Winter hiking in Zermatt

For my next trip with Day Pass, I chose Zermatt for the second time. The first time we were here was in the autumn of 2019 and we celebrated our 5 years in Switzerland. Also, what other place to choose to celebrate the half-round anniversary of our new life stage than a place with a view of the iconic Matterhorn? Since I had already made a promise to myself back then that I wanted to see what it looks like here in winter one day, the destination of my trip in early February was clear.

How to get to Zermatt

If you want to go to Zermatt by car, you will have to leave it in the parking house in Täsch, as cars are not allowed in Zermatt. The daily parking fee at the Matterhorn Terminal is CHF 16. There are shuttle trains from Täsch to Zermatt every 20 minutes. A return ticket for an adult costs CHF 16.40 (half with Half-fare Card). More information can be found here.

Traveling with the Day Pass

The Day Pass is a one-day ticket that allows you to travel throughout Switzerland on all 2nd class trains, buses, boats, and certain cable cars for one day at a discounted single price. They are available at almost every Gemeinde/Commune, i.e. local municipal office. They are for residents of that municipality and usually cost 45 CHF, but can be more expensive in larger cities (e.g. in Bern they cost 51 CHF). Check this website to see if your municipality also sells Day Passes and how many are available for the day. Some smaller municipalities refrain from selling Day Passes, but in some cases, you can order them from another municipality (look for the envelope icon).

Another option is the so-called “Spartageskarte or Tageskarte zum Halbtax” in the SBB app. Its price may vary depending on how far in advance you order it (of course, the closer the travel date, the more expensive it is). I managed to buy the Spartageskarte zum Halbtax for 44 CHF.

From time to time there are also promotions at Coop/Interdiscount online stores, where for a limited time they sell the Day Pass for 49 CHF. This purchase is not limited by Half-fare Card ownership or residence, so it is good for visits, for example. My parents and I went to Lugano this way in the fall. But beware! The date of its use is limited.

Sunnegga

When I got off at the train station in Zermatt, I headed straight for the Sunnegga funicular station. For this hike, you’ll only need a one-way ticket for the funicular, which is also called the “metro” because it runs through a tunnel in the mountain. The ticket costs 8 francs with Half-fare Card. The Day Pass is not valid here, but children under 8 years old (included) get a free ride and the Junior Card is valid here. With the Swiss Travel Pass, you get a 50% discount.

The “Metro” at Sunnegga is open from the end of November to the end of April in the winter season. A quick four-minute ride takes you to 2,288 meters above sea level.

Sunnegga – Winkelmatten – Zermatt

To get to the start of the route, which is numbered 112 in the official promotional material, you have to go through a tunnel leading to the Wolli-Park ski area. You then get into the lift, which you get off almost on the slope. At first, the route runs parallel to the blue slope, after a few meters it splits and turns left in the direction of Findeln.

From the ski slope, you get to a narrow path, which was icy in some spots and filled with sawdust. But even that didn’t stop me from slipping a few times.

Chez Vrony

Less than a kilometer later, you’ll reach Chez Vrony, a restaurant popular with Instagrammers. If you want to have something to eat or drink here, you must have a reservation in advance. Without it, you won’t even get into the otherwise empty restaurant at the beginning of opening hours.

After about half a kilometer, you will come across a signpost. Since we took the route through Tiefenmatten last time, this time I took it in the direction of Winkelmatten.

Along the way you ask yourself, how many photos of the Matterhorn are too many photos of the Matterhorn? And you’re trying to get a shot that surely no one has ever taken before 🙂

For about a kilometer the trail leads through the forest, here was the path covered with gravel. At one point the trail crosses the tracks of the Gornergrat cog railway.

Winkelmatten

If you have children with you, they won’t want to miss the Winkelmatten playground. From here it is then 1.5 km back to the station (the path is still signposted).

Zermatt

On the way to the station, you can also stop at the local Matterhorn Museum with exhibits the history of the region and the mountaineers who climbed the Matterhorn.

Confiserie Fuchs

Since Chez Vrony was fully booked, I headed to Confiserie Fuchs to refresh myself. This has several branches in Zermatt, I chose the one closest to the station (a bit of nostalgia – we were here last time, and why to change what has worked well?) and tried the typical dish of Canton Wallis – Cholera.

Summary

  • The hike took about an hour and a half and was about 5 km long.
  • I found inspiration on the Tourenplaner SCHWEIZ website, where you can see the elevation profile. But the original route goes in the opposite direction, from Zermatt to Sunegga station.
  • In some places, the route follows or intersects with the slope. Please be very careful and respectful.
  • Don’t forget good footwear and preferably bring hiking poles.

Other great day trips we made with the SBB day pass:

If you liked my post, I’d love it if you keep sharing it. Maybe on Pinterest 🙂

Categories: Winter, winter hiking
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Hana Hurábová

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