What is Klein Matterhorn/Matterhorn Glacier Paradise?
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is a viewpoint near Zermatt, to be reached by cable car. The top station is officially called "Klein Matterhorn", which means "Little Matterhorn". It's located at a ridge at an altitude of 3883 m, in between the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa massif and at the Swiss-Italian border.
The view of the high peaks surrounding Zermatt is impressive. You'll see the Matterhorn from the south-east. This is a different perspective from what you see in most Matterhorn pictures.
A restaurant, a Glacier Palace, the Cinema Lounge, and year-round snow-fun options complete your visit. You can even travel on to the Testa Grigia mountain station in Italy: this gondola ride takes just minutes.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise prices and tickets
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise - 2024 price overview for return tickets
|CHF 60*||more info and prices||ticket with Swiss Travel Pass (Flex), Swiss Half Fare Card or Adventure Card (summer high season: July, August) - *) prices for 2024 not confirmed yet|
|CHF 54.50*||more info and prices||ticket with Swiss Travel Pass (Flex), Swiss Half Fare Card or Adventure Card (spring and fall shoulder season: May-June, September-October) - *) prices for 2024 not confirmed yet|
|CHF 47.50||more info and prices||ticket with Swiss Travel Pass (Flex), Swiss Half Fare Card or Adventure Card (winter low season: November-April)|
|CHF 120*||more info and prices||normal ticket without rail pass discounts (summer high season: July-August) - *) prices for 2024 not confirmed yet|
|CHF 109*||more info and prices||normal ticket without rail pass discounts (spring and fall shoulder season: May-June, September-October) - *) prices for 2024 not confirmed yet|
|CHF 95||more info and prices||normal ticket without rail pass discounts (winter low season: November-April)|
Additional costs for the Crystal Ride gondolas
If you want to ride one of the Crystal Ride gondolas, you need an additional ticket. Prices vary and start from CHF 10.
Additional costs for the cable car Klein Matterhorn - Testa Grigia (Italy)
From Klein Matterhorn, you can make an additional gondola ride to Testa Grigia in Italy. A return ticket Zermatt-Klein Matterhorn-Testa Grigia costs:
- CHF 185 in high season: July-August
- CHF 163 in shoulder season: May-June, September-October
- CHF 135 in low season: November-April
Where to buy Matterhorn Glacier Paradise tickets
Tickets are available online and at the gondola valley station in Zermatt.
The Peak2Peak ticket and the Peak Pass
The Peak2Peak ticket and the Peak Pass can be used for Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and for other mountain excursions from Zermatt. We've explained all you need to know in our Zermatt guide.
Get your Matterhorn Glacier Paradise tickets
Offered by GetYourGuide: www.getyourguide.com
- Easy, online, free cancellation in most cases
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- Extra Support: if you buy here, MySwissAlps can also assist if you have questions about your order.
Offered by Klook: www.klook.com
- Best price guarantee: Klook will refund double the difference if you find a lower price.
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Offered by Viator: www.viator.com
- Easy, online, free cancellation in most cases
- Lowest Price Guarantee: Viator will refund the difference if you find a better price.
- Extra Support: if you buy here, MySwissAlps can also assist if you have questions about your order.
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Cheaper cable car tickets with your rail pass
|Swiss Half Fare Card||
|Swiss Travel Pass||
|Swiss Travel Pass Flex||
How to reach Matterhorn Glacier Paradise: directions and map
A journey of just under 1 hour on foot, by gondola and by cable car brings you from the rail station of Zermatt to the top station 'Klein Matterhorn'.
How to reach Zermatt
Zermatt is car-free. You can reach it by train as explained here.
Hiking to the gondola valley station
From the rail station, follow the signs to the gondola station. This takes 20 minutes on foot. Alternatively, there are electric buses to get there. From the valley station, the ride up to Klein Matterhorn takes about 35 minutes.
From Zermatt to Furi by gondola
Zermatt-Furi: the direct route
The actual trip starts from the valley station at an altitude of 1640 m. You will board the gondola to mid-station Furi at 1867 m. The route crosses the forests and meadows just outside Zermatt.
Zermatt-Furi: alternative route via Riffelberg and the Riffelberg Express
From Furi to Trockener Steg by cable car
Furi-Trockener Steg: the direct route
In Furi, you need to change to a cable car. After bits of forests, the cable car will fly over a rough, rocky, high-alpine landscape. Then you will reach mid-station Trockener Steg at 2939 m.
