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First Euro Trip - Zermatt - any advice?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
First post here after lurking a while...

Anyways, I'm gettin hitched in December and decided we need to take a honeymoon in the Alps, so I'm finally crossing the pond and getting some swiss steeps in. ANyone here been there before, and if so, any advice on what the best runs are, general tips about the area, etc?
post #2 of 10
Your are in luck, I went to Switerland for two weeks in March this year to ski Zermatt and Murren. I posted my trip report on turnsallyear.com and will paste it in here. I'm based in Seattle so you'll see some of that bias in the report. http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing...p?topic=9527.0

A couple of practical notes for lodging, bring face wash cloths and buy body soap--these things are not provided in Swiss motels/hotels. Also, they don't provide bed sheets, you sleep in a duvet.

The best way to stay in Zermatt is to get an apartment if you are going to be there for a few days. In Switzerland, motel operators don't like people to stay in motels for just one night. Everything is geared for a 7-day Saturday arrival and Saturday departure. Probably because people in Europe get more time off from work?

Another tip, I had a hell of a time getting the Zermatt hotel operators to even respond to e-mails on the Zermatt loding web site. It got to the point that I contacted the Zermatt tourism board, and finally, we lucked out getting into the Jolimont Apartments run by the Perrin sisters. They were awesome, great customer service and nice accomodations. I asked Karine about the lack of response, and she felt that " business was too good in Zermatt."

You will love Switzerland, the people are a bit business-like, but helpful, and I would go back in a second. Their train system shows what is possible.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Awesome, thanks for the info, looking forward to reading your report.

I found the same thing with hotels, and they seemed to be WAY to expensive to get a decent sized one (the fiance is VERY easy to please, but her only request was that we stay somewhere bigger than a standard hotel room). I ended up booking Chalet Mela, which seems like a pretty cool little place for two people.

As far as the language barrier... what's the best language to speak?
My fiance is Canadian and speaks broken French, and I can speak broken German... and of course, since I'm typing this in English I can speak that too
post #4 of 10
As for language, we met one young woman who spoke five. Most Swiss can speak English, French, and German. Zermatt is Swiss-German despite being on the Italian border, yet they say thanks as "Merci", and meld their words from various languages. That being said, most everyone speaks English, knowing some German will help.

I don't know if expenses are an issue, but Switzerland is not for the faint of heart cost-wise. I just tried to not think about it. What you will get is a very safe, clean, and high-quality experience--in short, worth the money.
post #5 of 10
Zermatt is one of the great ones, you'll have an awesome time. Get over to Triftji as soon as you can, off the Gant-Hohtalli lift. Everything works great in that part of the world. Don't sweat the details, it's all been worked out for you already. Best on-slope eating anywhere (including the views). Horrible runs back to the village, consider taking the underground train for the last leg.
post #6 of 10
Bring lots of cash.
post #7 of 10
Hire a guide for the first day.
post #8 of 10
I'd echo what others have said. We were there this past March, too. One thing which is really different than here is that the groomed terrain (the pistes) are the only thing marked, and the best terrain by far is off piste. Go to the alpincenter website (http://www.alpincenter-zermatt.ch/en...oup_ski_tours/) and book a guide. It was the best thing that we did. We had 5 in our group and went to places you could never find on the map. First tracks in at least a foot of powder for every run, all day long! 30-45 degree couloirs, no one else around. Worth every CHF that it cost (and it wasn't cheap). Guide service provides beacons and harnesses, you just need to bring your pack. If you get good weather (we did not) it will be especially worthwhile.
post #9 of 10
Have fun!
post #10 of 10

1) you said something about steeps in your post. No steeps here. No I am not kidding. There are some interesting off-piste runs off of Gant-Hohtalli. Unfortunately - that area is closed off till February.

so you will be restricted to intermediate groomed slopes. Yes - you can hire a guide but i don't know how much steep/offpiste that's going to get you in December.

2) I would definitely ski over to Cervinia(Italy) which is accessible from the Klein Matterhorn cable cars. would not do it the first day - as you have to climb to 13000ft. would not keep it for the last day - since bad weather can close the connecting lifts. take your passport. and get back early from Italy.

3) Food is great on the mountain - must book ahead. Try Fluhalp, Chez Vrony, Tony's, Paradies on the Zermatt side and Chalet Etoile in Cervinia.

if you need suggestions for restaurants in Zermatt - let me know.
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