Julie Switzerland 14 Comments

Riding the series of lifts to Rothorn is one of the best things to do in Zermatt.

Rothorn is one of the highest viewpoints in Zermatt, and from here you get a spectacular view of the Matterhorn and the surrounding mountains. On the journey to Rothorn, you will pass through two stations, Sunnegga and Blauherd, both offering more great views and fun things to do.

A visit to Rothorn, Blauherd, and Sunnegga can be quick, where you simply enjoy the views and then move on to something else in Zermatt. Or you can make the most of the big ticket price to ride the lifts, and go hiking to scenic lakes, ride a mountain cart down the mountain, or even dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

In this guide, we cover the best things to do on the trip up to Rothorn and how to plan your time.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: This cable car route closes for maintenance twice a year, from mid-April to mid-May and again during the month of November. If your visit will be near these two windows of time, I recommend checking the official website for the exact dates. Also be aware that the cable car from Blauherd to Rothorn is only open for a few months of the summer, from June 29 to October 6, 2024 (it is also open from early December through mid-April). Here is the 2024 summer timetable. 

Sunnegga, Blauherd & Rothorn Route

To travel from Zermatt to Rothorn, you will ride a series of three separate lifts: a funicular, a gondola, and then a cable car. Below is a map of the stations and things to do at each one.

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (points of interest and the hiking routes). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.
If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Zermatt to Sunnegga

The bottom station in Zermatt is labeled as the Sunnegga Blauherd Rothorn Funicular on Google Maps. It is located on Vispastrasse, a 6-minute walk from the Zermatt train station.

Starting at the bottom station, you will walk through a long tunnel to get to the funicular. Use your ticket to pass through the turnstile and then walk up the stairs on either side of the track to board the funicular.

It takes about 5 minutes for the funicular to travel from Zermatt to Sunnegga and the funicular is in a tunnel for the entire duration of the ride.

Sunnegga to Blauherd

Once you exit the funicular, follow signs to Blauherd. You will board a gondola and ride this to Blauherd.

Blauherd to Rothorn

A large cable car connects Blauherd and Rothorn. Once you exit the cable car, you will be standing on Unterrothorn, one of the highest viewpoints in Zermatt that is accessible by a lift.

Blauherd to Rothorn Cable Car

Blauherd to Rothorn cable car

Things to Do at Sunnegga

Enjoy views of the Matterhorn. At Sunnegga, there are various viewpoints to view the Matterhorn: right as you exit the railway station, from the restaurant, or from the hiking trails that weave their way through this area.

Have a bite to eat at the Sunnegga restaurant.

Walk down to Leisee. Kids will love the playground and pulling themselves across the lake on the wooden raft.

Mountain bike to Zermatt or ride kickbikes down the mountain.

Walk to Gourmet Trail to Findeln and have lunch. Several of the best restaurants in Zermatt are located in this quaint hamlet. On the list are Adler Hitta, Findlerhof, Enzian, and Chez Vrony, a Michelin-starred restaurant. From Findeln, it is a moderately-difficult 1 mile walk back up to the Sunnegga station or a steep downhill walk through the woods to Zermatt that takes about 1 hour.

Gourmet Trail Zermatt

Gourmet Trail to Findeln


Sunnegga View of Matterhorn

The view from Sunnegga

Things to Do at Blauherd

Enjoy another great view of the Matterhorn.

Hike the Five Lakes Trail (the 5-Seenweg). This 10 km (6 mile) walk takes you to five alpine lakes. It’s one of the most popular hikes to do in Zermatt but we weren’t impressed (there are many better hikes to do in Zermatt in our opinion). However, I think it is worth it to hike to Stellisee, the first lake on the Five Lakes Walk (and the closest lake to Blauherd).

Walk to Stellisee and capture the reflection of the Matterhorn on the lake. This hike is 3 km (2 miles) out-and-back and takes about an hour.

Ride a mountain cart to Sunnegga. Rent a mountain cart at the Blauherd station and ride it on a gravel path to Sunnegga. It’s tons of fun and one of our favorite experiences on Sunnegga – Blauherd – Rothorn.

