Gornergrat where you meet the Matterhorn and stand amidst the largest collection of 4,000 metre peaks of the Alps
The mountain panorama and the unique view of the Matterhorn are unforgettable. With its sunny, year-round accessible viewing platform Gornergrat (3,089 m) has been one of the top excursion destinations in Switzerland since 1898. The Gornergrat Bahn was the first, fully electric cog railway in Switzerland. Today, it runs as a modern, sustainably powered train, which recovers and saves energy thanks to its regeneration process. It is also the highest open-air rack railway in Europe. In 2001 the Riffelalp tram to the Riffelalp resorts (highest 2,211 m and shortest 675.31 m tram route in Europe) reopened.
Until 1929 the railway only operated during the summer. Since then, it also became an important transportation mode for skiers during the winter season. The ski area grew and several lifts have been added. It is also connected with the other ski areas in Zermatt.
With the view of the Matterhorn and several other majestic peaks, the Gornergrat region is a perfect area for alpine hiking.
If the weather is good, a short hike to the Lake Riffel is recommended. The Matterhorn mirrors in this lake and it makes a perfect photo and selfie spot. The hike starts at the Rotenboden station and ends at the Riffelberg station. Duration about 1 ½ hours.
Restaurant vis-à-vis, 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat: Here you have huge windows overlooking the Monte Rosa massif and memorable views. They serve a selection of Valais’ specialities like the Valais cold plate, or cheese and Roesti dishes. For dessert we recommend the Toblerone mousse plus a view of the Matterhorn as a free extra.
Self-Service Gornergrat: Delicious buffet to chose from.
There are several other restaurants at Riffelalp and its surroundings as well at Riffelberg. They all have the view of the Matterhorn in common!
Sometimes, especially in autumn, one may think it is cloudy in Zermatt and expect not to see anything. This cloud cover may be at an altitude of around 2,500 m and during the train ride you will “break through” the clouds and suddenly bathe in glorious sunlight. Also, if the weather is suboptimal, the views can be interesting and you may get to see unexpected combinations of mountains and clouds.
Included is some time at the restaurant for drinks or a meal. With the hike to Lake Riffel add another 2 hours.
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