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Last updated: 15 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: James Fair

Straddling the border between Switzerland and Italy, the Matterhorn is one of Europe’s highest, most recognisable and perhaps most beautiful mountains.

Its iconic jagged tooth form, a near-symmetrical pyramid peak, rears to 4,478 metres, dwarfing the surrounding Alpine range.

First summitted in 1865, it’s attracted mountaineers ever since. However, over 500 mountaineers have died trying to scale it – making it also one of the most deadly mountains in the world.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 6+
Frequency: monthly
When: All year around
Duration: 1 night

Getting there & doing it

There are several ways to appreciate this geological beauty, aside from admiring the view from anywhere in Zermatt.

The simplest way is to take a cable car up to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (about 45 minutes). This mountain station high up by the summit has exceptional 360 degree-views, a fine restaurant, and an underground ice palace, the Glacier Palace, filled with ice sculpture that worth’s a look.

You can see the mountain up close from a helicopter with Air Zermatt, or hop on the Gornergrat train – one of the world’s greatest scenic train rides.

If you’re feeling fit, there are dozens of hiking trails – the most popular being to the picturesque freshwater lakes Stellisee and Riffelsee, that shimmer with Matterhorn reflections. A full circuit takes around 10 days

When to do it

The cable car, helicopter flights and the Gornergrat train run all year round. The Glacier Palace is also open all year round.

Hiking is obvious best in the summer months.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Riffelalp Resort

Zermatt, Valais, Switzerland[7.7 miles]

A superb 5 star, ski in ski out resort hotel, set in a hamlet on the mountain above Zermatt, with jaw-dropping views of the magnificent Matterhorn. Ski luxury at its best.

Official star rating:

Iglu-Dorf Zermatt

Zermatt, Valais, Switzerland[8.2 miles]

An igloo hotel located at 2,700m, offering incredible views and a real sense of adventure.

Official star rating:

The Omnia

Zermatt, Valais, Switzerland[8.3 miles]

A remarkable hotel in an extraordinary location, renowned for its stunning architecture, gorgeous indoor-outdoor pool and flawless service.

Official star rating:

Backstage Hotel Vernissage

Zermatt, Valais, Switzerland[8.6 miles]

A cosy 19-room bolthole in the centre of Zermatt. Each unique room is a modern art gallery, with luxury to match.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Valais, Switzerland

Beguiling atmosphere, sensational scenery, skiing for all levels – a world-class mountain resort that’s as busy in summer as winter.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Glacier Express

Zermatt, Valais, Switzerland[8.8 miles]

Europe’s most popular tourist train passes through an astonishing variety of landscapes: snow-covered peaks, desolate moors, limestone cliffs of the Rhine gorge, spiral tunnels and horseshoe curves.

Best for ages: 6+ | £140 | 7.5 hours