With summer on the horizon, take a cue from Neeraj Chopra and set off on a holiday fit for an Olympian in Switzerland’s popular cities of Interlaken, Zermatt and Geneva. With an itinerary packed with the best of Switzerland’s soft and extreme adventure activities, Neeraj and his friends did it all, from monster biking and hiking to running tours in Geneva, skydiving in Interlaken and panoramic helicopter tours over Zermatt.
Enjoy the Swiss summer in Zermatt, a hiking and biking paradise that welcomes everyone from curious beginners to advanced sports enthusiasts, and where you will be able to scale mountains against the backdrop of Zermatt’s alpine landscape.
Here’s your guide to Zermatt and highlights from Neeraj’s getaway:
When you think of Zermatt, a quaint, charming, car-free Swiss village that lies at the foot of the mighty Matterhorn peak comes to mind. But there’s so much more to this mountain paradise. Zermatt is among Switzerland’s most popular ski resorts, making it one of the most attractive vacation destinations in the world. This quaint village is frequented both in the summer as well as in the winter, when its 360-kms stretch of skiing slopes are dotted with professional skiers and beginners alike. The non-skiers can hop on to a funicular or cable car to enjoy views of the tall, snow-covered Swiss Alps, with warm melting fondue and chocolate for company. Zermatt also has huge open-air ice-skating rinks, toboggan trails and more, which were enjoyed by Neeraj and his friends.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
At 3,883 metres, lies the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Europe’s highest mountain station that also has the largest skiing regions and the highest viewing point. Home also to Europe’s highest mountain restaurant, treat yourself to a hearty meal amid the most panoramic views. At the top, which offers the best views of the Matterhorn and other mountain peaks of Switzerland, France and Italy, Neeraj indulged in a host of fun snow activities like snow tubing and snow biking. He also took the VIP Gondola which has a glass floor and thus makes you feel like you are really flying over the snow as well as giving you a 360 degree view of the vista.
Paragliding: For the most unadulterated views of the picture-perfect Swiss landscape as well as of the most recognized and photographed peak of the world—the Matterhorn, paragliding in Zermatt is an unmissable experience. The quiet and peace that descends upon you on this flight is something that makes it literally divine.
Görnergrat: Another experience that Neeraj enjoyed in Zermatt was riding the cogwheel railway up to the Gornergrat.
At the summit, he was treated to breathtaking views of the Matterhorn, glaciers, and more. “One of the first things we did in Zermatt was to take the train up to Gornergrat – you go right through the village and then keep going up and above the surrounding mountains until you reach the top. Having lunch in this set-up makes you appreciate the food even more. We decided to hike down to Riffelalp on the way back so we could see the Riffelsee, a perfect photo opportunity because it perfectly mirrors the Matterhorn. I was pleased to see so many people hiking down, including some Indian families,” says Neeraj.
An opportunity to hike on the Gornergrat is perfect for all ages and interest levels – you have the choice of taking the train back to the base, hike all the way down or just hike for part of the route and take the train for the rest of the way. the way.
Helicopter tour: A helicopter ride over Zermatt is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly across these great 4,000-metre mountain peaks in the Valais Alps and see the Matterhorn in all its glory from up close. “An aerial view of the great Matterhorn and heavenly Zermatt? Who could possibly say no to that? I still haven’t gotten over it! The view is stunning, and the setting is everything you could want. This was probably the best experience of my trip – just to see all the mighty peaks beneath you and to get so close to the Matterhorn was something I will remember for the rest of my life,” Chopra said.
Neeraj also explored Zermatt’s old town – where houses upto 200 years old are preserved and gives you an insight into how life was in the village in the past. For a more deeper look, one can visit the Matterhorn museum which offers an immersive experience of how tourism started in Zermatt.
For more inspiration from Neeraj’s recent getaway to Switzerland visit- www.myswitzerland.com/neeraj
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