Warm summer days offer a huge variety of activities in Zermatt with some of the world’s most stunning mountains. Even though lift rides may not be as exciting as mountaineering, summer skiing and hiking, it is still as beautiful and spectacular, and makes for a more serene and relaxing way to experience the view. It is also a great activity to do if you just want to get some rest from skiing and hiking or if you just want to gaze at the magnificent panoramic views high up in the mountains.
A ride on a mountain lift to one of the high summits above Zermatt should be a top priority for most visitors. Zermatt offers a choice of three, year-round lift services to the peaks of Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn and Rothorn. Each are beautiful and their own unique appeal. Most popular and famous is a visit to Gornergrat at 3130 meters which the mountain offers a magical panorama. From the gentle summit unfolds a world class vista of tumbling glaciers and soaring alpine peaks.
In fact twenty nine of Switzerland’s thirty five highest summits (above 4000 meters) are immediately visible. There are restaurants and hotels and observatory located at the top. You can reach Gornergrat easily by mountain train or the Gornergratbahn which is located just opposite the main BVZ train station in town. Views are excellent from both sides of the train and the entire journey takes about 45 minutes each way.
The lifts are not heated and the glass of the cable cars tend to have been a bit scratched by skis, but the final cable car soars a thousand feet above vast glaciers and takes one into the middle of the eternal ice world. The views from the Klein Matterhorn summit and Trockner Steg mid-station are excellent. Try to ascertain before you buy your ticket if the Gipfel lift is open. This little elevator takes one right up to the absolute craggy summit of the Klein Matterhorn and gives one an extra special 360 degrees panorama view.
The views over much of Switzerland, deep into Italy and even to France such as Mont Blanc which is 68 kilometers away, are amazing. On a clear day it is possible to see forty peaks over 4000 meters elevation and 200 kilometers to the Maritime Alps close to the Mediterranean sea. As a comparison, to stand at the top is to stand higher than all the tallest mountains in Austria and New Zealand. The Gipfel lift elevator is located in the middle left of the Klein Matterhorn tunnel, and many people unknowingly pass by it.