Zermatt, Europe's highest ski area, has extended its offer on free skiing for children so that kids up to age 16 can ski free Saturdays.
Zermatt already had led the way by offering free skiing for children up to age 9 all season long - one of the the most generous offers in the ski world. This has since been copied by dozens of Swiss resorts ands places them in marked contrast to famous resorts in France where children typically have to pay 60-70 per cent of the adult ticket cost from age four or five and the full adult price from age 11 or 12.
Zermatt and many other Swiss resorts offer 50 per cent pricing for children once they do have to pay until they reach adult age (16 or 18) and even then frequently offer discounted youth pricing until they reach their early twenties.
Swiss resorts, especially Zermatt, are working hard to encourage families and children to the ski slopes and have a full range of offers. One Zermatt deal is a special beginner package for families of two adults and two children up to nine years of age, where a six-day pass costs 350 Swiss Francs.
Zermatt is one of those rare ski resorts that has it all and, as such, is the favoured destination of many skiers from around the world. The ski area is huge, with the world's second biggest lift-served vertical drop and skiing 365 days a year with a 1000 metre (9280 feet) vertical on its glacier even in the summer months. The village is peaceful, thanks to the absence of the combustion engine (only small electric vehicles quietly hum around the streets along side horse drawn carriages), and picturesque with traditional buildings and many visitors arriving by the spectacular mountain railway.
There is the international resort quality and variety of accommodations, restaurants, après ski, off-slope facilities, and shopping. Finally, it's sunny and sheltered from the wind. The spectacular backdrop to it all is the 4000m full face of the Matterhorn - one of 38 mountain peaks surrounding the village.