Photo via Stuck in Customs
Zermatt, located in the canton of Valais in Switzerland, is a German-speaking municipality at the upper end of Mattertal. The village was primarily an agricultural community until the mid-19th century, although it is now known predominantly as a ski resort in the Swiss Alps. The year-round population is a whopping 5,768, although tourists of the village can triple this number at any given time. The local economy is heavily reliant on tourism, and hotels and restaurants make up about half of the town’s total jobs.
Zermatt is situated among Switzerland’s highest peaks, including Monte Rosa (15,203 ft), the Dom (14,911 ft), Lyskamm (14,852 ft), Weisshorn (14,780 ft), and the Matterhorn (14,692 ft). For ski and mountain lovers, this makes the little village the perfect address for winter and summer outdoor adventure. The natural environment that encapsulates Zermatt is not only great for travelers looking for exciting outdoor activities, but also offers breathtaking vistas.
Besides its bragging rights as an ideal mountain destination, the village of Zermatt is quintessentially quaint. It is composed of only three main streets, positioned around the station and church in the center of town. The tiny car-free pedestrian-friendly streets are knit with a hodgepodge of restaurants, boutiques, and cafes. The village area of Zermatt is perfect if you need to take a break from the slopes to enjoy some amazing fondue, get a little buzz from delectable vin chaud, or do a little shopping.