With all the large and small events that take place in the gorgeous resort of Zermatt, there is something for everyone. The events celebrate both the arts and sports, with a good sprinkling of cuisine appreciation, offering a good time no matter what you’re into.
Most of these events indeed take place during the summer months – otherwise, the temperature would be far too cold! You will also find several ideal events taking place in Zermatt in the spring and autumn, which can be found below.
Situated in the backdrop of the mountains and the Valais canton, you can’t afford to pass on these wide-reaching, famous festivals and events when you’re on your ski trip. Understandably, skiing is your top priority when you’re at this resort, but Zermatt has so much more to offer when it comes to enjoying a full Swiss holiday.
To make the most out of your trip to Zermatt, we’ve compiled a list of the top 13 events you can take part in, so you don’t miss out on the best culture and celebrations that this stunning Switzerland municipality has to offer!
If you’re interested in attending one of the events, contact The Luxury Chalet Company team for all of your luxury holiday needs. We have an excellent selection of winter & summer chalets in Zermatt for any occasion. The team will have your tickets ready on arrival and we can put together a great itinerary for you and your group to make the event and see as much of the resort as possible.
The list is in terms of what we think is most popular (and not ordered by date). It’s also worth noting that these are the major events usually hosted in Zermatt every year. There are also loads of smaller local events.
Zermatt Unplugged (Large Music Festival)
This top-tier music festival takes place in April, over 5 days. Having been going on for more than ten years now, Zermatt Unplugged is the resort’s winter music festival that features music acts from all over the world, featuring some of the top names in the music industry!
Exceptional acoustic music, beautiful mountain scenery, snow in spring, gracious hospitality in Zermatt, and an unmatched atmosphere in the Matterhorn make the festival a European must-do when you’re on your ski trip.
Zermatt Marathon (Race)
It is the highest-altitude finish line in Europe at 2,585 m above sea level, which marks the highest point of the Zermatt Marathon, which starts in St. Niklaus, situated in the lowest-lying mountain valley in Switzerland. This is the ultimate alpine challenge.
There are no words to describe how awesome, beautiful, and brutal this race is! The scenery is absolutely amazing – you race through small Swiss villages and then climb up to Riffelberg, surrounded by 44,000m+ mountain peaks including the Matterhorn, one of the world’s highest mountain peaks. If you’re a sporty person that’s into running – or even long-distance walks – you can’t miss out on this stunning opportunity.
Horu Trophy (Curling Tournament)
This open-air curling tournament is not one to miss. The third weekend in January always sees more than three hundred curlers gather together in Zermatt for this annual curling event. During one of the largest competitions in Europe, which takes place outdoors, these tournaments will be held for the Horu Trophy, which is one of the biggest awards for this sport in the world.
During the barbeque on Saturday, a Zermatt Ländler group (Swiss accordion music) plays. One of the highlights for many of the participants is the peaceful gathering at the end of the day, no matter how fierce the competition was!
Additionally, the Horu Trophy attracts spectators, as many of them enjoy watching the tactics of the star players during the tournament. From a tribune, the spectators can watch the action from a higher position, which gives them a better overall view of the event.
Additionally, spectators are not charged a fee for admission to the event.
The Matterhorn Eagle Cup (Golf)
It is a competition between Adventure Golf teams in a breathtaking setting at the foot of the Matterhorn, one of the most famous mountains in the world, which makes the Matterhorn Eagle Cup a very special event. A total of four flights are conducted over two days from 2800 to 1400 meters above sea level, with a mountain backdrop offering a spectacular backdrop to the game. The Adventure Golf challenge takes place on the first Saturday of September, with teams hiking along the Gornergrat to find the easiest route through the stunning, world-renowned Alpine landscape on the first Saturday of September. Taking precise shots is the key to success! At the Golf Club Matterhorn in the Randa valley, the fierce competition continues on Sunday with 18 holes at the Holiday Golf Course and a four-ball tournament. If you’re into golf, you will simply adore this event.
Patrouille des Glaciers (Race)
April (every other year)
Among the cult events in the ski mountaineering calendar, the Patrouille des Glaciers (PDG) is one of the most anticipated. The course begins in Zermatt and travels via Arolla to Verbier. It is considered by many to be the biggest sporting event in the world for the teams participating. As part of this race, which takes place every other year, teams of three participants compete against each other.
A contest of its kind held every other year by the Swiss army is widely regarded as one of the toughest competitions of its kind in the world. It is one of the toughest events of its kind in the world and takes place every other year. As the number of places is limited, only a select number of teams can participate. Its popularity led to an increase from 400 to 1800 three-person teams in 2014. This is a wonderful springtime event, taking place at the end of April or at the beginning of May, depending on the year.
Festival at Täschalp (Race)
Täsch is known for its open running race, which has been around for a long time. The race is a run from Täsch up to Täschalp. There is no better way to combine sport and pleasure than with the Täschalp Alpenfest, a traditional “alpine celebration” which takes place on the high pastures of the valley.
There are marmots in the valley, and if you have a little time you may be able to see them as well as chamois (mountain goats) near the end of the valley. The golden eagle and the bearded vulture are also known to fly circles in the air during the day, so remember to look up! This scenic run is an impressive combination of mountain sports, the experience of nature and local culture that is presented impressively through the course of the run.
