Best of Switzerland – Winter in Zermatt – Part 3 – Skiing and Fondue

December 10, 2017

So far, our winter stay in Zermatt, Switzerland had been filled with outdoor activities and amazing local food. On our third and final day we planned to go up to Sunnegga in the morning for a ski lesson and then to a famous restaurant in the evening for traditional Swiss dining.

Our Itinerary

Day 1 – Gornergrat Railway and Valais Black Nose Sheep

Day 2 – Winter Hiking and Around Town

Day 3 – Skiing and Fondue

Day 3 – Skiing and Fondue
Getting our Skiing Gear

I have spent a lot of time at ski resorts all over the world and in all of those visits I never learned how to ski. With this trip to Zermatt I decided it was time to take a lesson and try to learn. I was so nervous! There is a reason why I had not learned to ski up until this point – I was afraid of losing control and falling. Ignoring my fears, I signed us up for a skiing lesson with the Summit Ski School.

Our first stop was to go to one of the ski rental shops in town to get fitted for boots, skis, and poles. It turns out that the length of your skis is determined not just by your size but also by your experience. The less experience you have the shorter your skis. This means that a beginners skis will generally be the length of a person from floor to chin. A more advanced skier might have a pair of skis that go to the forehead. Someone at the shop adjusts your skis so that they fit perfectly with your boots.

Our next stop was to purchase a ski pass. We selected the beginner option which gives lift access up to Sunnegga and the other beginner ski areas. Ski passes are sold for a range of days and potential skiing destinations.

Skiing in Zermatt
Preparing to go Skiing
Learning to Ski at Wooli Ski Park

Our equipment and ski passes in hand, we headed up the funicular to Sunnegga to meet our instructor. She met us at the station exit and helped us get a locker to store our backpacks and normal boots. We put on our ski boots and then made our way to the lift that goes down to the Wooli Ski Park. Now, walking in ski boots is a very strange experience. They are very rigid and so walking takes on a kind of stomping rolling pattern. It definitely took some getting used to!

Once in the park we put on our skis for the first time. I was shocked at how slippery they were – the slightest incline and we would immediately start to slide! The very first thing we learned and practiced was how to go and how to stop. To move forward you make your skis parallel and to stop you make a wedge shape that is wider at the back.

Wooli Ski Park Sunnegga Zermatt
Wooli Ski Park at Sunnegga

We practiced this for a while and then started using a moving conveyor belt to go up a very slight hill which we would ski down and practice stopping. Of course the hill had hardly any incline but it was so thrilling to sail down a slope and bring myself to a stop. Turns out my fears were unwarranted. I never fell and I loved every minute of my time skiing! I definitely have to do it again.

Skiing Sunnegga Zermatt
Skiing at Sunnegga
Afternoon Snow Storm

Our ski lesson complete, we headed back down to Zermatt to return our rental gear. In the late afternoon the weather changed and a snow storm blew into the valley. For a short time we were in almost white-out conditions.

Snowy Zermatt
Heavy Snow Falling in Zermatt

The entire valley became even more beautiful as the snow continued to fall and laid a white blanket on the world.

Snowy Zermatt
Afternoon Snowstorm
Fondue at Historic Restaurant Whymper-Stube

That evening we headed to a restaurant famous for its fondue. Whymper-Stube has been in Zermatt for a very long time and is incredibly popular. We booked our table prior to our arrival in Zermatt as it is often fully booked days in advance. The inside of the restaurant is very cozy and rustic and provided the perfect atmosphere to counteract the still falling snow outside.

We ordered a traditional cheese fondue as our appetizer and an oil meat fondue (fondue bourguignonne) for our main course. Every bite was warm and amazingly delicious. There is something very enjoyable about coating bread and other vegetables with hot melted cheese and listening to your meat sizzle in the hot oil pot. I loved every bite of this meal!

Fondue Bourguignonne Zermatt
Fondue Bourguignonne
Fondue at Whymper-Stube
Fondue at Whymper-Stube

Our meal finished, we headed back to our chalet for the night. We had an early train to Zurich and a flight to Italy to catch in the morning.

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19 Comments
    1. Hubby had an accident skiing years ago and he has a bad knee now so skiing trips aren’t our thing anymore, unfortunately. Yet the area looks absolutely beautiful and if the food is as good as you say, it’s definitely a place we should consider adding to our bucket list!

    1. I really love skiing but I have never been to Switzerland before – the pics are looking really nice šŸ™‚ Thanks for the tip with the cheese fondue – I have to try it when I go there one day.
      Have a lovely day! Martina

    1. I had only been skiing in the Midwest before visiting Vail, Colorado and I made the mistake of NOT getting lessons. I’m so happy you went ahead with it as it probably made you feel way more comfortable than just hitting the slopes!

    1. Good on you for facing your fear! I have only seen snow once and at that time there was not an opportunity to ski but I feel the way you did, that I would fall, or worse break something. Perhaps I should give it a try at least for one lesson.

      1. I spent time researching the various schools and instructors. I specifically looked for an instructor that had reviews from people with similar concerns and then requested that instructor when I booked. It made a big difference.

    1. I’ve given up skiing…too hard on the knees, but I do love a good ski town all the same and I think Zermatt fits the bill. I also love some cheese fondue and since it’s cold and snowy outside, I wish I could order some right now!

    1. Beautiful snowy landscape. Iā€™d love to give skiing a try, though i doubt iā€™d be any good. Now the fondue… i know iā€™d do well eating that šŸ™‚

    1. What a gorgeous place to have your first ski! I remember thinking how strange the boots were my first time as well. Especially after the skiing was done because my muscles were tired, lol. What a perfect day!

    1. You had a better experience learning to ski than my brother did – he got a bloody nose! The fondue looks delicious, but I never would have thought about tropical fruit with fondue in a winter ski setting… šŸ˜‰

    1. Looks beautiful! The fondue looks delicious as well. My boyfriend’s housemate is Swiss and he has a family fondue kit that we have cracked out a couple of times with different cheeses and delicious things to dip in it! I wish it was more of a thing in Australia

    1. Well I do not ski buuut I would love to eat this fondue šŸ™‚ The place really looks amazing! I don’t know do you know, but in Bosnia and Herzegovina there is a mountain called Jahorina where in 1984 Winter Olimpic games were held! So I recommend this place for your next ski destination!

    1. The food looks delicious and the pictures beautifully shot from a great angle.
      I’m sure you had time there.
      Happy holidays!

    1. Zermatt is so beautiful with all the snow. I have not been to a winter destination like this one in years, and I would love to experience these kind of landscapes soon. Maybe I will also try my hand at skiing.

    1. Wow! I like how you explained the itinerary and all the pictures were beautiful – there are still so many places in the world I want to visit!

    1. You seemed to have a swell time the entire day (save for the snowstorm). But capping the day off with fantastic food more than made up for that blizzard.

    1. I love Zermatt Switzerland it is such a beautiful place and definitely looks like a winter wonderland. Glad to hear that you took your first lesson and it was in Zermatt. I completely understand about being nervous. I am a skier and this season I decided to take a boarding lesson and I was nervous too. The fondue restaurant Whymper-Stube sounds so yummy I would be there in a heartbeat.

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