Gornergrat: A Family-Friendly Alpine Adventure
High mountain peaks, enormous glaciers, and views that are second to none: Gornergrat embodies the Alps like no other destination. Take in the Matterhorn and join us on a journey with the oldest electric rack railway in Switzerland.
Discover the Magic of Gornergrat: Switzerland’s Oldest Electric Rack Railway
Imagine you are standing at the Gornergrat train station in Zermatt, just before 9 a.m. It is a cool October day, and the last of the mist disappears, revealing the golden Larch forests. For many locals, this is the start of the most beautiful time of the year – The quiet weeks in October and November when the landscape around Zermatt shines in strong yellow hues while light dances in ways you cannot imagine.
Today you will take a very special journey. Your train arrives on time to the very minute. 125 years ago, pioneers created a spectacular rail route into the mountains with the simplest of tools. Thanks to them, we are able to climb almost 1,500 meters in a mere 33 minutes. The inaugural journey to Gornergrat took place on August 20, 1898, and was the first electric cog railway in Switzerland.
In honor of the anniversary of this first voyage, a “Lok 3003” complete with gold leaf accents – one of the first locomotives to make this journey – has been carefully restored. If you want to delve even deeper into the history of the Gornergrat Bahn, you can visit the special anniversary exhibition in the “Matterhorn Museum” in Zermatt. There you will find photos, videos, and exhibits from times gone by.
Embrace Autumn Splendor: Hiking and Exploring Gornergrat’s Natural Beauty
You relax in your train compartment, already high above Zermatt. Between the colorful Larches, you catch a glimpse of the Matterhorn! It seems even more majestic as you travel higher and higher. The rocky peak is already covered in snow and provides the perfect contrast to the golden landscape below. From time to time, you spot a hiker, sharing your enjoyment of this magnificent setting.
Speaking of hiking, the cool autumn months are perfect for hiking through the Pine and Larch forests. There are also mountain lakes around Gornergrat, some of which reflect the Matterhorn on their mirror-like surfaces. Where there are many guests in summer, you are now almost alone on the road. But don’t forget warm clothing, enough provisions, good shoes, and rain protection – autumn weather can quickly change.
Winter Wonderland Awaits: Skiing, Tobogganing, and Snowshoeing at Gornergrat
Next stop: Riffelberg. Now you are already at over 2500 meters above sea level. We have long left the tree line behind us, and rocks and glaciers now dominate the landscape. The view sweeps uphill through the large windows, where the first dusting of snow can already be seen.
In less than two months, this area will become an enchanting winter wonderland, inviting you to go skiing, tobogganing, or snowshoeing. Together with Cervinia in Italy, Zermatt forms one of the largest contiguous ski areas in the world. In total, 360 kilometers of pistes await skiers of all abilities. The highest toboggan run in the Alps is also located at Gornergrat and is accessible with the Gornergrat Bahn. There are also pristine snowshoe trails with deep views of the glacier landscape. There is truly something for everyone.
NostalChic Class: A Unique Journey with Photo Stops and Culinary Delights
The train stops. You have arrived at the summit and realize that your seats on the right-hand side (in the direction of travel) were a fantastic choice, providing the best view of the Matterhorn for almost the entire journey!
As an aside, if you would prefer a more meandering journey, the NostalChic Class offers unique views thanks to photo stops along the way. You travel in the newly renovated, historic railcar from the 1960s making this already exciting journey into an experience. You can also enjoy culinary delicacies along the way and a gourmet menu at Gornergrat.
Gornergrat Summit: Panoramic Views of the Matterhorn and 4000m Peaks
You have madeit to the summit! Exiting the train, you are greeted by the breathtaking panorama of the Matterhorn and the surrounding 4000-meter peaks. The view stretches as far as the eye can see, and you can’t help but marvel at the grandeur of nature.
Take your time to explore the summit and soak in the awe-inspiring views. There are several observation platforms where you can capture the perfect photo or simply sit back and enjoy the scenery. The Gornergrat summit offers a unique vantage point, allowing you to appreciate the majestic beauty of the Swiss Alps in all their glory.
Unforgettable Experiences: Hot Chocolate at Kulm Hotel and High-Tech Periscopes
After taking in the panoramic views, head to the historic Kulm Hotel, located just a short walk from the summit. Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate while indulging in the cozy ambiance of this iconic alpine hotel. The Kulm Hotel has been welcoming guests since 1856 and is a testament to the rich history and hospitality of the region.
While at the summit, don’t miss the opportunity to use the high-tech periscopes available. These innovative devices allow you to zoom in and explore the surrounding peaks and glaciers in incredible detail. It’s a unique way to enhance your experience and discover hidden gems of the alpine landscape.
Cherishing the Memories: From Autumn Leaves to Planning a Winter Visit
As you begin your descent back to Zermatt, take some time to reflect on the memories you’ve created during your Gornergrat adventure. The golden hues of the autumn leaves, the crisp mountain air, and the awe-inspiring views will stay with you long after you leave.
If you’re visiting during the autumn season, consider planning a winter visit to Gornergrat. The promise of skiing, tobogganing, and snowshoeing awaits, offering a whole new set of adventures for you and your family to enjoy. Gornergrat is a destination that can be experienced in multiple seasons, each offering its own unique charm.
Plan your next family trip to Gornergrat and embark on a remarkable journey through the Swiss Alps. Whether you visit during the vibrant autumn or the enchanting winter, Gornergrat guarantees unforgettable experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.