Then there’s the village itself, a place with geography and history in perfect equilibrium. It has an energy all of its own, partly from the mix of people it attracts, partly from its spirited après-ski vibe. From the Kirchbrücke you get a spectacular view of the Matterhorn, while the traditional buildings are focal points in themselves. At the end of the day the place to be is Le Petit Village at Mürini, with the lights of Zermatt coming on one by one to cast a magical spell.
The lakes around Zermatt bring earth, water and sky together. The Riffelsee and Schwarzsee are two of the most beautiful, especially when the first is reflecting the Matterhorn on its unruffled surface. Another hidden gem is Arbenbachfall. This 60-metre high waterfall is a 7.5 kilometre hike from Zermatt, but you’ll be glad you made it.