Zermatt itself is how all Alpine towns should aspire to be -
car-free, quaint without being too cutesy and - extremely
importantly - home to some of the best restaurants in the Alps.
There's also an excellent après ski scene with fun live bands
playing most days at the bottom of the slopes.
Better still, Zermatt has all year round skiing thanks to the
Theodul Glacier, and as it is the highest resort in the Alps, good
snow conditions are all but guaranteed.
In all there are some 240 miles of pistes on the Swiss side and
over the back in Italy's Cervinia resort, and unlike many resorts,
Zermatt really is all things to all skiers, with pistes for
beginners and intermediates alike, and enough off-piste to keep
powder hounds happy as well. Finally, with nearly one third of all
the 12,000ft plus peaks in the Alps circling the town, this is a
high altar of alpinism for mountaineers and ice climbers.
The icing on this particular Swiss roll is the awesome,
pyramidal Matterhorn looming over the whole landscape. However
while the Matterhorn might be nice to look at, it's a seriously
technical climb best left to the pros.