This photo isn’t just one of my favourites from Zermatt, it’s up there with my favourite shots I’ve ever taken. Zermatt is a very popular spot in Switzerland in all seasons, but over Christmas it transforms into a magical winter wonderland. The streets and hotels are at their busiest, colourful lights twinkle against the twilight skies, and delicious scents of mulled wine and cheese fondue float down the streets. Zermatt is a great spot for skiing but it’s also a great spot to photograph at this time of year. I’ll start off by showing where I took this shot, as is a common question I get asked on Instagram and over email.
I had envisioned this photo before I even stepped on the plane. I’d recently watched the Grinch and I wanted to get a classic Christmas feeling scene at twilight over Zermatt. The Matterhorn towers majestically over town and I love the balance of colour at this time in the evening between the lights of town and the blue ambience in the sky as the day fades.
But there’s so many more photo opportunities for the Matterhorn and Zermatt than this spot. Here’s a few of my top tips.
Stay a night on the slopes
I would highly recommend spending a night up on the slopes. There’s only a few options of accommodation but it’s well worth it. For you adventurous guys it’s definitely worth a night in Iglu Dorf, which is a hotel made purely out of snow. Rooms have an average temperature of a balmy 1°C but you get ample sized sleeping bags to keep you cosy.
I loved having a night to photograph up in the mountains way above Zermatt. The light pollution from the town makes some interesting colours in the night sky. It’s also incredible clear up there and a great place to photograph the Milky Way if you face away from the light pollution. There are a couple of options for hotels too, if you prefer to stay warm.
Shoot at sunset
Sunset is always a beautiful time in Zermatt, in the winter months the evening sun gets split by the shape of the famous Matterhorn, creating beautiful rays of golden light. You can get interesting shots from town or from way up the slopes.
Catch the train
The Gornergrat Bahn is a great way to get to the highest peaks, its bright red colour also looks interesting in photos. There’s also some great photo opportunities ride. I saw para-gliders several times around town and managed to get this capture out of the train window in the evening light.