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Zermatt Skiing Travel

My wife and I are entertaining a trip Zermatt for skiing, spa and fondue (we want to make use of our international Ikon ski pass in 2024). Any recommendations on how best to get there during January/February if we fly into Geneva or Zurich from the US?

Posted by
20461 posts

Train will get you there in 3 1/2 hours from Zurich airport and 4 hours from Geneva airport. At least 2 trains every hour.

Posted by
7078 posts

By the way, Zermatt skiing is at its best later in the season, as many routes require a lot of accumulated snow. If you can wait until late Feb or March, it will be better! Early Feb is OK if you have to, but i would avoid Jan (cold, dark, near-zero chance of the Stockhorn/Rote Nase routes being open).

Posted by
7648 posts

Your question takes me back to 2003, back long before there was an Ikon Pass - and no European resorts were included in any of the Colorado ski areas’ passes. That’s the year a bunch of us flew on Lufthansa, direct from DIA to Frankfurt, and went by train to Zermatt. That would be a 7-hour train journey now, but a quicker flight than going to Geneva or Zurich. Unless you have reasons to go to either of those cities, or a special flight deal with frequent flyer points, I thought I’d mention Frankfurt.

And how much time will your ski trip have? That same trip, after Zermatt, we went to Chamonix, which is also now covered by the Ikon Pass. My one European ski trip, but a 2-for-1 destination experience. And you’d have your lift tickets covered, which I didn’t have.

Posted by
20461 posts

One thing to consider is hotel pricing. Other than the Christmas/New Years peak, hotel prices are often highest in February, as rolling European school breaks mean peak hotel prices and the resort is busiest. Late January is usually a bit lower season with good snow. I have skied there in late January several times and the snow was always excellent.

To look at the train schedules, go to www.sbb.ch/en. You can put in start point as either Zurich Flughafen or Geneve-Aeroport, as there are train stations right in the airports. Swiss trains are very frequent. Even if the schedule is not set for your intended travel date, look within the next 60 days to see schedule and prices. The first price you see assumes you have a half fare card, so you have to double the price to see what you would pay. If it is in a black background with a "%" it is a Super Saver Ticket which is nonrefundable and train specific. You really need to click through on the red ticket icon and fill in the information with "full fare" and check "point to point" to get the actual price you would pay. The cheapest option is to buy a Saver Day Pass 60 days in advance. Then you can travel anywhere in Switzerland on that day for that price. You are locked in to travel on that day, but not any schedule. Example: the full fare ticket from Zurich Flughafen to Zermatt is 129 CHF, but a Saver Day Pass bought 60 days in advance should be about 52 CHF.

Posted by
1379 posts

For what it's worth - another option is to fly into Milan Italy and drive over to Breuil-Cervinia and base there. You can then take the lifts up to the top and ski down into Zermatt. Then you can take the lifts back up and ski down the Italian side. Breuil-Cervinia is only about 2 hours from Malpensa and the lodging and lift tickets are less expensive than on the Swiss side. The catch is there is the possibility of getting stuck on the wrong side if weather blows up or you miss the last lift to the top. Check it out starting at: https://www.cervinia.it/en. Disclaimer - I looked seriously at doing this when in Milan about 3 weeks ago. It was the last day of our non-ski trip vacation but I ended up being too tired to drive over to BC and back in one day - let alone ski down both sides. It's definitely doable and under consideration for me as a future multiple-day ski trip!

Posted by
20461 posts

I don't believe Cervinia is included on the IKON ski pass, at least it was not this past season. While in Zermatt in good weather, it might be worth it to buy the supplement to ski over to Cervinia.