Crown of the Matterhorn -
Zermatt lies at the base of what is perhaps the most iconic emblem of the Swiss Alps: the 14,690-foot Matterhorn. Few sights are more inspiring than the Matterhorn covered with a pristine layer of snow against a cerulean blue backdrop. Perhaps what’s more awesome though is the rewarding feeling gained from walking in the crisp mountain air to the vantage point where this view is possible. The Matter valley is surrounded by 30 peaks, all of which top 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). Between these pinnacles exists a labyrinth of valleys and trails that make this corner of Switzerland a hiker’s paradise. One such path, the mule trader’s trail, dates to the 13th century.
Zermatt is a popular destination and a platform for mountaineering and world-class skiing—even in the summertime. Numerous national ski teams train here, as the town holds Europe’s largest and highest summer skiing region. Two points of particular interest include the Gornergrat, a cog railway that travels 3,089 meters (10,134 feet) to an impressive overlook, and the Klein Matterhorn, the end point of Europe’s highest cable car at 3,820 meters (12,533 feet).
Most of Alpine Adventures Trails Tours’ Matter valley hikes conclude in Zermatt around 4:00 p.m., leaving plenty of time to explore the town before catching the gondola to the high mountain retreat. The view overlooking this picturesque alpine town aglow at night is simply magical.
Altitude: 1,620 m (5,310 ft)