valais
Zermatt
Matterhorn Gotthard Railway - Part of the fun of Zermatt is getting there. Personal cars are not allowed in the village, so ride the bright red Matterhorn Gotthard railway from Brig or Visp to Zermatt. On the one hour ride are dramatic views of deep gorges, chalets perched on steep slopes, pointy peaks that touch the sky.
Matterhorn views - From Zermatt, for an excellent view of the Matterhorn, ride the cable car up to Furi, then take a second cable car up to Schwarzsee.
Hikes -
There are miles of hiking trails around Zermatt, from wide level trails to more ambitious hikes through rocky terrain, and many have stunning views of the Matterhorn. Trails wind through alpine meadows with wildflowers, past sparkling streams and cascades, and just when the kids are getting tired, there's a restaurant with cold drinks and snacks, even lunch. Look for mountain sheep on rocky cliffs, deer in the forests, marmots out and about.
On hikes, wear closed-toed shoes, bring water and jackets (weather can change), slather on the sunscreen.
Zermatt to Zmutt - A charming hike up the alpine valley to Zmutt, an old fashioned village with wooden chalets, and good views of the Matterhorn just past the village.
Marmots Trail -Take the Gornergrat train, get off at the Riffelberg stop, and walk down the well marked trail to Riffelalp (then ride back down). Along the way, you'll see those chubby, furry marmots (they look like walking slippers to us); just don't feed them.
Tip: With older kids, take the train all the way up Gornergrat and walk down to Riffelalp, or from Riffelalp walk back to Zermatt.
Glacier Express - For a long, scenic train trip, the Glacier Express goes from Zermatt to St. Moritz, crossing hundreds of bridges and passing through too many tunnels to count, with stellar views of the Alps from dome cars. The ride is approximately 7 hours, and your best bet to break up the trip (don't go straight through), stopping overnight along the way. Reservations required.

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