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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Zermatt
Country: Switzerland
Domain: Matterhorn Ski Paradise
Author: Elizabeth B

Date: April 2006
Our holiday: Was slowly making my way across the alps to the EOSB. Spent 4 days in Zermatt.
Website : http://www.zermatt.ch/index.e.html
Basics : Zermatt is in the Valais region of Switzerland. I drove there (you have to leave your car in Tasch and get the train up to Zermatt), but the easiest way to transfer from an airport is by the train.
Lift system : The lifts are all modern on the Swiss side, but Cervinia has numerous lifts that could do with an upgrade. Zermatt have introduced a chondola for this season, where gondolas alternate with chairs on the same cable.
The terrain : Zermatt has surprisingly few black runs for an advanced resort. It has a glacier up at Klein Matterhorn, and you can ski into Italy.
The snow : The snow was great high up, and okay lower down. The runs to resort were just about open, but were far too busy for the amount of snow.
Off-piste : Zermatt has quite a lot of "ski routes" that are marked on the piste map, and avalance controlled, but not pistes. There is also heliskiing available around Zermatt.
The resort : For a car-free resort, Zermatt has an awful lot of traffic! It is a superb place, that is dominated by the Matterhorn. Everywhere you go it dominates the skyline. The village is a mix of traditional alpine and more modern, but has a good balance of stuff.
Food : On the mountains, eat on the Swiss side...they have proper toilets!! The restaurant at Sunnegga was very nice with a good view (but then they all have good views!)
Accommodation : I stayed in Tasch at the Best Western Alpen Hotel. This included free parking, and I got a very nice double room. The hotel has it's own bakery, so breakfast was nice!! It also has a whirlpool/sauna, and free wireless snowHeads. Tasch isn't the most exciting place, but when you buy your lift pass, you can get a rail pass that allows you to make unlimited journeys to Zermatt, so you can go back up of an evening.
Costs: The hotel cost CHF 77 per night b&b.
Conclusion: Zermatt should be on everyone's "must do" list. The skiing is superb, and the scenery is something that you can't get anywhere else in the world.

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