During the chilly winter months, there those who head south, seeking solace in sun, sand and surf and there are those who love nothing more than the thrill of racing down a powdery slope, the sun beaming down, the air crisp, and some good après ski fun waiting for them at the bottom. Nestled at the foot of the spectacular Swiss Alps lies the quaint town of Zermatt, a premier winter resort destination.

A truly European ski experience, Zermatt offers up a buffet of activities that will appease everyone from the adventurous solo winterer to the whole family. So what makes Zermatt so special and why choose Zermatt over North American resorts? We’ve got a handful of reasons for you that will having you booking your flights, and dusting off the ‘ol ski equipment.

One of the Cleanest Winter Resorts in the World

Trade in your car keys for a walking stick because Zermatt is a car-free resort area. The exhilarating mountain air is practically devoid of pollution because just about every vehicle around Zermatt Village is battery run. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of ways to get into Zermatt including the Gornergrat Railway, and a healthy contingent of battery run taxis to shuttle you around the village.

Fabulous Selection of Accommodation

It’s hard to believe that this seemingly sleepy village of a few thousand swells to a whopping 20,000 or more during the winter season. That may sound a bit on the crowded side, but with 126 Zermatt Hotels and well over 2700 apartments and condos available, there is no shortage of Zermatt accommodation options, no matter how small or large your traveling party. As with any premier resort during the peak season, you’ll want to book as far ahead as possible.

Internationally Renown Around the Clock Dining

Nothing rounds off a perfect day on the slopes like a sumptuous meal in a great restaurant, and Zermatt has over a hundred of them. You’ll never have trouble finding a great place to eat, but you may have difficulties deciding where to eat, the options are endless. With everything from single starred Michelin Star restaurants to quaint eateries experimenting with fusion cuisine from around the world, you’ll be well fed here in Zermatt.

Take a Ski Safari                   

Who says you can’t go on safari in the snow? Zermatt is Matterhorn country, a virtual snowy paradise for thrill seekers. With upwards of 12,500 meters of altitude to race down and around, Zermatt’s ideal conditions here bring everything from the nervous novice to the world’s most accomplished.

The Perfect Family Getaway

If you’ve got the family in tow this season, book your holiday with confidence because this fairytale resort town was awarded the “Families Welcome” seal of approval in 2013, an award that was only given after the resort met strict criteria set out by the Swiss Tourism Federation. With everything from family friendly accommodations, to child specific activities and child-minding services, Zermatt has your family in mind.