Furi-Trockener Steg: alternative route via Schwarzsee
Instead of the direct cable car from Furi to Trockener Steg, you can also take the gondola from Furi to Schwarzsee, the little lake at the base of the Matterhorn. From there, another gondola takes you up to Trockener Steg.
From Trockener Steg to 'Klein Matterhorn' by cable car
You need to change again to cover the final section: the cable car to the top station "Klein Matterhorn" at 3883 m.
This section features a few extra luxurious cabins, named the "Crystal Ride". These cabins have a glass floor that turns transparent during the ride.
From Klein Matterhorn to Testa Grigia in Italy
If you want, you can board yet another gondola route (on which Crystal Ride cabins are available too) that crosses over to the ski area of Testa Grigia in Italy. This takes just 4 additional minutes.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise map - routes to Furi, Schwarzsee, Trockener Steg and Klein Matterhorn
Operation dates, schedules and timetable
When is Matterhorn Glacier Paradise open?
The route via Furi and Trockener Steg to Klein Matterhorn is available all year round. Other options:
- The alternative route via Schwarzsee is available from 11 November 2023 until 1 May 2024. For the summer season of 2024, we expect dates to be similar to the 2023 ones: from late May to mid-August.
- The Riffelberg Express between Furi and Riffelberg (en route to Gornergrat) operates from 2 December 2023 to 21 April 2024. For the 2024 summer season, operation is expected from July to August.
Planning your trip in the Swiss timetable
- "Klein Matterhorn" is the name of the top station.
- "Zermatt" is the rail station of Zermatt.
- "Zermatt (Matterhorn Talstat.)" is the valley station in the village where the actual journey starts.
- "Furi", "Trockener Steg" and "Zermatt Schwarzsee" are the names of the mid-stations.
- "Testa Grigia" is the name of the gondola station on the Italian side of the border.
Best months for Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
The best seasons to travel to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise are December to February, and April to October:
- December to February is the winter season. You can expect snow on the mighty peaks surrounding Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and in clear weather the views are mesmerizing.
- April-June is spring, and the snowy peaks create beautiful contrasts with the green vegetation in the Matter Valley.
- July-September is the summer season. From early July to mid- or late August, the alternative route via Schwarzsee is open as well. This means you can make a varied round trip.
- October is early Fall. Chances of fresh snow increase and the conifers surrounding Zermatt start showing their autumn colors.
If you visit Zermatt in November and March, don't hesitate to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise! The views are very rewarding, even though the vegetation in the valley isn't at its best.
Weather tips and forecasts Klein Matterhorn
Which temperatures to expect at Klein Matterhorn
The top station 'Klein Matterhorn' is at very high altitude, so temperatures are much lower than in Zermatt. Even in summer it can be around freezing point. In winter temperatures are mostly far below that: about -10°C to -20°C.
The type of weather you need
A visit to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is best in clear and sunny skies. You can still enjoy indoor activities such as the restaurant and the Glacier Palace. But if clouds block the views you'll miss out on the amazing views that make this trip so special.
Low clouds and fog in the Matter Valley don't mean it's not worth going up. Especially in autumn, the sky can be completely clear higher up in the mountains. So always check both weather forecasts and webcams that show the views at the top shortly before you leave.
Current forecasts and temperatures for Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
What to see and do at the top station “Klein Matterhorn”
- There is an outdoor viewing platform. You can see the many peaks of the Swiss and Italian Alps there.
- You can also enjoy the views from the modern restaurant with panoramic windows.
- The Glacier Palace is an ice grotto inside the glacier with ice sculptures.
- The Cinema Lounge shows movies about the Alps, mountaineering and more.
- Under favorable weather conditions, you can ski year-round: even in summer!
- It’s possible to extend your journey by a 4-minute gondola ride down to Testa Grigia in Italy.
What to see and do at mid-station “Trockener Steg”
The last cable car station before Klein Matterhorn is Trockener Steg, which is worth a stop. This is what you can do there:
- In winter there are lots of ski slopes to enjoy.
- In summer several hikes start here. A famous trail is the one to the Gandegg hut, which has a small restaurant and offers basic lodging.
- You can have lunch in the restaurant.
- There’s an interactive exhibition (the “InfoCube”) to learn about the cableway to Klein Matterhorn.
- Of course, the views here are beautiful as well, and you’re actually slightly closer to the Matterhorn here than at Klein Matterhorn.
How to cross over to Italy: “Matterhorn Glacier Ride 2” to Testa Grigia
A new cableway between Testa Grigia in Italy (at 3458 m) and Klein Matterhorn is available since July 2023. Along with the existing route from and to Zermatt, this “Matterhorn Glacier Ride II” provides a unique cross-border journey by cable car. The new gondola route connects the skiing areas of Zermatt with those of Breuil-Cervinia in Italy. But non-skiers too can enjoy this fantastic route.
