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Travel bucket list idea:

The Matterhorn

  • Zermatt, Valais, Switzerland

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 19 April, 2024

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.

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 8+
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.