Zermatt town, Switzerland

And now we’re heading for Zermatt, Switzerland – one of the most beautiful towns in the Alps, surrounded by 15,000-foot-high mountain peaks For a very long time Switzerland and the Alps have been among the most beautiful regions, sought by millions of tourists from all parts of the world They display the greatest mountains and valleys in their grandest form and have a special charm that is most seductive The village has a relaxed atmosphere due to its small size and perhaps its southern location Zermatt is quite close to Italy You can see in this Google Earth image how Zermatt is in a valley surrounded by huge mountains, the biggest collection of the tall mountains in all of Europe It is a spectacular setting You know, the famous mountain, the Matterhorn But there are 29 other gigantic peaks all around the city We will take you up several by cable car and rack railway, and we will take you hiking, plus of course we will show you the charming town of Zermatt It’s a village with no cars set in the midst of all these wonderful mountains We’ll take you up several of those big mountains in our other movies about Zermatt In this show we’re going to focus on Zermatt town itself The best way to reach Zermatt is by train, because cars are not allowed in the village anyway There’s nice scenery out of both sides of the train, as the train snakes its way up this long valley to Zermatt It’s a wonderful train journey to Zermatt located in the heart of the Alps in the southern part of Switzerland The train trip brings you up through a spectacular series of mountains along the river valley If you are driving a car, you can park it a few miles away and take the train in for the last leg to get into the village And then the train station is right in the middle of town So it’s easy access In fact, you can walk to most hotels in the village within 10 to 15 minutes It’s quite easy You see the road is well-paved so you can walk it, no problem You’ll find during your visit that everything in Zermatt is easy walking distance If you have luggage that you don’t want to drag with you, you can arrange baggage delivery by then station porters and many hotels have porter service that will meet you at the station with their small electric truck and will take your baggage and perhaps yourself directly to the hotel, and bring the luggage right to your room Just be sure to let your hotel know ahead of time what train you’re arriving on Those little electric buggies are about the only wheeled vehicles in town along with some horse carriages We’re staying at the delightful Hotel Butterfly, just a couple of blocks from the train station, so it’s easy for us to walk on over while our baggage is hauled for us – nice comfortable rooms, beautiful hotel Three hotels stand at the top rank in Zermatt Five-star deluxe Hotel Zermatterhof, Mont Cervin Palace and Monte Rosa If you can afford to stay there, you can have a meal or have a drink at the bar Later in the program will show you a few of the other 130 hotels in Zermatt After the train journey we’re a little hungry We’re ready for wurst, the national dish of the country – and how convenient at this sidewalk stand It’s quick and inexpensive, and we’re on our way to explore the village Or you could sit at an outdoor table and watch the town go by The pedestrian streets are narrow and lined with shops, restaurants, hotels and inns near the rail station Homes and houses are scattered throughout, some perched on the lower edge of the mountains The main church in town is St. Mauritius, built in the 1920s, but the first historical record of a church here goes back to the year 1285 Watch out for the horse carriages You could take a ride in one, or if you’re staying in a fancy hotel you might be delivered from the rail station in a horse carriage Some of the main stores that you’ll see here are the shops for Swiss watches, including many affordable models and some at the highest end such as that the Patek Philippe branded store You’ll find the quality of display is really eye-catching After all they want to stop you in your tracks as you’re walking by the storefront, and while you can buy Swiss Army knives all over the world it’s very nice to purchase them here in the homeland, the authentic models from it clothing boutiques and souvenir shops with everything from the Swiss brass bell to Lacey hundred shifts porosity crystal figurines jewelry o’clock You’ll also find clothing boutiques and souvenir shops with everything from the Swiss brass bell to lacey handkerchiefs, Swarovski crystal figurines, jewelry, cuckoo clock, Goebel hummels You can get music boxes and fine porcelain dolls Bakeries are everywhere, and you’ll find gourmet food stores The best buys on chocolate bars are probably in the grocery stores 16a Some of the main stores you’ll see here are the shops first watches including many affordable models and some of the highest in such as that the party Felipe rented store you’ll find the quality of display is really eye-catching after all they want to stop you in your tracks as you’re walking by the storefront and while you can buy Swiss Army knives all over the world it’s very nice to purchase them here in the homeland the authentic models from Victorinox How many different models? Well in their catalog they’ll offer you 1200 different kinds

