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Train versus auto for Swiss itinerary.

I have reviewed the prior postings on suggestions for itineraries in Switzerland. Plan to start in Geneva Airport and settle in Montreux for two to three nights. Next. Zermatt. Two nights. Move on to BO likely wengen, spietz or murran. 2 night Lucerne and flight out of Zurich.

Key question (totally understand that trains in mountain region logical)

Is it reasonable to drive from Montreux to the Zermatt region then train to the top. Then proceeded to wengen by car Lucerne and then Zurich. We have used trains in the CinqueTerra,
From Milan, but exhausted from hauling our luggage on and off the trains keeping to their schedule and felt limited by the ability to check out little villages at our own pace. I had hip surgery and I'm limited in long-standing lines.
Interested if car travel is doable or too stressful?

Google map says you can drive from Montreux to Zermatt. I have never been there so forgive my ignorance on the topic. Do you park near a train and take a train to the top of the mountain area?

Reviewing all of the different train options local and Scenic panoramic seem like you have to change trains on and off and transfer lines for above itinerary.

Appreciate your all patience and help. you probably feel like you answer these questions a million times. I did try to review the postings as best I could but never having been to the country I am not sure I am getting the full picture.

Thanks

Posted by
8889 posts

drive from Montreux to the Zermatt region then train to the top. Then proceeded to wengen by car Lucerne
Google map says you can drive from Montreux to Zermatt.

Google maps is lying, you cannot drive to Zermatt. It is not "drive to Zermatt then train to the top". The road ends at a place called Täsch, further down the valley. You need to get a train from Täsch to Zermatt, and pay for parking in Täsch all the time you are in Zermatt.

Similar for Wengen. The road ends at Lauterbrunnen, in the valley bottom (paid parking). You then need to get a train to Wengen or Mürren, which are on opposite sides of the valley.

Do not assume hotels in towns have parking (Montreux, Luzern). Even if they do, it will cost.

And finally, skip Zürich. Use the time elsewhere and go from Luzern direct to Zürich airport.

Posted by
12926 posts

You cannot drive your car tomZermatt, or Wengen or Mürren either.

For Zermatt, you Park your car in Tasch and take the train into the village, which is in the valley. From the valley you have your choice of train, funicular, or gondola lift to access the high viewpoints. There are no lifts up the Matterhorn itself.

For Wengen or Mürren, you park in Lauterbrunnen in the valley and take a train or cablecar plus train up to the village.

So younwill have to manage your luggage on and off a few trains if you visit these places, even by car.

Posted by
8889 posts

I just did a Google maps route, Montreux to Zermatt. It showed a road route to Täsch, then showed the train to Zermatt.
To Wengen it similarly showed road to Lauterbrunnen, and train from there.

Posted by
6508 posts

I had hip surgery and I'm limited in long-standing lines

Walking long distances from expensive parking lots may also be a problem. These communities weren't built around accommodating masses of cars as in most of the US. You can find taxis at train stations, maybe not so easily at parking lots. Note gasoline prices around $7 / gallon. All those places you're interested in can be reached by rail.

Posted by
65 posts

We had a rental car and drove in Switzerland. Went from Zurich to Lichtenstein, Lucerne, Lauterbrunnen Valley, lake Como in Italy , Tasch in order to visit Zermatt, Bern, and back to Zurich. Yes, we paid for some parking but it was no trouble to drive, very convenient with luggage, had flexibility to stop in villages or stop to watch the cows parade down the mountains. Do what you feel most comfortable with. Roads were good.

Posted by
7205 posts

Take the train. Public transport in Switzerland is unbelievably great, and it's also relaxing...especially for the driver.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you for all the kind advice and expertise for the area. Plan to drive and have already mapped out the parking options. Free at hotel in Vevey, cheaper than Chicago parking in Tausch. Hubby enjoys the drive and off the beaten path experience. Looking forward to our travels to Switzerland!

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you for all the kind advice and expertise for the area. Plan to drive and have already mapped out the parking options. Free at hotel in Vevey, cheaper than Chicago parking in Tausch. Hubby enjoys the drive and off the beaten path experience. Looking forward to our travels to Switzerland!

Posted by
7205 posts

Hopefully your drive will be enjoyable. Please read up about driving in Europe and in Switzerland. It's a shame when post-drivers come here to ask why they're receiving traffic citations months after their trip...or the way they feel ripped off by rental car agencies for exorbitant charges for tiny scratches on the rental vehicle or the high cost of petrol.