The 4-minute gondola ride between Klein Matterhorn and Testa Grigia features the same gondolas as those between Trockener Steg and Klein Matterhorn. Every 2 out of 10 cabins is a “Crystal Ride” one.
If you want, you can even descend by cableway to the Breuil-Cervinia: a tourist resort in the Italian Alps.
What to expect at Testa Grigia
The Testa Grigia gondola station in Italy is located amidst a snow sports area. The “SnowXperience Plateau Rosa” park is great for both beginners and experienced skiers. Snowtubing will also be available in 2024. Or just sit back and enjoy the views from the Italian restaurant.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise FAQ
Is Matterhorn Glacier Paradise worth it?
Yes: at nearly 4000 m it’s one of the highest spots in the Alps you can reach as a tourist. Being surrounded by the snowfields, glaciers, rocks and peaks surrounding Zermatt is a special experience. And the gondola journey is very scenic. You’ll see the scenery and vegetation change as you get higher and higher.
Are Matterhorn, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and Klein Matterhorn the same?
No. The Matterhorn is the famous Swiss mountain you’ll see depicted on many photos and logos. Only mountaineers climb it. Tourists can’t walk or travel up to the Matterhorn. But you can get great views of the Matterhorn from various viewpoints near Zermatt.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is one of those viewpoints. Its top station is officially called “Klein Matterhorn”. Both names are used for one and the same excursion.
How long does an excursion to Klein Matterhorn take?
If you spend about an hour at the top, you need about 2,5 hours for a round trip from Zermatt. There’s a lot to see and do though, so we recommend counting on at least half a day.
What is the “Crystal Ride”?
Crystal Ride cabins are gondolas with special glass floors, decorated by thousands of crystals. They operate in addition to the normal cable cars on the legs Trockener Steg-Klein Matterhorn, and Klein Matterhorn-Test Grigia (in Italy). The glass floors turn transparent during the ride, which results in a thrilling view of the rocks and snow fields far below.
You need an additional ticket for a ride in Crystal Ride cabins. Availability is limited.
Which clothes should I wear to Klein Matterhorn?
Dress in multiple thinner layers so that you can adapt to varying temperatures. Make sure you’re well protected against the cold at the top. Bring along gloves, sunglasses, a scarf, and a warm waterproof coat. Solid shoes are important if you plan to visit the ice grotto ‘Glacier Palace’.
Where and when can I ski at Klein Matterhorn?
Under favorable weather circumstances, skiing near Klein Matterhorn is possible all year long. The hard summer snow is not suitable for beginner skiers though. If you want to book a beginner’s class, you can best do so in winter.
There’s a snowpark at two different locations. In winter it’s located near the top station of the Furggsattel chairlift, which can be accessed from mid-station Trockener Steg. In summer, the park can be found on the Plateau Rosa. You can reach it via the top station Klein Matterhorn.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Gornergrat or Sunnegga: how to choose?
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is the longest and most thrilling excursion. It offers a true high-alpine experience and the best chances to see snow year-round.
The Gornergrat excursion is a short yet incredibly scenic train ride to one of Switzerland’s most famous viewpoints. The angle from which you see the Matterhorn is perfect for taking pictures.
Sunnegga-Rothorn is ideal for families and hikers and it’s relatively cheap.
Find our in-depth comparison here.
Is altitude sickness a problem?
Klein Matterhorn is located at an altitude of 3090 m. Anyone can suffer from (light) altitude sickness from about 2000 m. Usually, it helps to take things slow and sit down for a while.
Special precautions apply to children under 2 years old, as well as people who are pregnant or in poor health: before visiting areas over 2500 m, you’d better consult your doctor. In most cases staying at such altitudes for just a few hours is no problem.
Other websites of interest
- www.matterhornparadise.ch: Zermatt summer skiing
- www.matterhornparadise.ch: Crystal Ride
- www.zermatt.ch: Snowpark Zermatt
- www.sac-cas.ch: Gandegg hut
- www.cervinia.it: the Cervinia ski area in Italy
- www.matterhornparadise.ch: timetables of Klein Matterhorn, Sunnegga, Blauherd and Rothorn
- www.switzerlandtravelcentre.com: ticket prices for Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
- www.matterhornparadise.ch: ticket prices for Klein Matterhorn, Sunnegga, Blauherd and Rothorn
- www.matterhornparadise.ch: Peak2Peak ticket
- www.matterhornparadise.ch: Peak Pass