You’ll also find clothing boutiques and souvenir shops with everything from the Swiss brass bell to lacey handkerchiefs, Swarovski crystal figurines, jewelry, cuckoo clocks Don’t worry about needing to pack things in your suitcase because with typical Swiss efficiency they will ship it home for you, and that way you can avoid the sales tax Goebel Hummels, you can get music boxes and fine porcelain dolls Bakeries are everywhere and they usually sell sandwiches for take-out so that can make an inexpensive picnic lunch, and you’ll find gourmet food stores The best buys on chocolate bars are probably in the grocery stores Maybe consider fabrics for easy packable items or tempted by Tissot, an excellent mid-priced watch Of course, there are many shops that sell clothing and accessories for hiking and skiing And most of these stores also rent skiing equipment, and the people who work in the stores can certainly help you choose the best equipment for the day if you’re heading for the slopes If you’re looking for backpacks or hiking shoes, walking clothing, this little village is a great place to shop While most of the merchandise is not made in Switzerland, it is selected by the Swiss merchants to be the very best A lot of it’s made in Germany The quality is superb and you can’t go wrong buying items in these shops, and the price is generally no higher than what you find in a big city You probably already have a backpack but you could just admire the amazing variety and the modern technology of all these items on display You’ll be tempted to upgrade your equipment Being a small village in the south of the country, many stores close for lunch, perhaps from noon till 2 PM Then they reopen and close again about 6 PM On Sunday it’s better to shop in the morning because a lot of the shops close Sunday afternoon You might think up here in the mountains, it’s going to be cloudy a lot, but on the contrary, Zermatt is the sunniest part of Switzerland A study has shown there is an average duration of 62% sunshine It’s number one in the country, compared to number two, the Ticino in the south, with 55% Turns out the surrounding mountains keep the clouds away so Zermatt is blessed with a very special climate Took a look into typical local restaurant, the Haus Darioli It’s got that taverna style with the rustic wooden benches, no tablecloth, simple menu, good prices, good food, and it’s also a hotel It gets 3 1/2 stars out of four rating on Trip Advisor So this is a pretty good place to consider Another excellent restaurant is in the Walliserhof Hotel It’s the Stubli Restaurant – quite rustic and typical Swiss feeling – comfortable wooden furniture and a varied cuisine ranging from steaks and salads to pastas Italian style It’s part of the Hotel Walliserhof, which is one of the oldest in Zermatt It’s a family operated hotel It first opened in 1898, located right on the main street, but most of the rooms are set back It’s got thirty-four rooms, each one of them different There are just three main streets which run along parallel to the River Matter Vispa, and numerous cross streets, little lanes, especially around the station and behind the church, which forms the center of Zermatt village In general anything is at most a thirty-minute walk away And during the summer there are roads and hiking trails leading up to a number of year-round restaurants Warning: it seems peaceful in town, but they do have some wild animals on the loose, sniffing their way around, trespassing, climbing through fences Beware the house cat Well, it just shows how peaceful things can get when you stroll a mere block away from the main street Things calm down right away In the old village, beside the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, about thirty ancient buildings show the traditional style of the original Walser residents There’s barns and grain stores that are up to 500 years old That’s a piece of living history that reveals how the mountain farmers of Zermatt once lived Notice the rocks that are placed at intervals underneath the buildings, those flat round rocks Those are guards to keep out the rodents and the insects from the grain storage areas

The roofs of these typically valet style buildings are covered with shingles made of flat stone slabs Their sun-beaten wooden walls are made of larch wood and stand up on stilts for storage space down below Sometimes there’s firewood stacked up down there Sometimes animals were kept in a barn underneath the house to keep everybody warm, the animals and the people living upstairs This section of town is called Hinterdorf and it’s the oldest surviving village center There were barns where people would thresh the grain and storehouses where they would dry their meat, slaughter their animals and store their treasures from the land away in chests The larch wood they are made of is a kind of symbol of the Valais, as 29% of the trees in the area are larches The larch is the heaviest and hardest of the indigenous conifers The wood is highly resinous which makes it very durable and weather-resistant And this, combined with the dark color of the wood means that the house will heat up during the day when it’s exposed to the sun, producing energy And the people who live in these houses don’t need much heating in the daytime in winter, at least in the rooms that face the sunny side The preservation of these buildings is of growing importance to the local communities and the Swiss Heritage Society, and fortunately, to the owners themselves These buildings symbolize the customs, the traditions, and farming culture at the highest altitudes in this Alpine region Throughout the country, there are about 50,000 of these agricultural buildings still in existence Outside the village throughout this Zermatt region, there are an estimated 720 of these so-called Hofstetan-type buildings The old town is just around the corner from the main street – takes