Zermatt is a beautiful little ski resort located in the middle of the Swiss Alps and is home to the iconic Matterhorn (You know the ride at Disneyland? It was modeled after this mountain.) The ski resort is a very popular destination for European tourists to take a winter vacation, mainly to go skiing. Although the town is on the border of Italy, it can be a bit hard to travel to initially (I know from experience), but it is definitely worth the journey (look for another post on that later). One of the best things to experience in the ski resort is the cable car up to the peaks. Whether you come to Zermatt to ski or sightsee, a trip on the cable car is a perfect way to enjoy your time at the resort. While there are several cable cars to choose from, the best one (for sightseers anyways) is Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise starts at the base of Zermatt and leads up to the 12,739 feet tall peak (3,883 meters), making Matterhorn Glacier Paradise the tallest cable car station in Europe. Operational all year-round with breathtaking views of the Matterhorn and mountains in Italy, Switzerland and France, as long as you take the tram on a clear day (which is a bit harder to come by in the winter).
The station at the peak includes a glacier that you can explore the inside of (complete with ice sculptures, ice tunnels and an ice slide - which makes for really cool photos), a cinema lounge to enjoy a documentary about the Matterhorn, and a restaurant (how would you like to eat a bowl of soup at the highest cable car station in Europe?). Be careful of alpine sickness while you are at the peak, as the high altitude can certainly make breathing difficult.
If you have never seen anything like the Swiss Alps, the journey to the station is absolutely incredible. The cable car fits around 30 people and has windows on all sides to give you a 360 view of the beautiful Alps which goes on for my miles. Trust me when I say this cable car is not for the faint of heart (I got a bit weak in the knees while riding in the car - see below? We hung from a car on those cables in very windy weather and let's just say the operator was a bit hesitant about taking the car up the mountain in that weather. Talk about a little nerve racking, but adventurous!), but this is definitely the perfect option for anyone looking for an exciting adventure.
A ticket for the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, at 100 CHF ($105) a ticket, is probably the most expensive lift ticket you will ever buy, but the once in a lifetime experience is worth every penny! If you take the ride up to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, I recommend dressing warm, even in the summer, as believe it or not there is snow year-round (skiing in July anyone?). If there is one thing you do while in Zermatt, it should be to take the cable car to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise - a great adventure for thrill seekers!
And of course you can't share a post about Matterhorn Glacier Paradise without sharing a photo of the actual Matterhorn!