Summer may be sweltering in India, but some lucky countries of the world are still chilling in the crisp snowy mountain air. My head and heart are definitely holidaying in those cold climes right now. One place that I’ve always wanted to visit is Zermatt, Switzerland situated at 1600 meters in the lap of the Swiss alps. Switzerland as a whole is a gloriously beautiful country so an ideal choice. I remember my father’s exciting tales of his trips there. The adventures, skiing on the slopes and the little taverns serving local dishes in the town. Zermatt prides itself on being very family friendly and even has an adorable black-nose sheep mascot, Wolli. Give yourself a day or two to acclimatize yourself to the altitude and weather, and after that there’s no stopping you from having the most spectacular holiday ever. Your Instagram will explode with all the gorgeous pictures of your trip!
What to Do
- With the ‘Bambinis Free Ski Pass’, children up to the age of 9 can happily use the mountain lifts for free all year round. There are plenty of activities for all ages, and even if you are a first time skier, there are ski slopes suitable for you too.
- Switzerland’s famous mountain peak, the Matterhorn frames the background of this quaint town. Experience it anyway you like, skiing, hiking, or on a guided tour. Check out the Matterhorn museum too.
- The Bahnhofstrasse in Zermatt town is the main road lined with boutiques, restaurants and cafes. Locals selling their crafts and wares make for a lovely afternoon wandering and taking in the beautiful sights of the countryside.
- Would you believe they even have a beach? Could this place get any more perfect? The Lake of Leisee is their mountain beach with barbecue pits, picnic spots and kids play areas too. The water temperature in the summer is good enough to take a dip, and younger children will enjoy splashing in the stream that flows into the lake.
- The Wolli Adventure Park is accessible from Sunnega via funicular shuttle. Among the multitude of activities available, you can cross the Leisee lake by cable raft, explore the landscape like Robinson Crusoe or just sit back and take in the picturesque view as the kids explore and play.
- Marmot spotting – Marmots are furry little mammals who live in burrows and are known for their shrill whistle and comic behavior. Observe them in their natural habitat on your hike. Suitable for children above 4 years age, the trails are marked with wood sculptures and information about these animals along the way.
- There is much to do for those who aren’t keen on skiing too. Mountain biking, nature trails, the luxurious spa’s and exploring the villages are a great way to experience the culture of the region.
- Gornergrat Cog Railway is situated at 3089 m and is the perfect way to view the magnificent Matterhorn peak. It has been a favorite among travelers since the 1800’s and was the world’s first electrified cog railway. It’s modernized and eco friendly now, and takes about 40 minutes to the summit. The journey takes you through tunnels, forests of Swiss pine and larch, mountain lakes and breathtaking bridges all the way up to the top of the world.. where you’ll find the astronomical observatory, and The 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat. The highest hotel in the Swiss alps. It may be uber expensive to stay there, but you can always drop by the restaurant for a coffee and enjoy the scenery!
- Hinterdorf. If you’ve ever wanted to wander through a tiny mountain village brimming with stories and locals, this is it. Higher up in the mountains in Upper Valais is the old village of Hinterdorf. Narrow streets lined with barns, taverns and chalets. Flowers overflowing from window boxes and traditional homes made of Larch wood in the 18th Century give it a wondrous charm.
Switzerland is where it’s at! Yeh know nothin Jon Snow…
Feature photo by Joshua Earle via www.goodfreephotos.com