I've always wanted to see the Matterhorn. like many others, I've always run into weather. We're going to Switzerland in late September. Is it worth the try then? Or, just not really worth it at all?
If you've always wanted to see it then go for it! What have you got to lose except a couple of fun days in Zermatt regardless of the weather. If you don't go you'll wish you would have. Several years ago I went to Denali National Park and didn't see the mountain but still enjoyed the trip!
I'm still trying to see the Jungfrau- will be attempting again this fall.....
Good luck and safe travels!
If I were going to Switzerland, I would try again. The top of the mountain was shrouded in clouds when we were there but we loved Zermatt any way. I am still hoping to see the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland sans rain and fog next year.
One of the top 10 on my bucket list. We'll be there 27 June -1 July. Hope to see the Matterhorn weather providing.
My husband and I spent 24 hours in Zermatt a few years ago at the beginning of October. The Matterhorn was covered in clouds, but the rest of the view was outstanding! The mountains were gorgeous and the sweet town of Zermatt made for an idyllic day and night which included fondue. I kept going to our hotel's rooftop floor to get a glimpse of the Matterhorn still too stubborn to reveal itself. As we rolled our suitcases down the street toward the train, I looked back and Oh My! There it was in all its glory as though I could reach out and touch it--the Matterhorn-- well worth the visit and the wait for it to appear.
I visited Zermatt in late September, 2019 and spent several days there, which I enjoyed. I was fortunate to do several hikes where I had excellent views of the Matterhorn as well as getting a good view one evening from Zermatt.
If you can stay several days, you increase the odds of seeing the Matterhorn. There are plenty of hikes and cable car/cog railway trips in the area.
I loved being there in late September although a few restaurants were shutting down to take a break before the ski season kicked off. I got a great all you can eat buffet at one on the last night it was open because the owner was using up all the food before closing.
Several times, I started off on a cable car up the mountains when it was cloudy, but was fortunate to have the clouds clear off later in the day. At Klein Matterhorn (Glacier Paradise) I got to experience a cold morning with fresh snow on the platform and the Matterhorn along with clouds blowing around the peak followed by the skies clearing for a great view.
I also took a cable car to the Gornergrat and hiked down before catching a car at another station to reach Zermatt.
If you have good clothing layers and are prepared for the changing weather, it is well worth a visit.
All the best,
I understand how you feel. I was in the same situations twice before.
While reading a Swiss guidebook on my Swiss Air flight from San Francisco to Zurich in 2008, the air hostess told me not to go to Zermatt unless the weather was clear. What I did then was to roll the dice till I was on the ground in Zurich--I checked the weather/webcam at 4:30am local time to ensure that the sky was clear. It was. Then, I jumped onto the trains to Zermatt. I was in luck and the weather was fine for several hours till around 3pm. The travelers who arrived in the afternoon weren't so lucky--there was hail.
So, if I were to see Das Matterhorn again, I would keep my travel plans flexible and have a Plan B. Check the weather/webcams on the very morning of your intended travel day. If everything looks good, then immediately buy your train tickets and go. My Plan B was Ticino (Italian speaking area). I had a great time there too, but of course, it was not Zermatt.
Go for it!! Like others have said, be flexible. If you can spend a few nights in Zermatt, you'll increase your odds. We were scheduled for 4 nights in Murren (Sept 2019), and the forecast looked awful a few days out. We contemplated skipping Murren and going straight to Italy, but decided to roll the dice. First day, low valley clouds provided a spectacular view of the peaks and the bluest sky ever from the top of Schilthorn. Second day, high clouds allowed for view of all the peaks and valleys for miles (also from Schilthorn). As Wayne Gretsky once said, "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"!!!
Short answer. If you have the time and funds go for it.
Longer answer. What does the rest of the trip look like? Would Zermatt come at the expense of other locations? I’ve spent an afternoon in Zermatt and a couple of days in murren. Both are very scenic and I enjoyed both. If I had to pick one I would pick the Berner Oberland. Hope you find this helpful.
After 4 days in Zermatt we finally have a blue sky day and fantastic views of the Matterhorn. I can scratch it off of my bucket list. The first three days were cloudy with rain, thunderstorms and fog (end of June). If you only have 1-2 days for Zermatt and the weather is not clear, I would pass. Been dodging electric trucks, taxis, hotel shuttles and bicycles in Zermatt. Construction and renovation noise to include jackhammering into the stone dose not make an ideal setting either. Hiking out of Zermatt and the Gornergrat Bahn were great.
Yes, unfortunately, there is constant construction in Zermatt. Because of the terrain, much of it requires cranes, which block a full view of Das Mattherhorn.
We are planning a trip to Switzerland and France possibly in 2022 and I am also tempted by Zermatt but I was wondering if it would be too much to try to take the train there for just a day trip from Lausanne/Montreux? We were going to try to base there for 4-6 nights before moving on to Chamonix, Annecy, Lyon, and French Riviera. I see it is a 3 hour train ride so that would not give one much time to be there depending on train schedules. If the scenery is beautiful on the ride that might help. And the other advantage would be that we could go on a whim whichever day the weather looked like it was cooperating. This would probably be in late August.
I believe there's a cogwheel train into Zermat, which takes about 30 minutes. Is that included in your 3 hr travel?
According to SBB, it is 2 hours 31-39 minutes from Montreux to Zermatt, or 2 hours 53 minutes to 3 hours 1 minute from Lausanne to Zermatt. Both schedules include the regional train from Visp to Zermatt, which makes several stops at villages on the way.