Best Station in the Alps

Laurent Grabet
Marco Schnyder
Winter 2020-2021

In November, Zermatt was once again ranked the #1 ski resort in Europe by the biggest independent
visitor satisfaction survey in the region. Let’s take a look at what makes Zermatt so special.

In November, Zermatt was officially named the "Best Ski Resort" for the third time by The Best Ski Resort Report, an independent visitor satisfaction survey conducted every two years by the University of Innsbruck, with input from over 40,000 skiers.
Zermatt boasts one of the largest skiable areas in the world. It unfolds over 360 km of slopes between Upper Valais and Breuil-Cervinia in the Aosta Valley. One section (21 km) on the Théodule Glacier is even open to skiers year-round, drawing many national teams to its slopes for pre-season training. Another key attraction: here it’s sunny almost 300 days a year. The Matterhorn ski paradise is also the highest ski area in Europe. It peaks at 3,883 m at the Matterhorn glacier paradise and goes up to 3,899 m if you include the Italian slopes, which are officially connected and easy to access. These high altitudes ensure unparalleled levels of snow (with snow cannons as backup for over 80% of the area) and breathtaking views of 38 of the 82 summits over 4,000 m in the Alps. What more could one ask for?

 A Zermatt for every taste
The Matterhorn ski paradise stretches from Rothorn (3,103 m) to Matterhorn glacier paradise (3,883 m) to Schwarzsee (2,583 m), passing via Stockhorn (3,532 m) and Gornergrat (3,089 m). Gornergrat can be reached by taking a darling red train, the highest in Europe, which has been on the list of Switzerland’s Greatest Excursions since 1898. No matter which way you ski from Gornergrat, the Matterhorn is always in sight.
The 145 slopes that make up the Zermatt ski area are always in impeccable shape. They’re made up of 75 km of blue runs, 220 km of red, 27 km of black, and 38 km of yellow for freeriding. So, whether you’re a casual Sunday skier, a downhill junkie, or a freerider fanatic, Zermatt has got you covered. And let’s not forget the 53 ultramodern, state-of-the-art lifts. Some 60 million francs were invested over two years to develop them, leading to the Christmas 2020 opening of the Kumme gondola, and soon, in 2022, the tricable Matterhorn glacier ride II gondola. There’s also the Snowpark that’s open most of the year (in summer on the Plateau Rosa glacier and in winter on the Theodul Glacier) and a free ski pass for children under nine years old. Children up to age 16 also ski free on Saturdays in winter.

Ski Station 2.0
Digital technologies are also being put to use for skiers in Zermatt, with free Wi-Fi available on all slopes. Ski pass holders benefit from a slew of digital perks, including ski lockers at lift base stations, personal data about your daily skiing distance and altitude, or even video footage on the Skimovie slope. In 2019, these efforts earned Zermatt the "Milestone," a renowned and highly sought-after innovation award that recognizes the best in Swiss tourism.