Traveling with Stephy

Zermatt travel guide: all you need to know about top hikes

Zermatt is a charming mountain village located in the South part of Switzerland in the Valais Canton. In addition to its special location at the foot of the amazing Matterhorn mountain (Switzerland’s iconic landmark), Zermatt is also the ultimate hub to experience mountain activities such as skiing and hiking. This is why I share a full Zermatt travel guide that gathers the top hiking trails of the region. 

Indeed, Zermatt alpine world is a true natural paradise for mountain lovers. Consequently, the altitude town is the perfect starting point for great hiking trails around Matterhorn.

The first thing to know about Zermatt is that this is a pedestrian village, which enhances its authenticity among other things. As a result, Zermatt is only accessible by train from Täsch station or by taxi. 

No worries, nothing easier to get to this little town! You just have to leave the car at Täsch station where a covered pay parking is available for short and long stays. Then, you need to take a train to Zermatt station which takes about 15 minutes. The alternative is to order a taxi from Täsch to Zermatt that drops you off at the entrance of the village. Frankly, my husband and I use to get to Zermatt by train because it is very convenient and easy. Nevertheless, if you are a big family or a large group of friends, the taxi option might be a great deal.

As Matterhorn village is a small town, the train station is located in the middle of it. Hence, it would be very simple for you to reach your accommodation on foot. However, if you have lots of suitcases, you can easily grab a specific taxi (which is the only one allowed to drive in Zermatt village) directly at the station without booking ahead. Indeed, there are a lot of taxis available, waiting for people to jump into them. 

parking fees: CHF 20.00 a day
train ticket: CHF 16.50 per adult (return)

zermatt travel guide

When to visit Zermatt?

Zermatt region can be visited easily all year round. Each season has its particularities that make the city super attractive at any time of the year. For instance, from Spring to Autumn, you can discover the region by hitting the colorful hiking trails while during the winter season, you can explore Zermatt notably by skiing in the best ski slopes of the country.

My two favorite seasons to visit the Zermatt region are autumn and winter without a doubt. The fall season makes the places even more magical with all the colorful pine trees and landscapes. Most importantly, the tourist flow is at its lowest during this period of the year. On the other hand, the winter season allows you to get a typical picture of Switzerland with all its snowy landscapes and its winter activities.

If I had to choose one season, I would say that autumn is the one I recommend above all because it is less crowded. On top of that, you can enjoy an amazing splash of colors on typical Swiss landscapes. However, keep in mind that at the end of the fall season, most of the hiking trails and cable cars are closed due to maintenance before the opening winter season.

Where to stay in Zermatt?

Zermatt is filled with different types of accommodations from small renting apartments to the most luxurious hotels. That is to say, it all depends on what budget you have. In other words, all the hotels located at Zermatt center are generally quite expensive, especially if the room offers a view of Matterhorn mountain.

That is why I share with you three ranges of accommodations that I highly recommend and can match your budget. 

If you want to stay at Zermatt center and get a room with a view of the Matterhorn, you should stay at the following two hotels: 

  • Mama Hotel: CHF 250.00 per night, room with a view on the Matterhorn, no breakfast included.
  • Ambassador Zermatt hotel: CHF 196.00 per night, room with a view on the Matterhorn, breakfast buffet included.

However, if you travel on a budget and don’t mind staying outside Zermatt center, I would highly suggest staying in the following hotel which is located at Täsch (right next to the train station). Trains run daily until midnight every 20 minutes from Zermatt station to Täsch station which is super convenient.

  • Matterhorn Inn: CHF 120.00 per night, breakfast buffet included and free private parking available (so you can save money for the covered parking at the train station).  

What to do in Zermatt region?

Although Zermatt is notably well-known for its ski slopes, it is no less-known for its hiking trails which offer spectacular views of the majestic Matterhorn. That is to say, Zermatt is a pure paradise for hiking lovers! Indeed, there are trails for everyone and every level with different degrees of difficulty, elevation, and length.

As the Zermatt region offers around 400 kilometers of hiking trails, I suggest grabbing a hiking map, either at the tourist information office center (located next to the train station) or directly at your hotel reception. Through this, you can have a clear vision of all the trail possibilities. 

Throughout the next paragraphs, I share with you my top list of trails you should do while you are in Zermatt region. Enjoy!

Randa Suspension Bridge trail

Randa suspension bridge trail is located in the area of Randa which is 20 minutes away from Täsch station by car or train. For that reason, this hiking trail would be the ideal stopover on the way to or back from Zermatt.

Having said that, the Randa suspension bridge trail is a challenging hiking loop through the forest up to one of the longest suspension bridges in Europe. It is a lot of effort to get to it with 1’000 meters of ascent, but trust me it is worth it! Indeed, the Charles Kuonen suspension bridge is very impressive with its 500 meters long and offers a wonderful view into the valley. 

For your information, there is a parking lot at the center of Randa village, close to the starting point of the hike. Most importantly, the trail is well-marked with signposts all along the way.

