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Ultimate Guide to Andermatt- Perfect for the long weekend, Summer and Wintertime. My tips for the best stay.
Is Andermatt worth visiting?
Andermatt is definitely a hidden gem in the Swiss Alps. I visited it for the first time in winter 2022 while on a press trip to Chedi Andermatt. I immediately fell in love with this charming little town, which is also a fantastic ski resort. In winter the whole village is covered in white powder and it has the largest amount of snow in Switzerland. So the truth is that Andermatt is a little Winter Paradise. Therefore children and adults who love all winter activities will enjoy this place. The ski resort is amazing for all ski levels and different winter sports, including many off-piste trails. The historical village is small yet charming and tranquil with many little boutiques, a bakery and a supermarket. The village has wonderful views of the mountains and from the peaks, you can see the village with dominating Chedi hotel and residences. Last but not least it’s a James Bond town, known from the “Goldfinger” movie from 1964 with iconic Sean Connery. They were filming some scenes in the town and its gas station and the famous chase on the Furka Pass. To summarize it. Yes, it’s definitely a place worth visiting. It offers Alpine activities and tranquillity, all for an enjoyable stay.
How long you should stay in Andermatt?
It’s a small town with a large ski resort, but a weekend-long stay is enough to fully enjoy it. 3 days would be even better if you would like to squeeze in some more leisure time at the hotel’s spa. For a week-long stay, I would recommend it to people who want to stay on a quiet and tranquil mountain surrounding the winter and summer sports enthusiasts. In general, Andermatt is the ideal and popular location for weekend breaks.
Andermatt resort and some history
Andermatt is recently rewriting its reputation from a strictly military town to a chic ski resort. An upscale resort that is hosting sophisticated travellers from all over the world. This transition is mostly made thanks to the Egyptian developer Sawiris. He founded Andermatt’s most luxury hotel the Chedi and luxury residences. However, he didn’t finish his investment there. He also rebuild and connected the ski areas creating the largest and most modern ski resort in central Switzerland. He also has more investments planned for the next few years. They will be leisure centres for the local residents and tourists.
Location of Andermatt
This charming ski resort is located in the Ursen Valley in the Swiss Alps. The elevation of Andermatt is 1437m and is situated at the centre of the Saint-Gotthard Massif. It’s an old-fashioned chocolate-box ski resort. It is a traditional Alpine resort, with wood-clad buildings set around an old square. It is beautiful and aesthetic. Apart from challenging skiing, there are also amazing ski-touring opportunities. With new ski links that are now connecting the resort with Oberalp and the Sedrun ski area, skiers can have an amazing ski experience.
How to get to Andermatt.
Getting to Andermatt from Zurich is very easy and takes only 90 minutes to drive from Zurich airport. So tourists fly to Zurich and use transfer easily to Andermatt. It’s more difficult to travel from Geneva, but I didn’t twice. Once in a car and once on the train. Both options are completely fine but take a bit more time.
|Transfer time:||Zurich – 1hr 30 (car), 2hr15 (train)|
|Transfer time:||Geneva – 3:30 (car), 4:30 (train)|
Andermatt is surrounded by mountain passes and in order to reach it, you will need to pass one of them. The highest of them is FurkaPass situated at more than 2,400 m. Driving through alpine roads is a nice experience as the views are wonderful, but it can be a bit more challenging.
This is a very comfortable way of travelling and enjoying the magnificent views. There is a Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn from Davos Platz, Göschenen and Visp. The Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz also stops at Andermatt. I tried both options and I must say that I loved the Glacier Express one. It is very modern with huge windows and serves nice food. For this one please make sure to reserve your seat as you will need it.
The ultimate guide to Andermatt – Winter
Andermatt’s ski area
As I already mentioned above Andermatt has outstanding pistes and a large ski domain. There is more than 180 km of ski pistes.
