Short-day hikes in Zermatt, Switzerland: getting the best of Matterhorn


In an earlier post, I described my visit to Zermatt in Switzerland and the iconic mountain known as Matterhorn that one should not miss. Zermatt is definitely an ideal tourist destination when one is visiting Switzerland! I usually like to go to a place as a traveler rather than as a tourist, and the features of a place while traveling are better noticed when hiking. 

This time, I will be suggesting some hiking trails around Zermatt that are easy to moderately doable, and enable one to enjoy viewing Matterhorn at the same time! 

The first tip is to check the weather; one may even miss having a full view of Matterhorn even on a slightly cloudy day!

One of the hiking trails that gives a nice view of Matterhorn

A hike that I enjoyed a lot was the trail that starts from Zermatt and ends at Lake Schwarzsee. The elevation gain is around 1 km, but can still be done with intervals in between or even with a steady go! In the end, it is about how much you love the hike and surely one will, because of the amazing views this one offers!

Lake Schwarzsee with a view of Matterhorn


One can also take this hiking trail the other way around, that is to descend all the way to Zermatt. This is possible as there are cable cars that go directly from Zermatt to Schwarzsee. No matter what, one will be able to reach the destination by lunchtime. 

Lunch break with a view of the Lake Schwarzsee 

Yet another hiking trail that I liked is called the 'Mark Twain Trail' which turned out to be a fairly easy and short one. If one has less time in Zermatt and still wants to enjoy the best view of Matterhorn in a less crowded atmosphere, I would recommend taking this short hike to Riffelberg and enjoying the view of Matterhorn over lunch from the restaurant there. Of course, the restaurant up on top of Gornergrat, the highest accessible point close to Matterhorn, is the most people-recommended one, but I loved the restaurant on top of Riffelberg as more closer to nature.

The view of Matterhorn on the way from Riffelalp to Riffelberg

My favorite hike among the less strenuous hikes is the 'Five Lakes Walk', because it is a thematic one. Three of the lakes show a reflection of Matterhorn on a clear day and all of them provide nice views while relaxing for a break on their banks. Though it is an easy hike to visit the first three lakes that give splendid views of Matterhorn in the background, the sudden ascent to Lake Stellisee and finally to the cable car station Blauherd requires a medium level of fitness. If one has two days to spend in Zermatt and a sunny day to enjoy, this hike would be the best thing to do! 

Reflection of Matterhorn captured over Lake Grindjisee

Many more easy to medium-level hiking trails are available on the website of Zermatt (, out of which I pointed out my personal favorites. There are also interesting and more challenging hikes as well as traveler tips to get the best out of visiting Zermatt that I will be explaining in detail in my upcoming posts. Stay tuned! 

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