Even though it is one of the world’s oldest cities with a rich history, there is never a lack of surprises in Zermatt. It is rich in history and it is rich in beauty with nature all around Zermatt, revealing the superlatives. Here are some of the world’s highest mountains, the Swiss Alps with the highest tree line of Switzerland. And nestled in all this beauty are many Zermatt accommodations and Zermatt restaurants.
It is this beauty that brought pioneers from near and far that settled this area of Swiss larch and stone pine so that we could enjoy the comfort and peacefulness that is offered here. As claimed by Jörger, there are many factors that are combined here in the upper Mattertal valley which makes it ideal for vegetation to climb up and up, higher and higher, than in other areas. It is the climbing growth that gives the Zermatt area a high forest limit of more than 2,300 m, which is defined as forest area and has a closed stock.
The Rich History Of Zermatt
The history of Zermatt is rich, starting perhaps with the prehistoric stones at Zermatt. There are 10 prehistoric stones that are adorned with cup marks and you can easily spot some rocks along the Herbrigg–Zmutt path that goes by Hubelwäng. Or visit the old part of the village which is easily accessible and always open. It is one of the proudest features of Zermatt and has over thirty buildings that are traditional style including the barns and the stores located in the upper Valais. Many if these buildings sit on flat stone slabs and are balanced on stilts, a wonderful picture to be captured by the experienced and even the novice photographers.
The charm of the Riffelberg mountain station is another rich part of Zermatt’s history. It too offers visitors spectacular scenery that is at 2,582 m, providing a grandstand view of the beautiful alpine world. That view includes the massive Matterhorn and several more 4,000-metre peaks. Here would be where the beginning of Zermatt hotels and Zermatt restaurants would first open.
For such a small area nestled in the Swiss Alps and at the base of the Matterhorn, there are plenty of restaurants that are sure to appeal to all appetites. From quiet, secluded dining to active, fun-filled dining and anything in between, some of the best restaurants here are:
Zum See: At The Lake Without A Lake
The name, Zum See, means “at the lake” but you won’t find a lake here. That was over 200 years ago, maybe even 300 years ago, when Zermatt was nothing more than a hamlet. There is an “air” about this locale that not all restaurants in Zermatt offer.
The fields and historic chalets that surround this restaurant are all a part of the ambience you’ll feel and see here. Once sheep grazed this area but today, you can choose from an a la carte menu that has both French and Swiss cuisine.
Dine on the fillet of lamb or the gratan, either are delicious and will fill your appetite after a full day on the slopes. But no matter what you choose for the main course, you can’t leave here without having one of their famous homemade puff pastries. They are so deliciously famous that you may need to order ahead of your visit to Zermatt.
This is one of Zermatt’s restaurants that you’ll ski to get here. Once you have arrived, you can enjoy a meal of Alaska Salmon that will melt in your mouth. The salmon arrives here by way of the chef/owner who spends summers in the land of salmon – Alaska. There he fishes for the salmon that he prepares for his guests in Zermatt during the winter.
Most of the salmon he prepares by smoking it and then creating grilled steaks, pasta, salads, tartare, and toasts. These are perfect dishes to fill your appetite for lunch after a morning of skiing. Once you’ve filled you tummy, head on down the slope and soak in the beauty that Zermatt has to offer.
Chez Vrony is one of Zermatt’s restaurants that you’ll find just a short way from Findlerhof going up the mountain. This is one of the largest restaurants and is designed in a contemporary, hip style. You’ll almost feel like you’re at the beach when dining on the patio, including blankets and sun chairs! But you want to keep bundled up because you are still in the Swiss Alps!
Chez Vrony is named after the owner and a local artist that is also her brother. He designed the chairs, lamps, tables, and many of the paintings that adorn the walls of this Zermatt restaurant.
Vrony’s specialty is curing their own meat that they have raised during the summer months and milked for cheese. You can also get some of the popular rustic mountain dishes that are found in most restaurants in Zermatt, such as fresh baked bread and sausage as well as Swiss tapas.
For some of the best patio dining in Zermatt, the Findlerhof is one of the best restaurants. It is located in an old chalet and is known for the best outdoor patio in all of Zermatt. It is in a beautiful, fantastic setting of a sun trap that overlooks the great Matterhorn. With a feel of a rustic mountain hut that is comfortably modern with a mixture of fine foods as well as the local specialties you’ll find in all the restaurants in Zermatt, like the veal cutlet and veal liver roast.
Come to Zermatt Switzerland to relax, to rest, to ski or attend a business meeting. But you’re sure to find several restaurants that will not only fill your appetite but leave you wanting to return again for more. Only in Zermatt Switzerland will find a perfect combination of accommodations, beauty and restaurants all nestled perfectly at the base of the Matterhorn and surrounded by rich history.