- Beginner skiers (tested) can ski in the Nätschen, Gütsch and Oberalp. These areas are easier accessible from the Chedi Hotel.
- Intermediate skiers can explore the Gemstock mountain including the famous Bernhard Russi black run. Gemstock is high and reliable for snow.
- There are many off-piste areas ideal for advanced skiers.
Non Skiing- Activities
- Ice Skating – 800 square meters outdoor ice skating rink is located in the Feldküche Area. Open from Christmas till the end of February.
- Sledging – Sleds can be rented in the local sports store or in hotels. I had mine provided by the Chedi hotel. We took a nice and quite easy trail under the Gemstock cable car until the town. It was so much fun.
- Winter Walks – The easiest stroll will be in the Andermatt historical part and back streets of the village. You can see some nice traditional houses, churches, small hotels and boutiques. In winter everything will be covered in a large amount of snow. During Christmas time streets will be beautifully decorated including the advent windows. For a more challenging walk, you can walk from Andermatt up to Nätschen.
- Horse Drawn Carriage ride- This will be surely an unforgettable experience. A horse ride under snuggly blankets admiring beautiful landscapes might be nice and I hope to try it next year. Price starts at 120chf for 1 hour.
- Museum Ursern- This museum is worth a look. It is based in the beautiful house from 1786 and was once home to General Suworow. The museum mostly showcases the life of people in the Valley in the 18th century and also disposal a local ski hero Bernhard Rüssi.
Luxury Picnic in the snow in Andermatt
Who doesn’t like an outdoor picnic with the dreamy white scenery? Picnic in the snow is on offer at The Chedi Hotel and I must admit that it was an unforgettable experience. You can drink champagne, eat warm Asian cuisine, and delicious cakes under the blue sky. This picnic is always prepared in the same location, where waiters will set it all up and serve warm dishes to keep you warm in the mountains. However I must say that you need to take ski clothes with you, a hat and gloves. They are a must to enjoy fully.
The ultimate guide to Andermatt – Summer
Summer is the perfect time to discover the beauty of this charming Alpine countryside that is most of the year covered in snow. It’s ideal for all ages and family trips. Everyone can enjoy some summer activities that this beautiful region has on offer. I am sharing with you a few of them.
Furka pass Morgan Car Tour
There are so many scenic routes near Andermatt that I simply had to include this point in this Ultimate Guide to Andermatt. Mountain passes and iconic landscapes are so beautiful and nothing will cover it better than a lovely trip in the mountains. If you have a sports car you can do it with your own one and enjoy a drive. However, if you like vintage cars then Chedi hotel has a Morgan 4/4 experience package on offer. It will be a high-performance cruise just like the James Bond in the movie Goldfinger. You can even follow his route to Furka Pass, that by far is the most scenic and iconic. I enjoyed this ride a lot, however, I must say that it was a bit challenging at first, it took me some time to feel the car and use the manual gear. But overall worth a try. I will not forget this trip for a while! It was a true adrenaline-driven, yet stylish and elegant experience. Morgan 4/4 has so much grace and charm.
Picnic in the mountains
This is the perfect idea for the family or couples. To have a lovely picnic in the mountains. You can take a cable car and choose a spot during the hike or drive up to enjoy high-altitude and nice views. Together with my friend we had our summer mountain picnic during our Morgan 4/4 car ride. We found a quiet spot near town with a view of Andermatt. Our picnic was prepared by The Chedi Andermatt restaurant, therefore we had a mix of Asian and European cuisine. So delicious and enjoyable. Well recommended option especially when you are already staying at the Chedi hotel. Otherwise, you can see if your hotel has a picnic basket or create your own. If you need tips on how to create the best luxury picnic then please click here.
Safari in the mountains for the whole family
If you travel to Andermatt with a family then this trip is a must. You can have a hike and visit Andermatt’s “Big Five”. This stands for 5 animals that can be spotted in the mountains.
Marmot, billy goat, llama, chamois and falcon.