Have a drink or bite to eat at the Blue Lounge. Have a drink with a view at this outdoor restaurant and bar.

Matterhorn View from Blauherd

View of the Matterhorn from Blauherd.


Tim Mountaincart Zermatt

Tim on a mountain cart.


Blue Lounge Zermatt

Blue Lounge

Things to Do at Rothorn

Enjoy more views of the Matterhorn. From here, you can also see Breithorn, Klein Matterhorn (Matterhorn Glacier Paradise), and Findeln Glacier.

The Peak Collection. A short walking trail makes a loop around the Rothorn restaurant. There are metal signs labeling the long list of mountains that you can see from Rothorn.

Dine at the Rothorn restaurant.

Hike to Oberrothorn. This challenging hike is 5.8 km (3.6 miles) round trip with 445 meters (1,500 feet) of total ascent that takes 3 hours. It takes you to one of the highest peaks in the area.

Hike the Kristallweg Trail to Blauherd. This downhill hike is 5.4 km (3.4 miles) one-way with 560 meters of descent. Along the way, you will pass through Fluhalp and Stellisee, ending in Blauherd.

Switzerland Grand Tour Matterhorn


Peak Collection Trail Zermatt

Peak Collection Trail


Peak Collection Sign

Peak Collection Sign


Oberrothorn is the peak of the brown, rounded mountain in the photo above.


Rothorn Hiking Signs

Trail sign on Rothorn




Itinerary: One Day at Sunnegga, Blauherd, and Rothorn

As you can see, there is a lot to do along this cable car route. On two separate trips to Zermatt, we spent several days exploring this area and put together an itinerary that includes the top experiences and how to plan your time.

This itinerary is for the summer months (June through September), when the hiking and mountain biking trails are open.

9:00 am: Travel to Rothorn

The funicular from Zermatt to Sunnegga starts running at 8 am. You can start right at 8 am if you like. We started our day at 9 am and that worked just fine. Crowds were still very low and we had plenty of time to have breakfast before getting started.

Ride the series of lifts all of the way to Rothorn (funicular Zermatt to Sunnegga, gondola Sunnegga to Blauherd, cable car Blauherd to Rothorn). Then, over the course of the day, you will work your way down the mountain.

9:45 am: Enjoy the view from Rothorn

Rothorn will be a quick visit for most people, unless you want to add on the challenging hike to Oberrothorn (if so, get started at 8 am). Walk the trail along the Peak Collection signs and enjoy 360° views of the surrounding mountains.

How to Visit Rothorn

One of many viewpoints of the Matterhorn from Rothorn.

10:30 am: Ride the Cable Car to Blauherd, Visit Stellisee

Once in Blauherd, walk the Stellisee. This is the first lake, and the prettiest lake, on the Five Lakes Trail. If you walk around the far end of the lake, you can take the iconic photo of the Matterhorn’s reflection in the lake (as long as it is not a breezy day). Unfortunately, we did this on a cloudy, windy day, but if you are here during better conditions, this is one of the loveliest places to visit while in Zermatt.

The walk to Stellisee takes 20 minutes from the Blauherd station. The entire walk is 3 km (2 miles) out-and-back and takes about an hour, allowing time for photos.



11:30 am: Drinks at the Blue Lounge

Have a coffee, beer, juice, or a snack at the Blue Lounge and enjoy more great views of the Matterhorn.

Irish Coffee

Irish coffees at the Blue Lounge.

12:00 pm: Mountain Carts to Sunnegga

At the Blauherd station, rent a mountain cart and ride the gravel roads to Sunnegga. This quick activity is tons of fun for all ages and a thrilling ride down the mountain.

Blauherd to Sunnegga Mountain Carts

If you really liked doing this, you can purchase a package of multiple rides. You will ride back up to Blauherd on the gondola with the mountain cart and ride the number of times you purchased.

12:30 pm: Gourmet Trail to Findeln

Findeln is a small hamlet that is located 2 km (just over one mile) from Sunnegga. To get here, it is a downhill walk (follow trail signs for Findeln).

