At 14,692 feet, the Matterhorn is only the 10th-highest peak in Switzerland. But owing to its extraordinary shape, and the fact that it stands entirely alone, it is arguably the most dramatic and beautiful mountain in the world. There are three classic viewpoints from which to see the Matterhorn. Glacier Paradise, at an altitude of 12,740 feet, is accessed by a series of cable cars that begins at the valley station, located at the southern edge of Zermatt near the Coeur des Alpes hotel. It provides an astonishing view of the mountain’s southern face, as well as of adjacent peaks such as the Breithorn. The cable car to the Unterrothorn (10,184 feet) begins in the center of town; from the top there is a glorious unobstructed view of both the Matterhorn and the Weisshorn.
My personal favorite, however, is the panorama from the Gornergrat (10,285 feet), a rocky ridge accessible via a rack railway. The trip takes 35 minutes, and trains leave from a station at the center of Zermatt. Although the Matterhorn is farther away than it is at Glacier Paradise, here you are also close to the Monte Rosa massif and the Dufourspitze (15,203 feet), the second-highest peak in the Alps. There is a spellbinding overview of the immense Gorner Glacier as well.