Breathtaking 360° Views of the Alps at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

25 June, 2020 | Reccy Guide

The Alps stretch throughout Europe, arching from France, through Switzerland and Italy, and then heading east toward Germany and Slovenia. Travelers who wish to explore these world-renowned peaks often have to narrow down which country and town they’ll stay in. There are 1,200 kilometers of length to peruse, and over 120 summits that rise above 4,000 meters in altitude.

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There is one trip that can easily fit into any pocket of free time and allows visitors the best chance to take in a multitude of mountains at once. The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise rests atop Klein Matterhorn. This peak lies at 3,883 meters above sea level, with its greater namesake soaring an additional 600 meters in the air. The Glacier Paradise can be reached by booking a ticket for the highest cable car trip in Switzerland.

Klein Matterhorn Cable Car

This journey begins in Zermatt, located in the footsteps of the Pennine Alps in Switzerland. Zermatt is a haven and thoroughfare for international travelers. It acts as a gateway to countless hikes, climbing excursions, mountain treks, and skiing opportunities. 

Zermatt is also known for its unique transportation environment. The bustling town is essentially carless. While there are a handful of emergency and community vehicles in use, the residents walk or take electric trains to travel. One of these is the Gornergrat railway, a 120-year-old, electric cog train. 

Klein Matterhorn cable car to the highest cable car station in Europe

It’s this train that you’ll need to board to begin the excursion to Klein Matterhorn. You can catch a ride on the train in the central station of Zermatt. Enjoy a thirty-minute ride through the Swiss countryside, slowly climbing through the Alps until you reach Gornergrat station. 

At 3,100 meters in altitude, Gornergrat is the highest train station in Europe. Here you can hitch a ride on the Klein Matterhorn cable car to reach even greater heights. This cableway was first opened in December of 1979. Thousands upon thousands of visitors have traveled by cable car since that time. 

In 2018, the transport route underwent impressive renovation. There are now several cars that make the rounds between the Glacier Platform and lower station, each equipped with the latest, most sustainable technology available. For a truly magical experience, you can enjoy a Crystal Ride. These beautiful cars are encrusted, inside and out, with thousands of Swarovski crystals. 

As your car moves gently upward on the 9-minute ride, the foggy glass bottom clears. You can peer down at the bright, snowy landscape that stretches on endlessly below. An audio tour guide informs passengers about nearby geographical and man-made features. You can learn more about the Gornergrat train and the nearby summits, for a start.

Klein Matterhorn cable car with the Matterhorn in the backdrop

The ride ends on the top of Klein Matterhorn at a height of 3,883 meters. A short walk and a few steps will lead you to the Glacier Paradise platform itself. Up here, there are boundless views of the Alps. International borders fade away as summits from Switzerland, France, and Italy greet the sky together. 

There are 38 different 4,000-meter tall peaks viewable from this platform, along with 14 massive glaciers. You can enjoy views of the nearby Pennine Alps, including Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc, the highest summit in Western Europe. To the north, three giants are visible: Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. The Breithorn is within your sights, and nearby Matterhorn proper shows off its south face to the platform’s visitors. 

Breathtaking Alpine view from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

While you’re standing on the platform, you’ll likely notice hundreds of locks on a section of fence. Similar to the London Bridge love locks, couples attach padlocks to this reinforced fence as a symbol of their commitment. After attaching your lock, you can drop your key in a visitor box. Staff later takes the keys and scatters them in the nearby ice, preserving the couple’s commitment in the landscape.

There are plenty of other activities to enjoy atop the mountain. You can visit the local cinema and catch a film or grab a bite to eat at the restaurant. Restaurant Matterhorn is true to the region and retains its title as the highest restaurant in the world. Afterward, you can walk through ice sculptures, visit the gift shop, and explore the local lodge.

When you travel in the Pennine Alps, there’s no shortage of world-class features to explore. Zermatt is the perfect place to experience incredible transportation and to practically touch the sky in luxury and comfort.

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