Before doing this, be aware that you will have to walk back up this hill to get to the Sunnegga station. On average, this walk takes about 30 minutes and it is moderately strenuous. Alternatively, you can continue the walk downhill to Zermatt. The trail is steep and a constant downhill and mostly in the forest, so don’t expect to have good views of the Matterhorn or Zermatt on this walk. From Findeln, it is a one hour downhill walk to Zermatt.
We did both: the uphill walk to Sunnegga and the downhill walk to Zermatt. From Adler Hitta, since it is closer to the Sunnegga station, I think it’s best to walk uphill to the station and return to Zermatt via the funicular. From the restaurants in the hamlet (Chez Vrony, Findlerhof, and Enzian), I think it is better to walk downhill to Zermatt (from these restaurants, it is a longer walk uphill to Sunnegga), even though it is a steep downhill walk.

Adler Hitta

As you walk downhill towards Findeln, you have the option to take the trail to the right to go to Adler Hitta.

If you want to do the shortest amount of walking from Sunnegga, it is a 1 km (0.6 mile) walk to this restaurant (Adler Hitta is the closest restaurant to Sunnegga).

Gourmet Trail Zermatt Findeln

Adler Hitta is the larger building at the bottom of this photo. This photo was taken on the walk from Sunnegga to Adler Hitta.


Adler Hitta

Adler Hitta

We have been here twice and both times the restaurant was very empty (most people continue farther down the hill to Findeln). The views from Adler Hitta are great, they have music playing and the food is very good. We recommend the lavender spritz and chocolate brownie.

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry cake at Adler Hitta

Chez Vrony, Enzian, and Findlerhof

Not far below Sunnegga, the trail splits. You will go right to go to Adler Hitta. You will go left to go to Chez Vrony, Enzian, and Findlerhof (Findlen Eggen).

As you follow signs to Findeln, Chez Vrony will be the first restaurant that you come to. This restaurant in a Michelin-starred restaurant with wonderful views of the Matterhorn. This was the most crowded restaurant we visited in this area and I recommend making a reservation in advance. 

Chez Vrony Findeln

Chez Vrony


Chez Vrony

Chez Vrony

If you continue down the hill, you will reach two more highly rated restaurants: Enzian and Findlerhof.




Findlerhof Zermatt


You can choose one and have lunch here or spend the afternoon hopping from one restaurant to the next.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Before you go, check the official websites for opening times. These restaurants are not open 7 days a week (Enzian was closed during our visit on a Monday) so I recommend checking their hours before you go. Also note the closing time of the Sunnegga funicular (in the summer, the last descent is 6:00 pm but double check this before you go).

As stated earlier, from Findeln, you can either hike up to Sunnegga or walk down the trail to Zermatt. From these restaurants, it is a one hour walk downhill to Zermatt or a 45-minute uphill walk to Sunnegga.

Walk back to Sunnegga

This is the view back up to Sunnegga from Adler Hitta. It doesn’t look too bad in this photo but there are some steep, tiring sections.

How Much Does it Cost to Visit Sunnegga, Blauherd & Rothorn?

For a return ticket to Rothorn (Zermatt to Rothorn to Zermatt), tickets cost 81 CHF during peak season (July 1 through August 31). Tickets are slightly cheaper outside of peak season.

If you ride the series of lifts from Zermatt to Rothorn (53 CHF) and the cable car from Rothorn to Blauherd (18 CHF), your total cost is 71 CHF during peak season. If you follow our itinerary above, you will ride a mountain cart to Sunnegga and then you can hike to Zermatt from Findeln, saving you a little bit of money.

On the Matterhorn Paradise website, you can see pricing for all of the various lifts between Zermatt, Sunnegga, Blauherd, and Rothorn and use this to get prices for your day.

Switzerland Travel Guide

Hours of the Lifts to Rothorn

The funicular between Zermatt and Sunnegga starts running at 8:00 am.

The final descent from Rothorn is at 4:50 pm. The final descent from Blauherd is at 5:10 pm. And the final descent from Sunnegga is at 6:00 pm. Before you go, double check the times here.


One more view from Sunnegga. During the summer months, it is not uncommon for the clouds to build around the Matterhorn midday and in the afternoon. Your best chance for a cloud-free view of the Matterhorn is from sunrise through 10 am.

