R espectively standing 324 and 56 metres tall, the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa may be iconic landmarks, but they come up no higher than the ankles of the Matterhorn. Soaring to 4,478 metres above sea level, it towers majestically over the Vallée de Zermatt, while its unmistakable snow-topped pyramid features on more postcards and posters than the whole of the Himalayas put together. While not the tallest peak in the Alps, when it comes to climbing it is the range’s holy grail. Scaling it is an achievement that separates the genuine mountaineer from the rest.
Lying at its foot is the village of Zermatt, which is at one with the soaring peak and basks in the aura of a timeless backdrop. Under the violet dusks of January, and beneath the burning skies of summer, the chime of horse-drawn sleighs and the gentle hum of electrically powered vehicles (the only ones allowed in Zermatt) sound in unison with the creaking of proud wooden buildings. With venerable Alpine hamlets, gentle rides on trundling mountain trains and unobstructed vantage points on the 38 peaks of over 4,000m that surround the resort, Zermatt cannot escape its fate: it is condemned to please the senses forever more.
In the winter months, when the weather closes in and wraps the Valais Alps in a snowy shroud, the landscape takes on the appearance of the Far North. It is a treasured setting, and one to which 30° devotes its attention in this prestigious special issue, which we hope reveals both the inner and outer beauty of a place that encapsulates the very best that the Alps have to offer and which was named Best Ski Resort of 2016, and all this at this most magical time of year.
In it you will find timeless images and all the things that make Zermatt what it is: virtuoso hotel and restaurant owners, whose efforts have been rewarded by a blizzard of stars; store fronts showcasing luxury that is as authentic as it is discreet; festivals; the most captivating of ski touring outings; and a host of other magical moments that only the festive season can bring.
On behalf of everyone at 30° luxury magazine, I wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Christian Bugnon | Publisher & Editor-in-chief
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NEWS | EXTRAORDINARY CHALETS The secret peak of luxury at Zermatt | INTERVIEW Jean-Claude Biver | HIGH JEWELLERY A bejewelled wonderland | TRENDS Watches | CERVO A new type of chalet | SHOPS Timepieces | PORTFOLIO David Carlier | CHEZ VRONY The art of simplicity | RESTAURANT THE OMNIA A Michelin star and a natural source of inspiration FREERIDE Around the matterhorn | UNPLUGGED A festival with a view | ZERMATT Trekking | WITH SCHLOSSBERG Sweet dreams | CURED BEEF OF THE VALAIS Totally seductive | SPORT Trends | DESIGN Trends