Skiing in Zermatt
Zermatt is a dreamy winter wonderland. A charming car free ski village that has everything while still feeling tiny. And skiing with a view of the Matterhorn all day is absolutely unbelievable.
A wonderful perk of living in Switzerland is sending our ski and luggage gear ahead to meet us at the Zermatt train station. We simply took all our luggage to our local train station and had it sent to Zermatt’s train station. So on the Saturday morning of school holidays, we woke up, made our pancakes, and walked down to the train station without having to lug our wheely bags and ski gear.
The 3 hour train ride from the Zürich main train station to Zermatt is absolutely beautiful. Zürich to Visp included a playground train compartment, which our girls loved. The second train from Visp to Zermatt was smaller and the girls colored and worked on sticker books.
We were lucky enough to spend a week at the Best Western Hotel Butterfly over the Christmas holiday. The hotel is just a minute’s walk from the train station. The service was amazing from the moment we checked in. We had booked two single rooms online as it looked like the cheapest option in all of Zermatt. Upon arrival they said they could put us in a family room, bring a bed for the girls, and charge us only for one room! Phew! Money saved! (Top tip: They said to book by phone or email them next year to get the family room as it is not online.) The owners knew the girls’ names and talked with them each day at the lovely happy hour (free food!). There is a gem of a man called Franco hosting the happy hour and he loved making sure everyone was completely satisfied with food, drinks, and laughter. We were doing Zermatt on the cheap, so the first two nights we grabbed food from the grocery store and made sandwiches and fruit for dinner. Breakfast was included. It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it, especially if you are looking for an affordable holiday in Zermatt.
We arrived in Zermatt and went straight to our hotel, which was excitedly close to the train station. Then we wandered the small village. We stopped at an outdoor ice bar in the center of town for two hot and steamy mugs of gluhwein with a spectacular view of the Matterhorn. This was our first glimpse of it all together as a family. The girls played in the snow while we warmed up.
We took the Gornergrat Bahn train each morning from the train station in town and ate at the Riffleberg ski lodge for lunch. For dinner, we usually grabbed food at the grocery store, Coop. The girls took ski lessons that I would highly recommend as they instructed in English and the teachers were super child friendly. We ate dinner out twice, once at a lovely fondue restaurant and once at a gorgeous rustic restaurant with great Swiss decor and ambiance. For lunch and coffee breaks on the days we did not ski, we stopped at bakeries and ate on the second floor and people/horse watched. We loved the soups and salads at the bakeries. The most fun for me was ordering gluhwein at the ice bar in the center of town, next to the Matterhorn Museum. Zermatt is a such fabulous place to spend a ski week.
Suddenly I have a craving for a Toblerone and a cappuccino!