Chedi hotel organizes a Safari that will be focused not only on the wild animals but also on herbs. You will be able to collect your own basket with fresh herbs and later create your own pesto out of it.
Hiking and Biking
Andermatt’s fresh mountain air and beautiful landscapes are ideal for hiking or biking in the summer. It can be inspiring and also very relaxing. There are rock formations, mountains lakes and unique trails to discover. There are nearly 500 kilometres of trails to choose from. Ideal for short strolls and or half or full-day excursions.
For the more adventurous travellers, Andermatt also offers climbing as a nice activity. There are guides that will assist you with the climbing. The best place for this is the south ridge of the Salbitschijen mountain. This is also considered Switzerland’s most beautiful ridge and is one of the most well-known climbing areas near Andermatt. As a reward, there will be a 360° view of the slender Salbitnadel. It takes five to six hours. For guides and more information please check here.
Golf lovers can enjoy Andermatt’s 18-hole golf course. It is over 6km long and was designed by the renowned golf course architect: Kurt Rossknecht who created one of the most beautiful golf courses in the Alps. If this is not enough, then there are three nine-hole golf courses nearby. In Sedrun, Realp, and Source du Rhône.
Where to stay in Andermatt
The Chedi Andermatt – 5 * Luxury Hotel
It is the most luxurious Andermatt hotel that brings a lot of tourism from all over the world to the region. It is a five-star deluxe hotel that opened in December 2013. The hotel is part of The Leading Hotels of the World, a worldwide alliance of luxury hotels. Chedi Andermatt won many prestigious awards and it’s a top choice in Andermatt. For a full review of The Chedi Andermatt please click here.
- Radisson Blu Hotel Reussen, Andermatt- 4 * accommodation. It’s a casual hotel, ideal for mountain activities and inspiring meetings. Designed in a modern interpretation of a Swiss chalet. There are 244 elegant hotel rooms, suites & residences with a full range of upscale amenities. Highly recommended for families and is only 1 km from the ski lifts. The price per night starts from 200 CHF.
- 3 Koenige & Post – 3* accommodation. It’s smaller yet charming. It is set by the historic bridge across the Reuss River. The hotel is a bit jewel box in the heart of Andermatt, in the authentic old part of Andermatt. The Gemsstock Gondola lies 500 m away. The price per night starts from 120 CHF.
- Hotel Crown Andermatt – Another address in the centre of Andermatt, only 300 m away from the Andermatt Cable Car. The hotel was newly built in 2014 and is the first electrosmog-free hotel in Switzerland. The price per night starts from 240 CHF.
Where to eat in Andermatt
I have been to Andermatt a few times, but I managed to test a few really nice places that I can recommend to you.
The Restaurant at Chedi Hotel
The Restaurant is celebrated for its excellent cuisine and unique ambience. The gorgeous dining room features four open studio kitchens, allowing you to enjoy the sights and sounds of the culinary artistry on display. The menu showcases both Asian and European influences, with a tempting selection of classic favourites and creative dishes for you to sample. Cheese connoisseurs will be drawn to The Wine and Cheese Cellar, housed in five-metre-high glass walls, where our knowledgeable staff can introduce you to some of Switzerland’s greatest culinary treasures.
Located in the centre of Andermatt, Spycher has both indoor and outdoor seating. It’s a popular place for pizzas and drinks, also for the apres ski. When I arrived there it was very busy and lively. It can be a nice spot for a younger crowd.
Restuarant at Hotel 3 Koenige & Post
More peaceful restaurant with a nice view on the town and delicious Swiss Food. I tried rosti and it was truly fantastic.
Another spot is a restaurant in the Aurora Hotel. The hotel is currently closed until 2025. It will be reopened as a new and larger establishment. However, the restaurant is still open and very popular among locals and tourists. This is where in the 60th Jame^s Bond was filmed. They serve very tasty Swiss and local food.
