The Rediscovery of Alpine Summer Freshness

Fleeing from the city into the heights provides real relief from the hot days of summer. Humidity and high temperatures really bother people and animals. Naturally, this begs the question about a stay in the mountains. A few tips.

Zermatt provides Alpine summer freshness. In the heights easily by mountain railways and tramways without much effort. On the Rothorn (3,103 m), Gornergrat (3,089 m) and on Matterhorn glacier paradise (3,883 m).

Zermatt is full of possible experiences with lasting coolness: bathing in a mountain lake, for example, in Leisee or Grünsee. Or an excursion to the Gorner Gorge, where the cool water rushes towards the valley and the shaded rock faces are full of green moss. Or summer skiing. On the Theodul Glacier, because Zermatt offers skiing 365 days per year. And much more – for family, retirees, mountaineers and pleasure seeker excursions and pets.

Cool Air is Relaxing – the Reasons

The further one takes to the heights, the lower is the air temperature. For every 100 metres of altitude, the air temperature drops by 0.5 degrees on average. This means: the city of Zurich is 406 metres above sea level at the lake, and Zermatt, 1620 m (train station). This is a difference in altitude of around 1200 m. This means that Zermatt is already at least 6° Celsius cooler. This is also because of the Alpine climate. Anyone travelling to Matterhorn glacier paradise (3,883 m) can count on a maximum temperature of around 8° Celsius because of the difference in altitude and because of the high-Alpine climate. On Gornergrat, the temperatures during the day are at a pleasant 11° Celcius. 

Added to this is the nature’s air exchange mechanism, which prevails in the mountains. In the village of Zermatt, there is usually a refreshing breeze. When the sun in shining air rises into the heights and pulls an air mass from the valley with it. After the sun sets, fresh and cool air comes from the heights. It flows from the glacier-covered mountains into the valley throughout the night. This cools the lower levels and the result is usually no tropical nights when the temperatures do not drop below 20° Celsius. Zermatt has temperatures of around 10° Celsius on mild summer nights.

Sweating and Cooling Off

Warmer air often has a higher humidity. This means that the body, which cannot regulate temperatures easily because perspiration remains on the skin which therefore is not able to cool off through evaporation. Cooler air is less able to absorb humidity. This means that the body can regulate its temperature better by sweating. Relative humidity – once again in a comparison between Zürich and Zermatt – seems refreshing: While the humidity during the day is around 50% in Zermatt, in Zürich it is between 60 to 70%.

Zermatt is Car-free

Zermatt has been car-free forever. There are practically no vehicles with combustion engines. The only exceptions are the cars of physicians and security vehicles (fire department, ambulance) as well as for farming (Aebis, etc.). One walks or goes by electric taxi. This means that Zermatt has the cleanest Alpine air, cool and refreshing.

Overnight stays in huts and swimming in mountain lakes

In many huts in the mountains of Zermatt, Täsch and Randa there are possibilities to sleep. The hut wardens are pleased to serve tasty menus. Unforgettable moments are the sunsets and sunrises seen from the huts.

It is quite refreshing to have a swim in one of the mountain lakes like Leisee (2’232 m) or in the Grünsee (2’300 m). But caution is requested for not taking a bath in the small or big mountain rivers: suddenly opened watergates can rise the water gauge quite rapidly.


Family paradise Leisee


Water temperature at Leisee, Zermatt, shown live on the map

Overnight stay in mountain huts

Gorner Gorge

Weather and temperatures in Zermatt

Weather and temperatures in Zürich, Fluntern Station

Weather and temperatures in Basel

Weather and temperatures in Bern

The 2003 Heat Wave in Switzerland (in German)

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