If you have any questions about how to visit Rothorn, Sunnegga, or Blauherd, or if you want to share your experience, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Switzerland

ZERMATT: In Zermatt, don’t miss the hike from Gornergrat to Riffelberg, the hike to Hörnlihütte, and the Matterhorn Glacier Trail. For more ideas on what to do, read our article Best Things to Do in Zermatt and the best hikes in Zermatt. For more alpine views, learn how to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (and find out if it is worth it). 

ZERMATT: One of the most adventurous things to do in Zermatt is to climb to the summit of Breithorn.

JUNGFRAU REGION: What exactly is the Jungfrau region? Find out in our Guide to the Jungfrau Region, which includes maps and important travel planning information. We also have articles about the best things to do in the Jungfrau region as well as the top hikes in the Jungfrau region. The Eiger Trail and Schynige Platt to First are our favorite hikes. A visit to Jungfraujoch is one of the most popular experiences in the Jungfrau region, but is it worth it?

SWITZERLAND ITINERARY: If your visit to Zermatt is part of a bigger trip to Switzerland, check out our Switzerland Itinerary,which has suggestions on what to do if you have 7 days, 14 days, or even longer.

LAUSANNE: For information about Lausanne, read our article about the Best Things to Do in Lausanne. We also have a guide to the best day trips from Lausanne.

ZÜRICH: For things to do on a quick visit, check out our article One Day in Zürich. 


We have TONS more information about Switzerland in our Switzerland Travel Guide, including Zürich, Lucerne, the Bernese Oberland, Zermatt, Lugano, and Lausanne.


Zermatt Sunnegga Blauherd Rothorn Switzerland


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Comments 14

  1. Avatar for Satyashis Sanyal
    Satyashis Sanyal

    Hello Julie,
    We (family of 4) would be in Zermatt in the 1st week of July 2024. This would be our 2nd visit to Zermatt. Apart from the Gornergrat-Riffelberg hike which is a must do for us, we would also want try out the Rothorn 1 day itinerary, as stated by you. Our children are 10 and 16 years, so I am not sure whether I can complete the gourmet walk all the way to Zermatt, since you are advising it is quite steep downhill walk from the restuarants. May be we will just to do the Adler Hitta and then come back to Sunegga. For the restuarant in Adler Hitta, do I need to make online reservations? Another question I had, is the mountain cart ride ok for the 10 year old? And is the same path also used for the hike (just wondering if my 10 year is not comfortable alone, I might just walk beside him)?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Satyashis. We ate at Adler Hitta twice for lunch and both times there were very few people here. This was in early August 2 years ago so I’d be surprised if anything has changed much since then. If for some reason you change your mind and want to eat at Chez Vrony, make a reservation for that one because it is more popular. It is a very long, steep walk down into Zermatt. It’s doable for your kids but it would be easier and faster to walk up to Sunnegga. The mountain carts are OK for 10 year olds, as far as I know. You can walk that same trail, if you decide not to do it. Just stay off to the side and keep an eye out for carts and bikes. Have a great time in Zermatt! Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Filipe

    Thanks for your effort writing this guide. I would like your opinion. I’ll be on Zermatt May 19~22 and since I’ll be going up to Gornergrat, I thought on not going up to Matterhorn too and do this hiking instead. But I saw that the cable car to Rothorn will not work. I accepted it. So I thought on going Zermatt->Blauherd, do the Stellisee trail, go back to Blauherd, take the cable car to Sunnegga and do the Gourmet Trail (going from Sunnegga down to Zermatt). But sadly, all the restaurants at Findeln will be closed (the first will open May 27). So my questions;
    – is it worth it doing this activity losing the Rothorn peak AND the Findeln restaurants? The trail is good enough without the “gourmet” part?
    – or maybe it would be better not doing this (incomplete experience) and going to Matterhorn (without Breithorn) and do the Matterhorn Glacier Trail instead?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Filipe. May can be a tricky time to visit Switzerland, because of cable car closings and hiking trails not yet being open. I don’t think you lose much by not doing Rothorn. We missed it as well on our first trip to Zermatt. Having been there, it’s nice but it is not an absolute must-have experience. However, I did really like the restaurants on the Gourmet Trail, so much that we did them twice on our second visit to Zermatt. If you will be limited to the views at Blauherd and Sunnegga, which are nice, I think it would be better to do Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. You still get the high alpine panoramic views (similar to Rothorn) and the cable car rides, which are very nice. I really liked the Matterhorn Glacier Trail. The official website states this trail opens in June so I’m not sure if you can hike it in May, but this may depend on what the weather does in the next 2 months. If you can’t hike the Matterhorn Glacier Trail, it would be possible to visit Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and ride the funicular to Sunnegga, so you get a little bit of both experiences. I hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Grace