less than a minute to walk there, but it’s easily overlooked because it’s not obvious Bicycles are allowed in town, but on the main street here you are only allowed to walk them, not to ride them You could get a big ticket from the local police for peddling your bicycle down the main lane During the day the town is quite busy, year-round, but something special happens in the early evening It gets much quieter The shops have closed down, the daytrippers are gone, the bus tour groups are back on their trains and out of here, and it’s just left to the people who are spending the evening, and the locals It’s the perfect time to take a leisurely stroll from one end of town to the other – it’s only about a kilometer so it’s a very easy walk They have a lovely public tennis court with clay courts and lights in the evening It is mostly for locals because tourists are going to bring their tennis rackets So it’s a nice amenity for people live here Switzerland has one of the world’s highest qualities of life and they really do take care of their people They don’t allow any cars here but they’ve got horse and buggy You can rent a bicycle, there’s little electric vehicles to take your baggage from the hotel to the train station and of course you can walk, it’s a great place for walking That’s right It’s an automobile free zone And there is pedestrians And even though it’s busy with tourists they have really managed to retain the charm and this Alpine character There’s wonderful nature hikes all around the town, ranging from very easy half-hour strolls on a level gradient paved pathway up to some serious mountain hiking and rock climbing And there’s skiing in the summertime all year round you’ve got skiing here in Zermatt It has the largest all year-round skiing terrain in the entire Alpine area So it makes for a fascinating place There’s tremendous mountains all around it and of course the most famous mountain in all of Switzerland, the Matterhorn, one of the most famous mountains in the entire world The Matterhorn is the most vertical steep mountains that you can find any place on the planet The fun continues with further walking in the village of Zermatt Right down the main lane, you see it is lined with all sorts of interesting shops, restaurants, buildings and fascinating people to watch always Got a love the variety of eateries here in town from the simple sidewalk sausage stand to these nice outdoor restaurants You can sit on the terrace and you are right on the main lane here and watch the people go by Of course Zermatt is a year-round holiday resort town, great in the summer for hiking and walking and just being this beautiful village, and the winter it’s a tremendous

ski resort There are places where you can actually ski all summer long at the top of the Klein Matterhorn – it’s the largest summer ski slopes in all of Europe, but mostly summer activities are relaxing in the town, and taking a walk out in the countryside, and riding up to those beautiful mountain heights for the views As you can see it’s a lot of fun just to walk along on the main lane of the village You can go back and forth, it’s just about a mile or a kilometer and a half from one end to the other, and there’s some little side lanes you can explore as well While this is pretty town can easily keep you occupied for a couple of days with its attractions and shops and things, you certainly want to get out of town up into the hills That’s the main reason for coming to Zermatt and we will show you that in two other movies where we take you up various mountains all around the town to the Klein Matterhorn, Gornergrat and Sunnegga Look for that in our series Unfortunately, there are visitors who only stay in town and don’t go up to the mountains but don’t make that mistake We happened to be in Zermatt during a very special time of the year to see the goats parade This happens during the summer time from late June until the middle of August, and the goats come walking through the village two times: at 9 o’clock in the morning they are walking out from the town to the pasture, and 5 PM in the evening they return to the village every day, but only in the summer for about six weeks These are Valais black neck goats and they are herd of about 50 animals who are the stars of Zermatt summertime The goat herders are youngsters who live in the area and each day three different children get the honor of walking the goats Summer’s a fine time to be here – the temperatures are pleasant It does not usually get very hot in Zermatt The town elevation is about 1600 m or about 5000 feet So it’s a pleasant summer environment, or come in the spring and fall It’s a year-round destination You might want to reserve your hotel well ahead of time, though, because it is limited accommodations There our 130 small hotels, but it is so popular you better reserve in advance You can also look at AirB&B and similar services After all, Switzerland has been in the business of guest houses for over a century Notice the musicians at the top At the end of the program will bring you a little concert in the restaurant We mentioned our hotel at the top of the program It’s the Hotel Butterfly and it’s a lovely spot It’s only a couple blocks from the train station, no problem walking over here, and they have got balconies, they’ve terraces, rustic wooden architecture The hotel interior continues that Alpine motif with a lot of wood counters and tables, the stone floor, carpeted lounge with comfortable furnishings Typical of most Swiss hotels, there is a very nice breakfast that’s included with your room rate You’ll have the eggs and breads fruits