Select a Destination
Summertime in the Swiss Alps
01242 547 705
to speak to a specialist
Summertime in the Swiss Alps
If you’re more of a Julie Andrews than an Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards then a summer trip to the Swiss Alps could be just for you. Take time to savour the fresh mountain air, the vibrant and eclectic restaurant & bar scene and all of the fineries that this resort has to offer minus the freezing conditions by enjoying a summer holiday in Zermatt.
Whilst the temperatures can be unpredictable, ranging from anything below to well above freezing, the scenery will be that of a quaint chocolate box and the hills are there for hiking, biking or simply admiring. There are no less than 250 miles of footpaths to help guide your route and a year-round lift service for when the going gets tough.
For the pinnacle experience in Zermatt head straight to the top of one of the biggest vistas, Gornergrat. It’s 3,100 metres above sea level and boasts a restaurant, hotel and observatory from which you can see almost all of Switzerland’s highest peaks (twenty nine of thirty five to be precise). The observatory also includes a shopping mall where Switzerland’s specialism in quality watches and chocolate can be indulged and a sun terrace from which to absorb the enormity of the Gorner Glacier whilst soaking up the sunshine. There’s also a quaint little church at the top which is worth a visit. If hiking to the top isn’t for you catch the Gornergrat train which has six stops along the way taking around 20 minutes and is extremely picturesque. On your descent disembarking at Findelbach (the fifth stop on your way down) will allow you to enjoy walking in the Alps without the exertion of going uphill. The descent on foot at a leisurely pace takes around 30 minutes and can easily be broken up with lunch and a couple of drinks along the way.
Where to eat and drink
The choices are endless and the menus eclectic so, whatever your culinary preference, Zermatt will have something for even the most discerning taste buds, our guides recommend.
On the way down (or up) we recommend…
Zum See (+41 (0) 27 967 0 45)
A first stop after disembarking at Findelbach and having weaved your way through the alpine forests, has to be this little restaurant, unassuming from the exterior but with a cosy interior and wow factor food. Max and Greti Mennig and their team offer guests a traditional cuisine prepared with only the freshest ingredients. Delicious meat and fish dishes, homemade pasta and desserts are served all season long. Max's Mediterranean fish soup – something you don't expect up a snowy mountain – is a gourmet treat as a starter or a main. Our guides particularly enjoyed the ravioli stuffed with nettle and ricotta. If you're tired of strudel, opt for the cremeschnitte (cream slice) instead: a super-light millefeuilles of puff pastry filled with calorific cream.
Chez Vrony (+41 (0) 27 967 25 52
This is one of only a few restaurants that serve their own organic produce, sourced from cattle that have eaten nothing but the grass that grows on the mountain pastures. The dried meat, homemade sausage and mountain cheese served at Chez Vrony are all made according to time-honoured recipes handed down from one generation to the next, just like the restaurant itself. Indeed all the dishes on the menu are natural and authentic regional fare, but often with a cosmopolitan touch. It goes without saying that only the freshest and very best produce is used here. Speciality: Tapas platter with home-made fig and hazelnut chutney, Valais Alpine perch served with saffron risotto and herb foam. Advanced booking strongly recommended.
In resort we recommend…
Restaurant Chez Heini (+41 (0) 27 967 16 30)
Widely considered as ‘the’ place to go, a trip to Zermatt is not complete without experiencing this institution. Chez Heini specialises in succulent home-grown lamb prepared by their singing chef, Dan Daniell, the Don Ho of Zermatt. Most of the time Dan Daniellwill be there to spoil you personally in his restaurant and he’ll even autograph his CD for you. Advanced booking is highly recommended, earplugs are optional.
Restaurant Capri (+41 (0) 27 966 88 88
The Ristorante Capri is the first restaurant in Zermatt to be awarded a Michelin star. Chef Pierludovico De Vivo produces Mediterranean delicacies in a light and innovative style. The Ristorante Capri, located on the 4th floor of the five star Hotel Le Petit Cervin, serves excellent newly inspired Mediterranean cuisine, providing culinary delights together with a fabulous view.
Summertime activities and events in Zermatt
From leisurely walks to bracing swims, there is something for every visitor to Zermatt in the summer months, here’s a pick of our favourite adventures suitable for most ages:
The Gornergorge Canyon Walk
Just 20 minutes from the village the deep thundering river gorge canyon can be experienced without any climbing skills. Secure wooden walkways and galleries take you through breath-taking scenery far above the raging waters. The walk last only around 15minutes but is well worth seeing.
You’ll need a head for heights to experience the inside of a glacier. This particular one is located at 3,880 metres above sea level and by the Klein Matterhorn. Explore deep inside the heart of the glacier by going 15 metres underneath the ice.
Mountain Lake Swimming
Glacier-fed Mountain lakes are probably one of the purist ways to swim and with around a dozen small lakes in Zermatt to choose from you’ll be spoilt for choice. Best for swimming are the Grunsee and the Leisee lakes.
Not for the faint hearted but suitable for pretty much all ages is tandem paragliding. With the help of a qualified pilot you’ll soar amongst the mountains for anything up to 45 minutes. With spectacular views this activity is highly recommended.
To find out more about the place you’re visiting we recommend a trip to the Matterhorn Museum. There’s much to learn here about the culture and history associated with the region including how cruel the mountains can be with part of the rope that broke when Whymper’s team plunged off the Matterhorn on their first ascent on display.
Guided village historical tour
To fully understand this region we recommend booking a tour with a guide who will bring the region’s rich history to life, including how the British led its discovery in the 19th century. Zermatt dates as far back as 1280 so there’s a lot to learn!
Your favourites will appear here.