from which to hike, bike, and do other outdoorsy things when the snow is gone. Within an hour or two’s walk uphill from town are a few tiny hamlets, with no more than ten buildings, and amusing names like Furi and Zmutt.
Zermatt also a good place to have a fondue on a cold night, and it and the surrounding area is the home of the most far-flung dialect of German: Highest Alemannic, apparently unintelligible to Standard German speakers. But really, the best thing is the location. This is the view from the village, when the clouds clear somewhat:
And from the edge of town:
There are lots of hotels in town, but one of the nicest options is to stay in furnished guest apartments at the edge of town (which just means a 3 minute walk from the town center). Getting here is actually easier from Geneva, but just as everywhere, it can be reached by train from anywhere in the country. The most baller way is to take the Glacier Express, a train connecting the deluxe resort town of St Moritz in the eastern Canton of Graubünden to Zermatt. Other mountain trains, such as the Gornergrat, run from Zermatt to surrounding glaciers.
But really, just go and enjoy this:
And that’s all from Switzerland, folks! Just remember, anywhere you go will be nice – it’s what they do. These recommendations are just WBH’s top picks, to keep you from being overwhelmed with 1,001 brilliant things to do and see. Have fun.