The Matterhorn Ski Paradise is one of the most popular ski areas in the world. It is an international ski area comprised of 3 ski resorts, namely Zermatt in Switzerland, Cervinia and Valtournenche in Italy. There is roughly 350km of piste on offer with the full area international lift pass and the skiing in the area ranges all the way from 1542m up to 3820m. The highest skiing in the area is on the Zermatt glacier and it is the glacier in the area that makes the Matterhorn ski Paradise so snow secure. It has one of the longest winter seasons of all the ski areas in Europe and in fact you can even ski there in the summer! The snow security is one of the big draws for holidays makers to the area as is the fact that the skiing is suitable for all levels of skiers from beginners through to advanced.
Zermatt is probably the most famous resort of the 3 resorts that make up the area. It is well deserving of its fame as the skiing is fantastic and it is one of the most beautiful ski resorts that Europe has to offer. It is full a classic alpine charm and Swiss character and the fact that it is sat at the foot of the iconic Matterhorn just adds to the beauty.
Cervinia is very different to Zermatt but still gives you access to the full ski area and it is much more cost effective option. The resort height of Cervinia is over 2000m so you can be sure if snow all the way down into the village throughout the season. On top of this the access to the Zermatt glacier gives you guaranteed snow no matter what. It is not quite as charming a village as Zermatt but your in resort prices will be much lower as you will be dealing in Euros rather than Swiss Francs. You will even find that the lift pass is cheaper if you buy it on the Italian side. However, if you are staying in Zermatt do not try and cheat the system and ski over to Cervinia with a one day pass and then buy the full pass over there. You can't access the lift system on the Zermatt side in the morning if you have a lift pass that was purchased in Cervinia!
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Beginners are well service in both Cervinia and Zermatt. The nursery slopes are really easy to access from the village centre of Cervinia with some nice blue runs to progress onto towards the end of the week. In Zermatt beginner will learn in the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise area while children will be taught in the Sunnegga Paradise area where Wolli Park provides the ideal environment with easy to use rope lifts and magic carpets.
Intermediate skiers will be in heaven in both Zermatt and Cervinia. The Matterhorn Ski Paradise is full of intermediate ski slopes with 108 blue and red runs listed on the piste map. There are multiple routes down from the top of the glacier into Zermatt village centre as well down to Cervinia and Valtournenche which intermediate skiers will love. If you are staying Cervinia then definitely make the effort to get all the way down into Zermatt village to experience the skiing on the far wide of the resort in the Sunnegga Paradise and likewise if you are staying in Zermatt then definitely make the trip over to Cervinia. As you would expect there are some brilliant restaurants on the Italian side and they offer great value for money in comparison to the Swiss side.
There are some great off piste routes to be found on the Italian side of the ski area which advanced skiers will love. Much of the off piste is also very easily accessible so no need for hiking. There is even more advanced skiing to be found in Zermatt on the Swiss side of the are. Plenty more off piste and some challenging pisted runs as well. The Matterhorn Ski Paradise is perfect for advanced skiers but you will definitely want to purchase the full lift pass to make sure that you make the most of the area.
Holiday makers who are snowboarding in the Matterhorn Ski Paradise will love the amount of off piste on both the Swiss and the Italian side of the region. 'Park Rats' will be able to spend hours on end in the 'Gravity Park' in Zermatt and if you are holidaying in the area at the end of the season then the snow park on the Cervinia side is ideal as it is one of the highest snow parks in Europe (2800m) and so it stays open right into the late season weeks.
The après ski in the Matterhorn Ski Paradise ranges from packed out lively bars to chilled out cafés and eateries. There is something for nearly everyone. Zermatt is definitely the liveliest resort in the area. There are roughly 50 different bars in Zermatt but for the lively après ski head to Henna Stall or Olympia and then onto one of the eight late night discos / nightclubs that Zermatt has on offer. Cervinia also has plenty of bars on offer and although the après ski scene is quite lively it is not as lively as Zermatt. However, if you are looking to keep your spending under control then Cervinia might be the better option as prices for drinks and food are much more reasonable in Cervinia than they are in Zermatt.
Cervinia has a public swimming pool and sauna as well as a natural ice rink. Kids will love snowtubing and adults will love mobile excursions.
In Zermatt the Matterhorn museum is extremely interesting and and there is loads if winter walking and snowshoeing to be had. Curling and iced skating is n on offer at the Sports Arena and you can do ice climbing and indoor climbing in Zermatt as well.
Helicopter trips around the Matterhorn are on offer from Air Zermatt as is heli skiing for those who want to taking their skiing to the next level!