and cheeses and tomatoes and hams and cold cuts, a very satisfying breakfast You could also take dinner here, if you like, with an Italian accent to the cuisine And it is set a couple blocks away from the main street, really up on the hillside, and up on the hill you’ve got sheep grazing – a very quiet spot It’s located 150 meters from the main train station and even closer to the main street, so within a few minutes of stepping outside the door you are right in the middle of things We’ve also stayed at the Schloss Hotel, which is perhaps the most conveniently located in the entire town It’s right across the street from the train station It’s been owned and operated by the Perrin family for the past 30 years We enjoyed dinner and breakfast at the hotel You’ll have good value and quality in this town when you include the hotel’s dinner offer in your room rate The hotel underwent a huge transformation in the year 2012 and really upgraded the luxury quality, including a spa and indoor swimming pool Right at the train station, there’s a nice Bahnhof buffet restaurant They offer a typical Swiss cuisine with an interior that looks like you’re inside a train,

and there’s also a very inexpensive Bahnhof Hotel, very basic almost a hostel – and they do not include breakfast but you save a lot of money there With 130 hotels to pick from, you’ll find a wide range of price and quality in Zermatt, but at the upper end there are several hotels that really stand out above all the others The Mont Cervin Palace is one of the top five-star hotels in all Switzerland, founded originally by the Siller family over 150 years ago and you can take a ride through town in their horse carriage One of the great hotels of the world is located here in Zermatt It’s the five-star super deluxe Zermatterhof Hotel They’ve got a garden restaurant You can sit outdoors or sit indoors, and you can have afternoon tea or a complete meal here The Grand Hotel Zermatterhof is constantly being upgraded and improved, and the guests are pampered Zermatt is considered Switzerland’s most popular visitor destination getting about 2 million visitors a year So depending on the time of day or the season, this village could get pretty crowded You might want to come in the shoulder season Month of May is perfect, if it’s late May, especially Early May you might run into snow on the trails and that gets in the way of your hiking Late May and early September are pretty much the perfect times to be here Zermatt is well-equipped to handle a large number of visitors they get, with 130 hotels in the main village area, not to mention bed-and-breakfasts and other hotels in nearby towns Many people just come for the day, you can arrive by train in the morning, walk around, although that’s not recommended There’s so much to see and do in Zermatt you really want to spend a couple of nights – at least two or even three nights would be very nice They have got 70 ski lifts if you’re a skier, especially in the wintertime they’re all functioning In the summer as we have seen up on the Klein Matterhorn you can ski all year round And naturally this is heaven for serious rock climbers there You’ll see people with their ropes and spikes in pickaxes walking down the main lane heading for the hills We will be taking you outside the village to surrounding mountains for some amazing views hiking and mountain railway experiences In our other programs about Zermatt Zermatt has Chinese restaurant, steakhouses, sushi bars, noodle houses, hot dog stands, and one special restaurant that really stands out above others It’s the Stübli at the Hotel Schweitzerhof – very good traditional food and music, and the price is very reasonable Salads, desserts, fish, chicken, meat, it’s a full-service menu including a rather unusual item – it some kind of a Swiss Army stew and it’s served in this canteen can – looks like it’s right out of the Army rations, but of course, it was quite delicious The restaurant is located right on the main street in the very heart of town, you can’t miss it It’s part of the Hotel Schweitzerhof, but it’s got its own separate entrance, only a few blocks from the main train station And it is about the only restaurant in town where you can hear the traditional Swiss music performed by a live quartet You can come in the early evening if you just want a drink, say, 5 PM The music is generally going at that hour My friend Hans got so friendly with the waitress that she came over and asked him to dance, and away they go The restaurant is a showcase for many different bands from throughout the region supporting the local traditional musicians It really says a lot about how friendly this small village of Zermatt is The people who live and work here really have a nice relaxed attitude While this delightful music plays will share with you a few more scenes of Zermatt We have presented a whole series of movies about this beautiful Swiss village For now we’re just kind of winding down our visit with this stroll through town and show you some of the beautiful sights

[music plays] We have a big series of movies about Switzerland taking you to most of the great places We will bring you to Lucerne and up to Mount Titlis, Mount Rigi, over to Interlaken, up to the Jungfrau We will see the Shilthorn, Lauterbrunnen Valley, Trummelbach Falls, Grindelwald, Bern, then on to Zermatt, the Matterhorn, yes we will have a look at the Gornergrat, up the Sunnegga, do some hiking, show you the village then on down to Lugano and Locarno in the southern part of Switzerland, the Ticino we also take you to the great city of Zürich Look for them in our Swiss collection