Last Updated: April 21, 2022

Zermatt In Summer: Best Things To Do And See

Visiting Zermatt in the summer? Then you are definitely in the right place because we’ve got all the information you need to plan your summer trip to Zermatt!

The Swiss town is one of the most popular destinations in the winter, thanks to an amazing assortment of ski slopes and resorts. Summers in Zermatt are not quite as busy as winters, but they’re still a great time to visit thanks to the plethora of fun and interesting summer activities in the area.

That includes summer skiing, mountain biking, and endless hiking trails, so read on to learn more about summers in Zermatt, and start planning your trip to Switzerland!

Weather

Zermatt Weather

Zermatt has a subarctic climate with cool summers and very cold winters. The days are mildly warm but the nights are quite cool even in the winter, with average lows between 10°C and 15°C. The average daily highs in the summer are around 20°C, and it’s worth noting that the warmest days of the year see temperatures reach 26/27°C. 

The summer months are also the rainiest of the year, with June and August seeing the highest number of rainy days. The upside is that the summer months are the only ones that don’t see any snowfall, so at least you can be somewhat certain that you won’t need your snow boots. 

August is the rainiest month of the year with an average of 9.8 rainy days, followed by June with 9.7 rainy days in the month.  May is third, followed by July and then September. 

Another thing to note here is that Zermatt is not a very windy town, thanks to its position amid the mountains. The windiest month of the year is January, with an average wind speed of 9.2 mph. August is the least windy month of the year with an average wind speed of 6.5 mph and June is the windiest summer month, because of the 7 mph average wind speed. 

What to Pack

Packing Skills

Summers in Zermatt are pretty cool so you can’t really pack like you would for a classic summer vacation. The average lows in June and September are around 5°C, which is down jacket weather, at least in my book. 

In terms of everyday clothing, you should pack the items that you would wear on warm spring days. Jeans, pants, shorts, t-shirts, hoodies, and lightweight jackets should all be in your suitcase. Packing waterproof jackets is also a good idea, especially since the summer months in Zermatt see a lot of rainy days. 

It’s also not a bad idea to pack a swimsuit and some flip-flops, considering just how many spas and swimming pools there are in Zermatt. Especially if you’re staying in a hotel since most hotels in town have indoor pools that are open year-round. 

In addition to that, it’s important to consider what you want to do while you’re in town. If your ideal vacation to Zermatt includes a lot of hiking and mountain exploring, then you’ll need to pack some warmer clothes as well. It’s still pretty cold in the mountains around Zermatt, and the higher you climb, the likelier it is the stumble upon the snowy ground. 

Avid hikers and mountain climbers who want to experience just the Matterhorn in the summer should pack as if they’re going on a proper expedition. It’s still very cold at higher altitudes and winter gear is necessary for experiencing the more challenging Zermatt hiking trails. 

Best Things to Do and See

zermatt matterhorn

As one of Switzerland’s best ski resorts, the charming town sees the highest influx of tourists in the winter season. But there are plenty of things to do in Zermatt during the summer and you can read about them below!

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is Europe’s highest mountain station at an impressive altitude of 3883 meters. There’s a lift that will take you to a spectacular 360° observation deck, which features some of the best panoramic views you can experience near Zermatt. 

You can see 14 different glaciers from the viewing platform, as well as 38 different peaks that reach a height of more than 4,000 meters. However, the view is certainly not the main reason to visit the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. 

Head to the Glacier Palace to experience a truly magical place just outside Zermatt. It’s open year-round, and summer is a great time to visit it since the trip to the palace will be slightly less freezing than during the winter months. It’s recommended to wear warm clothing and closed-toe shoes regardless of the season – you are climbing to a glacier paradise some 4000 meters above sea level, after all. 

The palace is best known for impressive ice sculptures of many shapes and sizes. New creations by local artists are added every year, so there’s even merit in revisiting, in case you’ve previously been here. 

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking Zermatt

The town of Zermatt is surrounded by 38 mountain peaks that are more than 4,000 meters tall, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the area is loved by avid mountain bikers from all over the world. Zermatt’s surrounding mountains offer a variety of exciting trails, and summer is the perfect time to discover them. 

There are some 20 trails in and around the village that vary in difficulty. Some are suitable for mountain biking newbies while others will pose a challenge even to the most experienced riders. Also, the length of the trails varies drastically. The shortest mountain biking trail is just 1.3 kilometers long, while the longest of the trails in Zermatt goes on for some 38 kilometers. 

In addition to that, it’s worth noting that there are several trails that take you through Zermatt and its immediate surroundings, and they’re more suitable for beginners. The mountain biking trails that ascend to Zermatt’s surrounding mountains are usually more difficult and better suited for experienced riders. 

Hike the Five-Lakes Trail

Stellisee Zermatt

The Five-Lakes Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in Zermatt. It’s easy for the most part, but there are a few moderately difficult sections that spice up the hike just a little bit. 

The loop trail is some 11 kilometers long and has a total elevation gain of just a little more than 500 meters. It takes between 3 and 4 hours to complete the hike, but that time doesn’t account for all the stops and breaks you will take just to snap photos and enjoy the view. 