    Hi Julie,
    I wonder if you can help me. We are going to be in the Zermatt area mid-October. We had planned on doing the Sunnega-Blauherd-Rothorn one-day itinerary and following what you guys did on your visit. It looks like the cable car will be closed by the time we’re there and will only go up to Sunnega. We had our hearts set on hiking from Blauherd to Stellisee. Is there any way this can be done still by taking the Gornergrat Railway to one of the middle stations then hiking across to Blauherd and Sunnega? Thank you! We’re still very much big fans of your site and refer to it for all of our vacation plans. We tell everyone we meet on the trails about your site and how helpful it is!


    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hi Grace! It’s nice to hear from you again! If there isn’t too much snow on the ground, I think the easiest way to get to Blauherd would be to walk up to it from Sunnegga. There are walking trails that connect to the two, but you won’t know what weather conditions and trail conditions are like until you get there. Gornergrat is too far from Blauherd to hike between the two (Sunnegga is closer…just down the hill from Blauherd). I will say, if there is snow on the ground, Zermatt and the surrounding area is going to look amazing…we all dream of returning to Zermatt in the winter. It is a special place. Have a great time! Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for kit Ng
    kit Ng

    hi, the tickets to blauherd and rothorn is sold out/not availabe on my travel date 11jun 2023. is there any other way to buy tickets up to blauherd ?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I see that too (that online tickets for Blauherd are available for mid June onwards). I don’t know for certain why online tickets are only available from that date. We have visited Zermatt mid summer twice in recent years (including last year) and had no issues walking right up to the Sunnegga funicular, purchasing tickets from the booth, and getting on the next ride up. Maybe only a certain amount of tickets are available online in advance?? However, the cable car to Rothorn does not start running until July 1 so you will only be able to go as far as Blauherd on June 11. If you want to go to Rothorn, you will have to hike up to it, which is a tough, uphill walk. But the views from Blauherd are still very nice. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Tom

    I will be coming in May, I have read some of the transport from Sunnegga to Blauherd may be closed. Is there some form of transportation for us to be able to get to Stellisees view of the Matterhorn.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I just checked and all of the lifts from Zermatt through Rothorn will be closed from May 2 to May 26 2023. You can see the schedule here. During this time, the only way I know of to get to Blauherd is by hiking or biking and that depends on conditions. There is a good chance that there will still be snow covering the trails at this time. Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Gloria

    Hi, I would be staying in Zermatt. Am wondering if it would be easier to follow your recommended itinerary to start from Rothorn or I can start from Zermatt? For your kind advice please. Thank you very much! Gloria

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Gloria. This does start in Zermatt. At 9 am, you will ride the funicular and the bottom station is in Zermatt. Ride the lifts all the way to Rothorn (funicular to Sunnegga, gondola to Blauherd, cable car to Rothorn) and then work you way down. I’ll clarify this in the itinerary. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for Michael S Partyka
    Michael S Partyka

    Greetings! I read your one day itinerary for the Matterhorn: Sunnega-Blauherd-Rothorn. Fabulous! Is there a way to print it to have a hard copy I can refer to?

    Thank you in advance.

    Mike Partyka

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      You can save the guide as a pdf and refer to it later or print it. Press CTRL+P (command+P on a mac) to bring up the printer dialog box. From here you can save it as a pdf and/or print it. It will be a lot of pages since our website is not optimized for printing. Or, on your phone, you can screenshot the itinerary section of this guide (although that could be a lot of screenshots). We had cellular service so you could also refer to it right from our website while you are here. Cheers, Julie

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