To help our guests with travel logistics, we have combined all necessary travel information and other useful resources on one page, to ensure a great start to your hiking adventure vacation.
Many of our guests who come to the Alps for an Alpine Interface trip either arrive a few days prior to the trip, or extend their stay after the hike. And often, we get the same questions regarding where to eat, where to buy trekking shoes and rucksacks, what else there is to do in town, etc.
The least amount of time spent on searching for travel connections and dining locations, the better. The secret to a relaxed, rewarding adventure is knowing the best resources to keep you on the move.
Below are links and information – a quick summary of favourite hotels, restaurants, sport shops, and, most importantly, how to get to your meeting point for our hiking trips.
HOW TO GET TO ZERMATT
The nearest airport is Sion, a little national airport. The closes international airports would be Zurich (ZRH) , or Geneva (GVA).
From Zurich it takes about 3.5 hours to Zermatt by train, from Geneva Airport (GVA) it takes close to 4 hours.
The easiest way to get to Zermatt from any of the airports is via the excellent train/bus system, or using one of the dedicate shuttle and taxi services.
No-Frills Airlines to Geneva:
Several airlines offer cheap flights to Geneva and Zurich from many bigger European destinations:
Easyjet is a UK airline, offering cheap flights from London, Paris, Nice, Amsterdam to Geneva, Zurich, and more.
Swiss International Air Lines, offering cheap flights from and to Genea and Zurich, is another one.
BY AIR & TRAIN
Swiss Rail offers specific travel passes for international travellers, including rail passes that cover travel from and to airports, as well as several days of travel within Switzerland, plus some discounts on some on the cog trains in the mountains. We use one of these for our Essential Alps trip.
Check out the Swiss Travel Pass link.
Zermatt promotes itself as being a car-free town, which is not 100% accurate. Vehicles with combustion engines are not allowed within town limits, and personal vehicles will need to be parked in Täsch, a little village below Zermatt, which has an enormous parking area for that purpose. Everybody will need to travel into Zermatt from there by train – or by electric taxi.
The train from Täsch to Zermatt leaves every 20 minutes, and takes about 12 minutes.
Most hotels and other businesses in Zermatt have electric vehicles, with which hotels pickup guests and luggage from the train station. There are also electric taxis and buses.
Transportation within the Valais:
All of Switzerland is perfectly connected via train and bus.
The buses are run by the post, and will even bring you to the smallest hamlets. Connecting buses leave after trains have arrived, which makes it easy to connect.
SBB – check out their site for travel passes, schedules, and much more.
GETTING AROUND WITHIN ZERMATT
Zermatt is a fairly compact little town, where walking is the best option to get around. Zermatt does not allow any vehicles with combustion engines into its town limits, with some taxis being the exception.
That said, Zermatt is not free of vehicles, (although they promote their town as car-free), as every hotel and other businesses have electric vehicles to get around.
Guests will arrive in Zermatt by train, either leaving their vehicle parked in Täsch below Zermatt, or coming directly by train from the airport or any other destination.
Hotels will pick up their guests at the train station and will bring them back after their stay.
There is the option of taking an e-taxi, or an e-bus if needed and for people who difficulties walking. And there is also the option of renting a bike. More Info.
Restaurants / BARS – ZERAMTT
The restaurant scene in Zermatt is changing quite a bit. You can still find your traditional raclette and fondue but lately, Zermatt has redefined itself as a foodie destination. With one of the highest concentration of gourmet restaurants of any ski resort in the Alps, Zermatt is still the place to play hard all day and then relax and enjoy an excellent meal.
Of course, you can be indulgent and go to the 5-Star Zermatterhof and its excellent Alpine Gourmet Prato Borni, an exquisite eatery in the heart of Zermatt. The Valais Canton is blessed with mild weather, warm south facing slopes even in winter and perfect terrain for vineyards. Nearly 1/3 of wine consumed in CH comes from the Valais and the Prato Borni takes full advantage of this.
If you don’t want to blow your budget straight away on dinner, then try the Brasserie Lusi, located in the same hotel. The food is delicious, reasonably priced and always fresh. You can order anything from burgers to quiche accompanied by a local Valais wine or a small selection of excellent French wines. Brasserie Lusi
A newer restaurant we really enjoy is an Italian Restaurant called Gusto Matto.
It has a nice terrace within the pedestrian area near the train station that allows one to watch the madness of Zermatt go by while enjoying a great glass of local wine. Excellent value on top of great service this is one restaurant we return to frequently with our guests. Comfort food at its best with great wood-fired pizza, salads, meats and a very well chosen wine and beer menu.
Grampi’s has been a Zermatt institution for many years. Originally a Mexican restaurant, Grampi’s today serves great Italian food, pizzas and a dizzying array of drinks. Owned by a local guide, Mario Julen, the atmosphere is bon enfant , with a mix of locals and tourists enjoying the tables right on the main street, loud music and great vibes. Definitely not the place for a romantic dinner but perfect for a glass of local white Fendant and some snacks or a wood fired pizza.
The Hexen Bar, across the street from Grampi’s is a local watering hole with a great selection of cocktails, beer and wine not to mention the peanuts! This if by far my favourite bar in town. Located on the busy Bahnhofstrasse at one of its narrowest points, you can sit for hours people watching whilst sipping a cold German beer.
Fuchs Bakery, one of several bakeries across Zermatt is the highlight of our day-hikes! With a large selection of sandwiches and cakes, you can fuel up on their amazing tomato mozzarella sandwich followed by a great apple tart and head out to explore the many trails above Zermatt.
If you need to burn some calories and the weather is clear, a hike to the Hôtel du Trift, high above Zermatt is the ideal mid-morning stop for fresh, home-made iced tea and apple tart, served up everyday by Hugo Biner, a local mountain guide and hotelier. The trail starts right past Grampi’s and works its way up steeply to the Trift Gorge. About 700m vertical but well worth the climb.