The unusual dog-legged main street is a pleasant place for an evening stroll and offers a number of interesting, if somewhat old-fashioned, little shops, bars and restaurants. You can find many sports stores, clothing and souvenirs boutiques.
You can also find:
- Bakery- Café Oberalp – Bases in the middle of the village. It has a large selection of bread, pastries and confectionery.
- Supermarket – Coop Andermatt – Locals and tourists will find all the food for daily use and warm lunch boxes.
- Sports shops- There are many sports shops in Andermatt. I can recommend the Snowlimit Shop. The staff was so helpful and it was the only place in Andermatt where they were renting ski trousers. My husband forgot his and they really saved up. Prices were also very affordable.
- Andermatt Town guide- Bernard “Banz” Simmen is the best guide in Andermatt. He is organizing a ‘Myths & Legends’ walking tour of Andermatt town. It was a nice and interesting tour that takes around 2 h. During this time he is revealing fascinating details about the history of this village. My tour was booked via Chedi Hotel, but he is the best-known guide in the area.
There are a lot of interesting facts and stories about this chocolate-box Alpine resort. Throughout the centuries many tourists were coming to this resort to get some fresh air and use their thermal baths. It was an especially liked area for the English upper class. During these trips, boys had a very intense sports schedule mixed with the afternoon tea time where they could meet their future wives. One of the first and most prominent lovers of the area was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who wrote:
“Of all the places I know, this is the dearest and most interesting to me”
He visited the Gotthard area in the late 18th century and he loved this area a lot.
Goldfinger in Andermatt
Other facts are about the iconic James Bond movie “Goldfinger”. This movie was filmed on the Furka pass road and Aurora Gas station in 1964. The most important scene was a chase on the Uri side of the Furka Pass between Goldfinger and James Bond. Until today this is known as the “James Bond Goldfinger Curve”. I have found out from the guide Bernie that because Andermatt was under army influence back then, it was hard to film it and the army was censoring many angles. They didn’t want some of the areas to be shown in the movie. Another interesting fact is the film crew had a hard time finding a hotel, as not many places wanted to host them. Only a small family-owned hotel agreed to rent the place for the team. Some local people who worked there until now say how Sean Connery was a great guy and like a typical Irish man could drink a lot and still walk straight. For me, he is the best Bond and a legend, so if you like this movie you can feel this historic touch in the town too.
5 Tips for the best stay. Ultimate Guide to Andermatt by Bella Zofia
- Come to the town for at least 2 nights, if you can choose 3 like this you will be able to mix active time with a more replacing one.
- If you would like to ski them you can take a gondola up to Gütsch at 2’344 m. There are pistes for all ski levels, including the beginner one. You can ski all the way to Disentis. Plan the whole day for this activity and enjoy either picnic in the mountains or eating at the restaurants in the mountains.
- Take a walking tour with a local guide.
- Eat at a Michelin star restaurant. You can choose from GÜTSCH by Markus Neff, The Japanese by The Chedi at Gütsch, The Restaurant at the Chedi and the Japanese at The Chedi Hotel.
- In Summer go the Furka Pass with your car or rent either vintage or a sports car for the best experience.
Andermatt is the ideal place for weekends and long weekends. You can visit it in summer and winter and will be still a place with many activities. It’s a small chocolate-box size resort but offers challenging skiing for experts and activities for non-skiers. In a nutshell:
- Very attractive and traditional Swiss mountain village
- Excellent snow record
- Fabulous off-piste and ski touring terrain. Especially for experts
- Easy access from Zurich airport.
- Great resort for weekend ski holidays
- Ideal location for travellers who search for a luxury stay thanks to the Chedi Andermatt hotel.
Please let me know if you have already stayed in the Andermatt or if you plan to visit this lovely resort. If so, then comment below on which tip was the most useful for you.
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As always with love
Bella Zofia xx
Swiss Travel, Fashion and Beauty Blogger