There are many well-known touristic places in Switzerland, but Zermatt is, perhaps, the most popular. All year round there are crowds of tourists who came here to ski, hike, make selfies and eat fondue.
So what can you do in Zermatt if you are not skiing? In this case the best time to visit would be off skiing season – there is not only less people, but also more activities to do.
- There is a large number of hiking trails around Zermatt. You can check those on this link. There are various difficulties, length and routes for experienced hikers as well as families. I very much enjoyed the Furiweg, that is an easy and pleasant stroll. You should be careful though with the sun, because it is already high enough to burn your skin even if doesn’t seem to be hot.
- For people with mountain bikes, there are many opportunities as well. I personally do not do it, but can recommend you to check the trails that are suggested here.
- A great entertainment (and significantly less effort!) is to take a cable car. There is a nice station called Trockener Steg, where a tiny free museum about Zermatt cable cars is located. About 10 minutes stroll from the station itself, you can find a little lake named Schwarzsee, it is nice to stroll around it. Pretty much the next stop after Trockener Steg is the height where the snow lies permanently (or with rare exceptions), so if you are in the mood for some winter adventures in summer, you should definitely go further. The prices and schedule can be found here.
- One more amazing thing to do in Zermatt is to travel with a cog railway, and your best choice would be to go to Gornergrat (3’089 m). It is a place that is accessible all year, and has been very popular amoung tourists since the very end of 19 century. The railway leading to this observation place was the world’s first fully electrified cog railway! The views that you can see on your way are wonderful, and the destination point itself – Gornergrat – offers wonderful overview on the Alps and, of course, Matterhorn. This railway operates all year round, which is amazing, taking into account when it was first built. Since than it was renovated and improved several times. For the tickets and timetable you can check here.
In August there is a big event in Zermatt – athletes, hikers and just people who love mountains come here to participate in Matterhorn Ultraks. This event consists of three different races of varying distance and difficulty: «16K», «30K» and «46K». Participants might face the difference in altitude of up to 3,600 m, which I personally find incredible, as the athletes’ endurance should be unthinkable. There is also a race for the families with children, I saw a lot of kids participating with their parents, and performing better than some adults.