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Swiss Alps: A 4 Day Zermatt Itinerary

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Are you ready to immerse yourself in breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences of the Swiss Alps?  

Regardless of whether you are plummeting down the bunny slopes with anything but ease or mastering the vertical drop on black diamonds, you will certainly NOT be disappointed with the captivating village known as Zermatt!  Typically, I consider a 3-4 day getaway a shorter trip.  However, since we only took just one day to hit the slopes, I found it to be the perfect length of stay for this destination.

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4 Day Itinerary Zermatt 

Day 1 – Departure, Travel, and Arrival

Thankfully, we began the journey with a smooth and uneventful departure from the Charleston International Airport. Our first stop was Philadelphia.  Since we had an 8 hour layover until our next flight, we decided to splurge a bit and purchase the American Airlines Admirals Club Day Pass.  At $79 for the day, it was money well spent!  We were able to enjoy complimentary made-to-order food specialities, as well as house drinks in a much more relaxed, comfortable, and quieter environment than we otherwise would have. In fact, the homemade guacamole and fresh chips that were offered in the Admirals Club may just be worth the $79 in itself! 

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With a belly full of chips, guacamole, and some delicious drinks, we were on our way on an overnight flight to Zurich.  The customs / passport process in Zurich was quick and seamless.

On this trip, my travel companion and I both decided on using Airalo for eSIM, as opposed to paying $10 a day to our cell companies.  This is a must for international travel! This is a little money-saving tip that is really quite easy. While at the airport, we simply switched off our phone’s SIM and activated the new eSIM. While the eSIM was data only, it served the purpose of what was needed for my trip.  As an iphone owner, I was able to communicate easily with my friends and family who also were iphone users.  WhatsApp was my main source of communicating with those few still in the Android club. Once we returned to the states, we of course switched back to our regular SIM.  You can thank me later for that little nugget.

Once in the airport we found a spot to stop and figure out our train tickets. We drew a number and bought our Swiss Pass for the time we were there. Just like that, we were off to check out our first location to explore the Swiss cultural heritage of chocolate, luggage in tow.  With a quick train ride and bus run, we were ready as ever.  As Switzerland’s largest chocolate museum, and home to the spectacular chocolate fountain (yes, you read that correctly) the Lindt Factory did not disappoint! The museum even had lockers for storage that we were able to use for free. Submersing ourselves in a world of all-you-can-eat chocolate samples made by actual Swiss Chocolatiers, was an experience that even Wonka would be impressed by. It  was a solid choice for our bellies and our first adventure in Switzerland!  Guacamole who?

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Following the Lindt Factory, we knew we should grab a bite to eat before making our way to Zermatt.  We were excited to find a quaint little restaurant around the corner. 

We successfully navigated the next train ride and arrived in Zermatt near evening.  It was time to rid ourselves of our luggage and get settled after a long day of travel.  We headed straight to our hotel to freshen up. The slopes had recently closed for the day and the bus was packed with the snow bunnies and ski enthusiasts alike. 

Once we were checked into our hotel and freshened ourselves up, we decided to grab dinner at a highly recommended restaurant, Grampi’s. We got all checked in and freshened up to head out to our first dinner at Grampi’s.  I should note that because our trip occurred at the peak of  Zermatt’s ski season, I made all of our dinner reservations in advance for each night of our trip. This was a good call to book in advance.  We noticed many parties waiting upwards of 45 min or more just for a table of 2 or 4 guests. a table. Thanks to the reservation, we were able to casually walk in, and be seated right away. 

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Day 2 – The Slopes

It was time to rent our equipment and head to the Swiss slopes!  I decided it was a great day to give snowboarding a shot, while my travel companion stuck with the skies.  The rental was straightforward and fairly stress free.  I would actually say that it was less of a hassle than renting equipment stateside!  We first headed to the blue slopes at Sunnegga. I gave it a go a few times and was feeling pretty confident.  Just as quick as was getting acclimated to my new winter sport, I was out!  Unfortunately, or possibly fortunately, one of the straps on my snowboard snapped. This was my way out of the whole snowboarding fiasco.  I used my broken strap an a great excuse to practice après ski. 

