About Sasha H
Lives in Healey, United Kingdom
Since Jan 2015
I’ve swum with wild dolphins in the Maldives, fed baby kangaroos in Australia, spent hours in the shopping malls of Dubai and crash-landed a hot-air balloon in Poland – having spent the last decade travelling and freelancing, I am a joyful, nosy traveller, always meeting new experiences head on. I enjoy digging into the culture, listening to what’s happening around me and taking thousands of photos on the way. Thanks to two decades of travelling extensively through Europe, the Middle and Far East and the Caribbean, I know the cities and countries I write about inside out. And even though I live in the Yorkshire Dales – surely the most beautiful place on earth – I never lose my enthusiasm for skiing in Zermatt, visiting my favourite cities in Italy and Poland or discovering new places to shop in Dubai.
Ski & Snowboard Areas
Railways, Lookouts, Scenic Drives
Observation Decks & Towers
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks
Ski & Snowboard Areas, Tramways
Bars & Clubs, Movie Theatres, Dance Clubs & Discos
Speciality Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks
The Swiss Ski School was established in 1929 and has been teaching children a love of skiing ever since. There are more than 200 instructors, many multi-lingual, who can teach kids the rudiments of skiing while making it fun to learn using gentle, sunny slopes where the easiest conditions are found. Plus, Wolli, the black-nosed sheep and mascot of Zermatt, often appears on the slopes to greet the kids as they learn to ski.
The Gornergrat Bahn is a cog railway that runs right up to the summit of Gornergrat from Zermatt station; it passes through some of the most glorious alpine scenery and the journey lasts around half an hour, meaning even the wriggliest of children will not get bored of staring out at glaciers, sparkling mountain lakes, and the snow-covered peaks of some of Switzerland’s best-known and highest mountains (including the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, and Monte Rose). Once up on the summit of Gornergrat, Wolli the black-nosed sheep is often around to greet youngsters, while patient St Bernard dogs are on hand to share a photo opportunity or two.
In winter, Wolli’s Park at Sunnegga is a beginner’s ski area with tow ropes and magic carpet lifts, while in the summer it transforms into a wheelchair-accessible adventure park with swings, play areas, and climbing frames. The Leisee Lake at Sunnegga is a paradise for water sports in summer, including swimming and kayaking, with plenty of BBQ points for family picnics too.
Conveniently close to the Wolli Park on Sunnegga, Buffet Bar Sunnegga serves up a sturdy menu of simple dishes such as stuffed pasta and piles of french fries, along with choices of salad for a healthier option. It is self-service and the queues can get long but the waiting staff are well accustomed to dealing with the demands of over-excited children and the sunny terrace has awesome views across to the angular peak of the Matterhorn. The restaurant is also close enough to the Leisee Shuttle funicular to carry exhausted toddlers straight back down to Zermatt.
Older kids will adore the Forest Fun Park, where they can channel their inner Tarzan while zooming along zip lines through treetops, and soaring over rivers and wire netting (sometimes at 10-12 meters above the ground). There are circuits for all levels of skill and bravery here, as well as a play area for younger toddlers.
It takes 45 minutes in four stages to climb up to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise from Zermatt. At 3,883 meters, this is the highest cable-car station in Europe, which first opened in 1979. First stop on arrival should be the viewing deck to check out the amazing views of the south side of the Matterhorn, plus Mount Blanc, Monte Rosa, and the Italian Alps. Next, discover the glittering ice palace carved out of the Theodul Glacier, where sculptures of ibex and birds of prey are beautifully illuminated in the gloom. There is skiing on the glacier all year round, which is suitable for experienced children, while in summer a special snow-tubing course for kids will see them whizzing down the slopes safely.
One to keep under your hat for rainy days, Vernissage is Zermatt’s only cinema; a sleek, modern venue in the Backstage Hotel that shows all the latest releases, and includes a family-friendly program for kids early evening. Later on the venue morphs into a bar and nightclub.
Another bad weather distraction that children will love is Zermatlantis Matterhorn Museum, even if it’s only for the fact that the museum leads Hobbit-like underground from its glass dome entrance. Tracing the history of Zermatt’s growth from rural backwater to international ski resort — in the form of an archaeological dig — the museum also charts many expeditions up the legendary Matterhorn. Most kids will be fascinated by the genuine snapped climbing rope from one ill-fated attempt at the summit in 1865, as well as the models showing today’s climbing routes up the mountain.