Pristine peaks and sparkling snow make for an attractive package — even with some of our man-made “creations” — but some just carry their beauty a little bit better. The setting, the architecture, the atmosphere, the personality — it all somehow adds up to more than the sum of the parts.
These 10 Euro treasures will spark instant alpine urges:
Unique selling points: Famed Valais village, world-class skiing, rich mountaineering history, iconic pointy peak.
From sneaky peaks at first light to pre-bedtime “goodnights,” the mesmeric Matterhorn turns heads from the moment travelers arrive in Zermatt. That’ll be by train or taxi, of course, as this jewel of a Valais village is car-free and a walker’s paradise.
Zermatt is one-part cultural throwback to one-part Swiss sophistication, where century-old barns perched on stone stilts to keep out mice rub shoulders with cutting-edge creations.
A cog railway chugs up to the slopes around Gornergrat and gives stupendous views of the Monte Rosa range, while the cableways up to the Klein Matterhorn give close-up views of the icon itself, plus access to Cervinia in Italy.
Worth a trip: Chez Vrony on the Sunnegga slopes offers a quintessential mountain table with the Matterhorn as backdrop. In town, the Museum of Mountaineering taps into a rich history of farming and climbing.
Chez Vrony, Vrony und Max Cotting-Julen, Findeln, CH-3920 Zermatt, Switzerland; +43 027 967 25 52
Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis, Zermatt Tourism, Bahnhofplatz 5, Zermatt, Switzerland; +41 27 966 81 00
Ski destinations where the food is as good as the slopes