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Chamonix to Montreux&#59; via Geneva or Martigny?

I will be traveling from Chamonix to Montreux this summer on a Sunday morning. How should I get from Chamonix to Montreux? Here are the options: 1) shuttle (appears much faster than train) from Chamonix to Geneva, then train to Montreux, or 2) Mont Blanc express to Martigny, then change trains to Montreux. Any opinions as to which route to take? Is the route through Martigny more scenic?

Posted by
501 posts

AB, I'll be curious what others have to say, I've wanted to know this for some time, but haven't heard from anyone that has done it. A portion of the RR tract between Chamonix and Martigny was being repaired, therefore an expert from Trip Advisor stated a shuttle bus carries you between each good RR tract. I believe the scenery is better, but I would like to hear it from someone that has done it myself.

Posted by
306 posts

So would I! I'll be going to Chamonix from Martigny in June, and from Chamonix to Geneva and onward. So I'm also exploring alternatives, incl buses in lieu of trains on tracks under repair, etc. Maybe we should keep each other in the loop... Tom

Posted by
13211 posts

We did the train trip between Margigny and Les Praz de Chamonix four times in a week a few years ago. It is very scenic and I looked forward to each trip. The best part is going up on the little train above Martigny to the border at Le Chatelard-Frontiere. It must be narrow gauge tracks, and the train passes right along people's backyards. You are high up on a ridge and can see way down into th ecanyon below at some points. According to the schedule on SBB, you change to a bus at Le Chatelard-Frontiere and it takes you the rest of the way to Chamonix, making all the usual stops the train would. They show it as running this way through 28 June.

Posted by
2829 posts

The railway is beautiful, but it is under reconstruction till the border. I'd still take the replacement bus and continue by train as the descent into Martigny is scenic, and so the valley route. Just an incidental comment: gauge of tracks has not much to do with train width. Narrow-gauge trains can be as wide as standard-gauge trains, though they are just a tad narrower.

Posted by
80 posts

We just took the train from Lusanne to Chamonix in September. I think it is faster than going through Geneva. We asked which way to go and were told to go though Martigny. It took a while because at the Frendh border you do have to get off the train and board a bus to Chamonix. Took a little longer but it was a scenic trip.

Posted by
413 posts

Absolutely go via Martigny, its much more scenic. Normally when tracks are out of commission there is a bus that parks in the station and is timed with the train. Just walk down the platform and get on. Super easy.

Posted by
7 posts

I took the trip from Martigny to Chamonix-Mt. Blanc in September of 2012, having to switch from train to bus in Le Chatelard. It was not an unpleasant trip, and the wait for the bus transfer was not a long one. Looking at the map, the Chamonix/Martigny/Montreux option is waaaaay shorter than the Chamonix/Geneva/Montreux route (87km vs. 165km by car).

Posted by
69 posts

I just want to thank everyone for helping out a fellow trip planner. I am taking your advice and plan to travel through Martigny instead of Geneva. :)