In a place with beautiful mountain scenery of the level that characterizes Zermatt Switzerland, there can be no doubt that it is a place that features world-class skiing and access to numerous other winter activities. But snow activities are not the only activities to participate in when you visit Zermatt Switzerland. To be sure, skiing is the number one reason for the thousands of visitors that flock to the quaint, yet exciting Swiss ski town every year. But there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in both the winter and the warmer months that do not involve a sled, a snowboard, ice skates, or skis.
Zermatt’s number one scenic attraction is the Matterhorn, which is not only one of the most majestic peaks in the Swiss Alps but one of the highest peaks as well. And in a mountain town with a mountain as magnificent in every way as the Matterhorn is, there are usually plenty of activities that involve that mountain specifically. In this case that general rule holds true, so if you are a nature lover any time of the year is a good time to visit Zermatt. But some people who decide to visit the Swiss village also go seeking culture, and there is plenty of this in Zermatt too.
Swiss culture is steeped in tradition, with ancient folk art of all kinds playing a large role in everyday life. In fact, art in general plays a large role in Swiss culture, and this can be seen in some of the museums and examples of architecture that can be found throughout the town of Zermatt. Some of the best activities are related to these aspects of Swiss culture, and by visiting them you can learn a lot about Zermatt, and about Swiss culture in general. In order to truly get a feel for Zermatt at all, what you really want to do is enjoy a little bit of everything while you are there. And a list of some of the most exciting, most educational, and most culture rich activities will help you get started on your Swiss Alps adventure journey.
- Walk Gorner Gorge – One activity that you can enjoy during any of the warmer months in Zermatt is walking Gorner Gorge. To be sure, there are plenty of great places to go walking throughout the town of Zermatt and within the surrounding mountains, but Gorner Gorge is something special to see. The gorge paths have been being enjoyed by residents and visitors in Zermatt since the late 1800’s and are still being enjoyed today. The tour of Gorner Gorge consists of two separate but equally breathtaking paths that will allow you to see all the best of the gorge. And the gorge was actually created as far back as the last Ice Age, so along with the beautiful scenery you can enjoy when you walk the gorge, you can also enjoy that sense of being surrounded by a very long history.
- Take a Dip in a Lake – There are multiple lakes in and around Zermatt, many of them fed by glaciers, which means the water in some of the lakes can be considerably chilly. Although you might not want to take a dip in one of them if you are visiting during the winter months, Zermatt does see a bit warmer weather in the summer months, which makes these lakes a terrific place to cool off. The waters are crystal clear and clean, and the mountain air only adds to the sense of pristine nature that characterizes the lake areas. The list of beautiful lakes worth visiting in Zermatt includes Schwarzsee Lake, Riffelsee Lake, Leisee Lake, Grindjisee Lake, Grunsee Lake, and Stellisee Lake. Each of these offer unique views and experiences, and you only have to spend a day cooling off at one to realize just how refreshing mountain water and air can be, and the views are nothing to shake a stick at either.
- Go Mountain Climbing – When many people think of mountain climbing they get very nervous and automatically assume it is something that they can’t do, but this is usually not true. While not everybody may be able to climb on their own, or even be able to go climbing in most of the places that climbing enthusiasts like to go, there are ways for even those that don’t think that they can do it to experience mountain climbing as well. In fact, this activity can even be suitable for families with children in tow, depending on how small they are of course. The Mammoth Climbing Trail at the Alpine Center offers a unique climbing experience suitable for most people. Those that want to climb the trail can be led by a guide that can ensure everyone stays on the path and safe. And what you get to experience is something that you may have never thought that you would, which will surely leave lasting memories of your trip to the home of the Matterhorn.
- See How Cheese is Made – Everybody knows that Switzerland is known for producing delicious cheeses, of which you will have plenty opportunity to try while you are in Zermatt. Bakeries in the village of Zermatt sell cheeses produced from the two individual cheese makers that produce in the area. But not only can you have the opportunity to try some delicious cheeses made by these cheese makers, but you also have the opportunity to watch them work their magic as well. One of these cheese makers, Alpsennerei, provides cheese making tours during the summer months, while the other, Horu, provides cheese making tours during the winter, so regardless of when you visit you can watch cheese being made. Alpsennerei is located within the mountains, while Horu is located right within the village. The two very different cheese makers offer very different cheese making tour experiences, but one way in which they are similar is in the fact that you will get to try delicious cheeses from both of them. And what is a trip to Switzerland without trying fresh, homemade Swiss cheeses?
- Catch a Film at the Unique Theater – The theater in Zermatt is one of the most unique you will probably ever see, so if you are a film buff you are in luck. If you aren’t, then a trip to the theater is worth it simply to see the theater alone. The interior of the theater is designed in a fairly untraditional manner. To be sure, there is typical theater seating, as there is in almost every other theater. But in the theater in Zermatt there is also additional seating which includes comfortable booths with tables, for those that want to sit back and relax and unwind with a movie in style. Being that the theater is so much more sophisticated in Zermatt, so is the experience itself. You might find people dressed up for a night on the town seated not 10 feet away a younger group in jeans and t-shirts simply there for the newest film. The theater in Zermatt is surely a unique place, from which you can take a very unique experience.
If you have decided to visit Zermatt you are probably going to do a little skiing while you are there, as if you are like most people the Swiss Alps, the Matterhorn, and the skiing are probably what brought you there. But Zermatt has so much more to offer that will teach you so much more about Zermatt and its people that you have to take time out to enjoy some of those activities as well. By doing so you will not miss out on any of the experiences that define Zermatt and Swiss culture, and you will have all that culture to provide you with lasting memories of your adventure experiencing the best Zermatt activities.