Zermatt is a beautiful Swiss town at the base of the Matterhorn that is a gateway to possibly the best skiing and hiking in Europe.  With the highest lift-served ski trails in Europe, the glaciers at the top of the mountains provide year-round access to downhill skiing.  A small river runs down the middle of town and the town rises on the hillsides on either side.

No internal combustion cars or trucks are allowed in town; transportation is by electric buses and taxis and horse drawn carriages, not to mention bicycles and sleds.  The town is accessed by a narrow gauge cog railway from Brig and Visp, about 90 minutes up a picturesque Alpine valley.  Drivers can leave their cars in Tasch and hop on the train for a short ride up to Zermatt.  The total ride from Geneva airport on the impressively punctual Swiss train system is 3.5 to 4 hours with a change of trains in Visp.

Zermatt has accommodations and dining to accommodate all levels of spending.  Swiss, German, French, Italian and English are spoken with German the dominant language.

The skiing is spectacular with much of the mountains above tree line.  The skiing is roughly segregated into three loosely connected areas, Rothorn, Gornegrat and Kleine Matterhorn.  Each has their own character and personality.  The Kleine Matterhorn area also provides access to the Italian ski resort of Cervinia.  Both Zermatt and Cervinia can be accessed on a common ski lift ticket, making a trip into Italy and back an easy exercise and well worth it, if for the food alone.

Much of the charm in skiing here is the great number and variety of restaurants that are on the mountain.  On the Swiss side, each seems to have a deck facing the Matterhorn where you can take your gluhwein (hot, spiced wine) or repast outside on a sunny day.  On the Italian side, you have the great Italian cuisine, with a focus on the local specialties like Polenta Valdostana, a creamy cornmeal with local fontina de valdostana cheese melted in it.  Each restaurant will, gnerally, have either a self serve or a wait staffed area, your choice.

Zermatt itself has lots of shopping, dining, bars and other things to occupy your time.  The local movie theatre/bar/art gallery is well worth a visit.  As is the skating rinks right across the street.