8,6 km / 5,3 miles (hiking loop)
1'000 meters of ascent/descent
4:00 hours

parking: CHF 1.00 per hour
free access to the hike

rocky path through a pine forest

Randa Suspension bridge Zermatt
Zermatt travel guide on Randa suspension bridge Zermatt
Zermatt travel guide Randa suspension bridge
Zermatt travel guide Randa suspension bridge autumn colors

5 lakes trail

5 lakes trail is a beautiful hike offering great panoramic views of the Matterhorn and its surroundings. Along the way, you come across five lakes called respectively Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee, and Leisee. Above all, you are supposed to be able to see the reflection of the Matterhorn on those five lakes (only in case you are lucky enough with the weather forecast). For all swimmers, I suggest bringing your swimsuit because you can swim in two of them: Leisee and Grünsee.

The starting point of the trail is located at Sunnegga station, which can be reached by a 5-minute funicular ride from Zermatt center. Afterward, you just have to follow the trail with the signposts called “5 Seenweg” (German name) up to Blauherd station. Subsequently, once you have reached the top, there are three options: you can either hike the way down to Zermatt (add 1:30 hours) or only down to Sunegga station (add 45 minutes) or take a cable car to Zermatt (via Sunnegga). It is definitely up to you and the energy you have left! 

Noted that we started the 5 lakes trail from Sunnegga station but if you would rather hike downhill, you can start the trail from Blauherd station instead.

The only thing to keep in mind is that, depending on the season, the cable cars schedule ends around 4 pm at Blauherd station. So, if you want to take the cable car down to Zermatt, you should plan your hike accordingly.

9,8 km / 6,1 miles (one way)
450 meters of ascent
165 meters of descent
3:00 hours

relatively marked trail. No rocks.

Zermatt to Sunnegga:
CHF 25.00 (return)
Blauherd to Sunegga:
CHF 16.00 (one way)

Zermatt travel guide Matterhorn view from 5-lakes trail
Matterhorn view Zermatt travel guide Switzerland travel guide
Matterhorn Zermatt travel guide

Matterhorn trail n°29

Matterhorn trail n°29 is the perfect demanding hike with wonderful views of  Matterhorn mountain all along the way up to the summit.

The trail starts from Zermatt center up to Schwarzsee station, where you get breathtaking views of Zermatt valley and the peak! But before getting that view, you have to ascent more than 1’000 meters in less than 10 kilometers / 6,2 miles! After that, once you reach the top you might need to take a cable car back down to Zermatt. Of course, if you still have the energy to do so, you can hike the way back down to Zermatt (add 3:00 hours).

Finally and for your information, this trail is well-marked (both ways) with signposts called “Matterhorn trail n°29”.

If you prefer, you can start the Matterhorn trail n°29 from Schwarzsee station instead to hike downhill all the way. But keep in mind that is 1’000 meters of descent!

9,8 km / 6,1 miles (one way)
1'000 meters of ascent or descent
4:30 hours (uphill)

rocky ascents in some parts of the trail

Schwarzee station to Zermatt:
CHF 37.90 (one way)

Matterhorn mountain Zermatt travel guide
Matterhorn view in Zermatt
Matterhorn mountain in Zermatt

AVS trail

AVS trail is an easy walk through a pine forest offering incredible views of the Matterhorn and Zermatt village. Above all, this trail is perfect for families with kids or if you simply want to enjoy a non-challenging hike with great views. 

On top of that, the trail is very convenient as the starting point is from Zermatt center, so you don’t need to take any gondolas to reach it. Moreover, you can easily walk your way back to the center once you get to the Gornergrat trail (end of AVS trail).

As the hike is easily accessible without any cable car, the AVS trail is the perfect walk to enjoy a magnificent sunset before heading back to the village to enjoy a delicious cheese fondue!

4,4 km / 2,7 miles (return)
100 meters of ascent/descent
1:30 hours

wide marked trail

free access to the hike

view on the Matterhorn mountain in Zermatt
Matterhorn mountain in Zermatt during fall season
AVS hiking trail in Zermatt travel guide
Zermatt travel guide autumn season

Furi trail

Furi trail offers also gorgeous views of Zermatt valley and its imposing pine forest. Likewise the AVS trail and Matterhorn trail n°29, the hike can be started directly from Zermatt center. The trail ends at Furi station. Once you get there, you can either take the cable car back to Zermatt village or continue hiking down to Zermatt (add 1:00 hour) and join the AVS trail a few kilometers later (see above for more details).

I suggest you hit the trail in the morning in order to enjoy the sun all the way.

4,9 km / 3 miles (one way)
350 meters of ascent
100 meters of descent
1:30 hours

wide marked trail

Furi to Zermatt:
CHF 10.50 (one way)

Matterhorn mountain Zermatt travel guide
Zermatt travel guide
Matterhorn mountain Zermatt travel guide

In conclusion

To sum up, Zermatt is the kind of place where all nature and sports lovers will have a great time surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in Switzerland! Furthermore, Zermatt allows you to see one of the landmarks of the country: the Matterhorn (the most photographed mountain in the world). On top of that, Zermatt will suit everyone: families, couples, and athletes. 

That is to say, I hope I have inspired you to travel to the Zermatt region someday soon and you will enjoy as much as we did by hitting the beautiful hiking trails mentioned in this Zermatt travel guide. 

Moreover, if you want to get more inspiration about Switzerland, you should click here to get an overview of all my posts related. 

Finally, feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions, it would be a great pleasure to share them with you.

Sending you lots of love,

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