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Almanac: Zermatt, Switzerland

Almanac: Zermatt, Switzerland

Travel
By Jay Cowan
posted: 12/10/2001

  • Population
  • 5,600
  • Elevation
  • 5,315 feet
  • Median Price Of A Single-Family Home
  • By law, only Swiss citizens can purchase property in Zermatt. Nice two-bedroom apartments have sold recently for between $700,000 and $1 million.
  • Main Businesses
  • Tourism and construction.
  • Public School Population
  • 684 (1st-9th).
  • Local Ski Areas
  • Four interconnected areas access 155 miles of maintained slopes, plus expansive off-piste. Vertical Rise: 7,217 vertical feet. Average Annual Snowfall: 220 inches (and glaciers).
  • Season Pass:
  • adults, $900; children 9-16, $450; children under 9, free. Lift Ticket: adults, $40; 9-16, $20; children under 9, free; 65 and over, 25 percent off.
  • Best Event
  • The annual International Zermatt Symposium for five days in mid-January brings in the likes of Maya Angelou and Mario Vargas Llosa for lectures, workshops, panels and concerts.
  • Locals' Favorite Restaurants
  • Fondue at the Restaurant Stadel; Backerei Fuchs for great sandwiches; enjoy excellent regional cuisine at the Hotel Christiania.
  • Locals' Favorite Hangouts
  • The Hotel de la Poste taught Zermatt how to rock nearly 30 years ago and is still going strong. Family-size pastries and a wooden bowl of "grole" (the local rum drink) are an après-ski tradition at Max and Gretl's Zum See Restaurant.
  • Best Places To Stay
  • (Dial 011-41-27 before all numbers; rates are for two people per night, including breakfast and dinner.) Luxe: the five-star Grand Hotel Zermatterhof (966-6600; www.zermatt.ch/zermatterhof; $250-$500); the four-star Schonegg with stunning views (966-3434; www.reconline.ch/schonegg; $200-$400); family-friendly Christiania (967-1907; www.reconline.ch/christiania; $150-$300); the budget two-star Touring (967-2863; www.touring.buz.ch; $85-$135).
  • How To Get There
  • Numerous airlines fly direct to Geneva and Zurich, which are four and five hours, respectively, from Zermatt by train.
  • Information
  • Zermatt Tourism, 011-41-27-967-0181; www.zermatt.ch.

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