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After shivering on the windy slopes amid my snowboard blunder, I treated myself to an Irish coffee that was absolutely delicious and really hit the spot!  While enjoying my coffee treat, Anna decided to stay and continue running the slopes until it was time for our lunch reservations at Chez Vrony. 

Even though our skills on the slopes did not allow us to ski right up to the restaurant like we had imagined, we decided it would probably be safer to just walk in. We did not want a potentially dangerous and utterly embarrassing arrival! We were able to get seated fairly quickly, despite the long line for 2:00 reservations.  Warm soup and a delicious burger filled us right up.  We topped our bellies off with a steamy mug of hot chocolate. It was very truly delightful. 

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Girls Who Travel

       

Once we made our way back down to Zermatt and returned our rental equipment, we headed to our dinner reservations at Whimpers Sub around 8:30. We split a bottle of wine and ordered from the menu. Matterhorn, which included a racket portion, was the main course. Of course we also ordered dessert! Everything was absolutely delicious and the staff was great.

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Day 3 – Gornergrat and Paragliding

Today we were supposed to go paragliding in the morning. The weather did not cooperate with us so our plans got flip-flopped. Instead of paragliding, we enjoyed glorious scenic views on Europe’s highest open-air cog railway, Gornergrat!  The mountain panorama was absolutely unforgettable!  This is one of those experiences everyone should enjoy at least once in their lifetime.  After a vertical climb of 1,469m, over dramatic bridges, rocky ravines and even mountain lakes, we made it all the way up to the top. After taking dozens of breathtaking pictures, we received the text that we would be able to finally go paragliding around 2:00. 

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Hands down, our paragliding adventure was an incredible experience!  I highly recommend FlyZermatt Paragliding if you are up for this amazing adventure.  From quick and open communication to answering our multitude of questions, the staff at FlyZermatt was professional, knowledgeable, and put safety first.

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For dinner that evening, we dined at the upscale Omnia Hotel and enjoyed the Mountain Lodge Experience. A four-course meal was just what we needed to top off a phenomenal day in Zermatt! From the chefs to the service team, our expectations were exceeded.  In addition, the food was cooked to perfection and the flavors were unparalleled.   

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Day 4 – Dog Sledding and Glacier Mountain Paradise

We started the day doing something I never imagined I would get to enjoy a husky-led sleigh ride around the base of the Matterhorn! dog sledding! At the top of Glacier Mountain Paradise, we met up with our guide and walked down to the sledding area. After enjoying a couple of loops around the Matterhorn, we were provided cookies and tea. This was a great photo opportunity, and we definitely took plenty of pictures. Our favorite part of the experience may have just been interacting with the dogs and showing them all the love and gratitude they deserved.

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Up next was something I do not think I will ever forget. We decided that we should go all the way up to Glacier Mountain Paradise. Here I had the wonderful experience of learning that I suffer from high altitude sickness, shortly after we got off of the gondola. We decided that lunch and ibuprofen was a great plan. After lunch and some fresh cool air we went down into the ice cave to explore. Small tidbit of advice be careful coming out of the ice cave and take it nice and slow. If not you may very possibly get sick. Fun times and memories were made. This was sadly the end of the trip. We headed back to Zurich and had dinner at our hotel restaurant which was absolutely phenomenal. We thoroughly enjoyed champagne and truffle fondue and I got to try horse steak for the first time (delish). 

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Girls Who Travel

                                       

This was another vacation for the books and I am so grateful and thankful for the ability to go on these fun seeking adventures. Look forward to sharing my next vacation story in the near future. Until next time… 

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Jenni B

I am currently 34 and recently discovered my love of travel when I turned 30 and I have not stopped since. I love to eat and like to say that I am a self proclaimed foodie. I try to go on at least two trips a year right now because I am a dog owner and my sweet girl is getting older and not as friendly. My travel motto is: "Will travel for food."

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