Swiss National Holiday (Holiday Period)
It is a very special occasion to celebrate the Swiss National Holiday in Zermatt. It is during the street party on 31st July that the centre of the Matterhorn village is transformed into a melting pot of nationalities from around the world. In the long benches and tables, where guests and locals mix in a colourful combination, many food stands lure everyone to try Swiss cuisine. It is the official celebration of the National Holiday that takes place at the lake of Leisee (2,232m) on the 1st of August every year.
You can enjoy a devotional service, an official address, musical entertainment, and a free picnic as part of the event. There are special menus offered in the famous restaurants of Zermatt in the evening, and fireworks are thrown into the heavens at 10 pm.
Taste of Zermatt (Food Festival)
The concentration of top chefs in Switzerland is unrivalled anywhere else in the world. They showcase their skills at a wide range of culinary events at this famous culinary event, and they delight their guests with a vast array of culinary delights – this is truly a feast for the senses.
These events include the popular Kitchen Party, the Gondola Fondue, as well as the Zermatt Taste Experience. There is even a food-related bike tour, in which guests and locals alike can experience a four-course menu alongside a mountain bike trail. What could be better than that?
Folklore Festival (Folk Festival)
The second weekend in August will once again be a time when tradition and folklore take centre stage. In addition to the usual weekend festivities, there will be a smaller-scale event planned this year, which will reflect the format that was used more than 50 years ago. A total of around 30 groups will demonstrate their abilities and transform the village into a colourful backdrop of costumes, dances, and music that will bring a sense of tradition to everyone. How about the highlight of it all? Throughout Saturday afternoon, there will be a big parade through Zermatt.
After the parade, there is a folklore show at the fairgrounds and on the church square where various folklore groups from dozens of clubs and associations perform. In addition to food and drinks, children will be entertained by a variety of games and activities. With music, dance and lots of good fun, you’re going to have the time of your life at the foot of the Matterhorn mountain!
Matterhorn Ultraks (Race)
A Matterhorn Ultraks is a competition that combines the skill of ski touring with the skill of trail running. Both events take place on the stunning backdrop of the Matterhorn in Zermatt and have been held annually since 2013. Depending on your interest, you can choose to participate in one or two of the races.
It is the mission of Matterhorn Ultraks to create a race that will become one of the most important sporting events on the Zermatt calendar, responding to the increasing popularity of both disciplines, providing newcomers with the chance to try their hand at both disciplines, and providing spectators with the ability to follow easily.
During this winter time SkiTour, which is taking place in the magic of Alpine landscapes, the most talented competitors will be tested. On courses that are marked out and made safe to keep the less experienced participants safe, they can perform at a level that is comfortable for them.
Trail Runs in the summer are designed to resemble those in the winter as closely as possible, providing equal challenges and opportunities for both more seasoned trail runners and those who have never run a trail run before. No matter your level, you can find the perfect trail for you at Ultraks.
Shepherd’s Festival and Wolli’s birthday (Small Festival)
There is a widely popular festival called Shepherd’s Festival that takes place in September every year. There are a variety of aspects to be enjoyed during the festival, including catering, an open-air church service, children’s games, as well as a birthday party for Zermatt’s mascot, Wolli. Guests can also join in, by voting for the most beautiful black-nosed sheep at the event!
This is a traditional event, but with the adorable sheep and all of the entertainment on offer, every member of your holiday party is sure to enjoy it.
Chasing Cancellara (Cycle Race)
‘Chasing Cancellara’ is a platform for cycling enthusiasts of all skill levels, from beginners to semi-professionals. There is no doubt that it will offer fans and friends a unique opportunity to participate in different race formats around the world alongside double Olympic gold medalist Fabian Cancellara – a rare opportunity to cycle alongside the best in the business.
As the riders begin the race in Zurich, they are moving towards hillier regions via the Freiamt and the Sursee region. After that, the participants will have to tackle the climbs of Glaubenberg and Brünig before they must tackle the Grimselpass, which will be the biggest obstacle of the race. This race is a unique chance to prove your cycling skills and test your bravery.
Take on the challenge and learn everything you can from the legendary Chancellara!
Zermatt Music Festival & Academy (Small Classic Music Festival)
The Zermatt Music Festival & Academy (ZMF&A) is an annual festival and academy dedicated to young Swiss and international musicians as well as an orchestra and chamber music academy which is led by the Scharoun Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic. To bring together the academy, the Scharoun Ensemble, Valais ensembles, and renowned soloists, the academy offers a series of concerts.
Several events are held at the end of the summer during the Zermatt Festival and are held throughout the village of Zermatt. Among the locations where the festival takes place are St. Mauritius Pfarrkirche, Kapelle Riffelalp, English Church, Backstage Hotel Vernissage, Matterhorn Museum, as well as hotels, schools and retirement homes in the area.
With music from a range of genres, including cinema, folk, classical, and jazz, there is something for everyone at this famous musical showcase.
These festivals are waiting for you!
No matter where your interests lie, there is an event or festival in Zermatt that is perfect for you.
The culture, talent, and entertainment on offer in this beautiful area are too good to miss, especially in the stunning backdrop of the white snow, green forests, and the towering Matterhorn.
Prove yourself by taking part in accessible sporting festivals, or just take advantage of the local entertainment and cuisine with the more laidback events. Both kids and adults will love what these events in Zermatt have to offer, as there is fun, challenge, and food for all the family.
Explore the exciting Swiss culture during your trip to Zermatt – you won’t be disappointed.