The five mountain lakes that this hiking trail passes by are Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee, and Leisee, in that order. The first seven kilometers of the trail are fairly easy since you’re mostly going downhill. The steep ascent starts near Eggen just before the final mountain lake and most of the elevation gain is in the final three kilometers of the loop. 

The trailhead is at the Blauherd station, and you can get there via trains from Zermatt. First, you should take the funicular from Zermatt to Sunnegga (five minutes), and then ride the cable car from Sunnegga to Blauherd station (20 minutes). 

If you’re interested in other hikes near Zermatt as well, look into the 360° Loop Gornergrat, the Swiss Stone Pine Trail, and the Europa Trail, among others. 

Summer Skiing

Skiing Zermatt

Have you ever wanted to go skiing in the summer? If the answer is yes, then this town is the ideal place to make that dream come true, with 21 kilometers of ski pistes that remain open even in the summer.

Zermatt is popular for skiing year-round, but it’s one of only a few destinations (in Europe) that allow for year-round skiing. Matterhorn has the highest altitude summer ski area in Europe and this includes glacier skiing. The area also encompasses the Zermatt Snowpark, which is one of the highest Freestyle spots in the Swiss Alps. 

Several ski schools are also open in the summer, and both kids and adults can enroll. In case you’ve never tried skiing before and you get the urge during your summer trip to Zermatt, you’ll absolutely have the option!  

Try Raclette and Other Swiss Cuisine

Raclette

Raclette is one of the most popular types of Swiss cheeses and it’s definitely something you should try while you’re in Zermatt. It’s a peculiar type of cheese because it’s specifically marketed for use in the Raclette dish. The dish is native to some parts of Switzerland, and it’s very popular in Zermatt. 

A traditional Raclette dish consists of pickles, boiled potatoes, and melted (raclette) cheese. Traditional restaurants will melt the dish with an open fire, whereas a more modern way of serving it includes melting slices of cheese on an electric tabletop grill. 

Speaking of melted cheese, there’s another staple of Swiss cuisine that you should absolutely try while you’re in Zermatt. It’s cheese fondue, of course, and you can have it in virtually every restaurant in town. Don’t miss out on the chocolate delicacies either – chocolate is one of the things that Switzerland is most famous for, and a summer trip to Zermatt is not complete without stopping at Lindt or Läderach (preferably both) at least once. 

Cog Railway (Gornergrat) 

Best Hikes In Zermatt

Gornergrat is a rocky ridge near Zermatt that overlooks the Gorner Glacier. It’s easily accessible from Zermatt via an open-air cog railway, and it’s without a doubt one of the top destinations near Zermatt to visit in the summer. 

Passengers are transported from the Zermatt Station to the Gornergrat summit. The ride lasts for just about half an hour and it is incredibly scenic, passing over bridges, through tunnels, and near spectacular mountain lakes. 

There’s an observation platform at the top, which is the main attraction in the area. The platform is accessible year-round and it offers mesmerizing panoramic views of the tall peaks surrounding the town of Zermatt. You can see Dufourspitze, which is the highest peak in Switzerland at a whopping height of 4,634 meters, the Gorner Glacier, and the spectacular Matterhorn. 

It’s worth noting that there’s a hotel at the Gornergrat summit station. It’s the highest-altitude hotel in all of Europe, and it’s home to quite a few amenities that will make you want to stay in the area for a little longer. It includes a restaurant, quite a few souvenir shops, and an astronomical observatory. 

Climb the Breithorn 

Breithorn

Breithorn is one of the many peaks around Zermatt on the border of Switzerland and Italy. It’s the highest peak of the Breithorn mountain range, and it is situated about halfway between the Monte Rosa massif and the Matterhorn. 

It’s 4,164 meters tall and one of the easiest ascents near the Swiss town, so it’s the perfect ascent for all Alpinists who are just starting out. If you’re not quite ready to conquer the Matterhorn, start with something easier like Breithorn. 

A guided mountain ascent is recommended for climbers without a lot of experience. It’s on you to bring all the hiking gear, while the guides will provide you with any extra equipment that might be necessary (crampons, ski poles, and a mountain-climbing harness). 

The Breithorn ascent is available year-round but it’s particularly popular in the summer. The milder weather conditions allow for an easier ascent, which attracts many climbers to Zermatt. 

Visit the Matterhorn Museum

Zermatt is home to the Matterhorn Museum, which is a worthy town destination any time of the year. The popular museum is a must-visit if you’re into mountain climbing at all because it chronicles the first-ever ascent of the Matterhorn. 

The museum’s collection also details the lives of locals in the town in the earlier centuries and it tells the story of how Zermatt developed to become one of Switzerland’s prime tourist destinations. It’s certainly an interesting and educational museum collection and it’s worth checking out any time of the year.  

Matterhorn Museum is situated right next to Mountaineer’s Cemetery, which is another place in town you should visit if you’re an avid mountaineer. Go there to pay your respects to all the alpinists who have lost their lives attempting to conquer this majestic mountain and see the many monuments erected in their honor. 

About the Author Anna Timbrook

Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.

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