Beguiling atmosphere, sensational scenery, skiing for all levels – a world-class mountain resort that’s as busy in summer as winter.
Travel bucket list idea:
Zermatt, Valais, Switzerland|www.gornergrat.ch|
Opened in 1898, this is one of the highest cog railways in Europe and makes its way from the centre of Zermatt to the top of Mount Gornergrat, site of a former observatory, at 3,089m.
The 9km route offers heart-stopping views over the lower reaches of the Gorner Glacier and across to the Matterhorn. There are a number of stops on the way, and at the mountain top is a hotel, shopping arcade and two restaurants.
Getting there & doing it
The railway is used by skiers in winter and climbers in summer, as well as by sightseers. The journey to the summit takes 33 minutes, but allow 2 hours for a round trip for sightseeing, longer if you stop for a meal – and spend time, as you should, taking pictures. It’s also worth hopping on and off at intermediate stops – the trains are every 24 minutes and there are hotel restaurants at three of the stops for refreshments.
When to do it
The train runs all year round.
Take the first train up to see the sun rise spectacularly, spreading its glow across the beautiful mountainscape. In winter, unless you get a very early train, after the 9am to 10am ski school rush should find the train not quite so crowded.
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