Zermatt is famed as a mountaineering and ski resort in the Swiss Alps, surrounded by the high mountains of the Pennine Alps and traversed by the “Matter Vispa” river of the valley. The tallest peak at 4,634 meters above sea level, is “Dufourspitze” (Monte Rosa), followed by “the Dom” ay 4,545 meters, “Lyskamm” at 4,527 meters, “Weisshorn” at 4,505 meters and “the Matterhorn” at 4,478 meters. The name of Zermatt, as well as that of the Matterhorn is derived from the alpine meadows, or “matten” (in German).
Zermatt is a starting point for hikes into the mountains from where the cable cars and chair lifts carry tourists; the highest being “the Klein Matterhorn” at 3,883 meters – a peak on the ridge between Breithorn and Matterhorn that offers spectacular views in all directions. The Cervinia cable car station can be used to cross into Italy. The highest open-air railway in Europe – the Gornergratbahn, runs up to the summit of the “Gornergrat” at 3,089 meters.
To prevent air pollution, the entire town is a combustion-engine car-free zone and almost all vehicles are silent and battery / electricity driven. Horse-drawn carriages can also be found operated by hotels and others. Most visitors reach Zermatt by cog railway train from the nearby town of Täsch (Zermatt shuttle). The town also has a heliport and a local helicopter operator.