Two people sit and relax by Lake Riffelsee in Zermatt.
Pascal Gertschen

The best things to do in Zermatt this summer

From mountain biking to museums to record-breaking cable cars, Zermatt is bursting with unmissable summer activities

Written by Time Out. Paid for in partnership with Switzerland Tourism.
Advertising

Picture the quintessential Swiss mountain village in your head and hold that thought. There’s a good chance your dreamy image will look a lot like Zermatt, a gorgeous, traditional village blessed with the mighty Matterhorn and other epic mountain peaks as a truly epic backdrop.

One of Zermatt’s key strengths is in the sheer variety of what’s on offer, meaning that a holiday in the region – whether a short break or a longer trip – is also the perfect opportunity to try out some new things and find your ideal activity. This is never more true than in summer, when the landscape looks at its most radiant and the warmer weather opens up all kinds of possibilities. Whether you’re looking for an active outdoor trip full of hiking and biking, a summer ski jaunt, a gastronomic quest full of fine food and drink, a family-friendly adventure or a nature-packed pit-stop, a summer journey to Zermatt ticks all the boxes.  

Below are some choice highlights to give both new and old visitors a fantastic itinerary. But remember that there’s also much more to see and do, which you can find out about by clicking here. So, now you’ve got to know the area a little better, take the next step and start booking your Zermatt adventure to ensure a sublime summer.

Thanks to nearly 400 kilometres of marked trails snaking around the region, Zermatt has long been regarded as a hiking haven. There are routes to suit all abilities, from experienced trekkers to families with children to those simply wanting a quick stroll in the mountains. Families will love the famous Five Lakes walk, featuring views of beautiful mountain lakes that offer mirrored images of the Matterhorn reflected in the water. Those after a challenge should hike out to the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the Alps, providing dramatic views from way up high. It’s most fun when tackled on a multi-day hike, allowing you to sleep in a mountain hut and experience an Alpine sunrise – the perfect way of finding some much-needed peace and relaxation.

Paid content

Standing at a towering at 4,478 metres, the Matterhorn is an iconic Zermatt landmark, making it an essential part of any visit to the region. The best way to see the most-photographed mountain in the world is via the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, the highest cable car station in Europe at 3,883 metres-above-sea-level. During the smooth journey you’ll learn more about this marvellous mountain through an audio information system before reaching your destination, framed by breath-taking views and observation platforms from which to enjoy them. After you’ve gazed at the countless snow-capped peaks spread around you in an incredible panorama, head to the restaurant to reflect on your setting over a bite to eat.

Paid content
Advertising

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to hang up your skis – at least, not when you’re in Zermatt. The Zermatt-Matterhorn summer region boasts the largest and highest altitude summer ski area in Europe and offers something for all skiers, with ski schools available for those who want to learn and hone their schools, and plenty of challenging runs for visitors with experience of zooming down the slopes. Snowpark Zermatt is a big draw for many, offering snowboarding, freestyle skiing and numerous jumps for those seeking aerial thrills.

Paid content

It’s not just adults that will love their time in Zermatt. Thanks to a wealth of family-friendly activities, children of all ages are guaranteed a holiday to remember. Zermatt’s mascot, Wolli – a blacknose sheep – is at the heart of many of the family activities, best demonstrated in Wolli’s Adventure Park at Sunnegga, an action-packed playground with a beach and barbecue area by Lake Leisee. Stop in at the park during a family-focused hiking route from Blauherd to the Stellisee lake, which includes the Sunnegga funicular and a gondola ride, which kids are sure to love. As a rather handy bonus, children under nine-years-old can travel for free with the Wolli Card.

Paid content
Advertising

A new exhibition has been shining a light on the role of women in shaping Zermatt, both historically and in present-day. The exhibition, ‘New Perspectives – Women in Zermatt, Yesterday and Today’, explores gender equality and equal rights, and has been partly inspired by Lucy Walker, the first woman to ascend the Matterhorn, an achievement which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2021. Thanks to a stage production on the cable car route to the Klein Matterhorn and street art in the village, the exhibition also spreads its message far beyond the walls of the Matterhorn Museum.

Paid content

Many people believe that there’s no finer way to see Zermatt than on two wheels, and with 200 kilometres of mountain biking trails and 38 four-thousand-metre peaks to explore, it’s not hard to see why. Beginners and those wanting an easy ride can enjoy the flow trails, such as the Moos trail and Sunnegga trail. If you’re a veteran mountain biker, there are plenty of routes packed full of technical challenges, such as the Gornergrat Classic bike tour. There are also local guides available if you’re looking for a more structured tour. And if you’re in need of a little boost, grab yourself an e-bike and enjoy some battery power alongside your own pedal power, making those hills a lot easier to climb.

Paid content
Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising