Matterhorn / Cervin

Matterhorn... or, in French, Cervin... The most mythical summit of Switzerland, or even Europe! South of Zermatt, on the border between Switzerland and Italy, peaking at 4,478 m (14,691 ft) above the sea.

Matterhorn / Cervin

If there is an icon of Switzerland, it is certainly not William Tell's crossbow but the characteristic triangular silhouette of the Matterhorn... But the Matterhorn is just one of the jewels of this region of the Alps, which includes almost a third of Europe's peaks over 4,000 m in altitude!

At 4478 m, it is not even the highest point in Switzerland: the Pointe Dufour, in the Mont Rose massif, exceeds it by 156 m at 4634 m! But it is certainly the most spectacular summit and the one most deeply rooted in Switzerland's identity...

In German, it is the Matterhorn, the Peak of the Meadow. In Italian and French, it's Cervino and Cervin, said to come from the Latin Silvius, derived from the word meaning forest. But it is a solitary pyramid that stands in the middle of one of the most spectacular landscapes in the Alps, a chaos of rock, ice and snow at the meeting point of several dozen mountains over 4000m: Breithorn, Dent Blanche, Dent d'Hérens, Dom, Pointe Dufour, Schwarzhorn, Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn... and many more!

A solitary sentinel at the edge of this forest of 4000s, the Matterhorn is not quite Swiss: the Italian border passes through its summit. To the south, Cervinia/Breuil and the Valtournenche, a long side valley of the Val d'Aosta.

The photo gallery and slideshow on this page are composed of shots taken on the Zermatt-Little Matterhorn route, one of the many possible excursions from Zermatt: Europe's highest cable car with its terminal station at 3883m above sea level, atop the tooth of the Little Matterhorn.

Gornergrat, Rothorn, Schwarzsee, many other excursions are possible, by train and by cable car. In addition, it is possible to ski on the Rosa Plateau from the Klein Matterhorn in summer.

This guide features more places in the same region, check them out!
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