Has anyone driven from Interlaken to Zermatt? The train ride is 4+hours, which does't leave much time to see "Matterhorn". Any suggestions would be appreciated. We thought renting a car for the day might be a nice way to see more and the Matterhorn too.
Hi, the drive is from Interlaken to Tasch( spelling may be Tacsh,not sure) . You cannot drive up to Zermatt, only cars with permits( local inhabitants) as Zermatt is mainly pedestrian,, and GORGEOUS!
Train up is short ride , very scenic.
You will see the Matterhorne on a clear day best.
Once up there you can catch another( short trip)train to Gorngrat which has an observation platform and a cafe and views into Italy, and all up the valley, faboulous.
Zermatt is so pretty, it is worth an overnight.
Oh thank you. I realize we cannot drive into Zermatt but would like to know the length of time it takes to drive from Interlaken to Tasch..difficulty of trip, etc. Any help here?
We took the Glacier Express from St. Moritz to Zermatt, but we've used this website to calculate time/distance on recent trips.
Just an opinion...it's not easy to predict whether you'll actually see the Matterhorn when you get there, due to weather conditions. Be prepared to be dissapointed due to weather conditions when you arrive. Just an opinion, The Berner Oberland was more impressive all around than Zermatt and the Matterhorn.
I haven't driven it, no, but you should be aware that the most direct way from Interlaken to Zermatt involves putting the car on the train at Kandersteg to travel to Goppenstein through the Lötschbergtunnel. Information is at http://www.bls.ch/d/autoverlad/goppenstein.php (German only) but basically it runs every 30 minutes 6AM - 10PM and at least hourly between those times depending on day.
I don't think you'll save much, if any, time by travelling by car as opposed to train, but the connection times might add up.
Only time I did the trip I stayed in Zermatt for 3 days skiing, so time wasn't as important.
Beginning 9 December 2007 the time to get to Zermatt will be greatly reduced with the opening of the Loetschberg Basis Tunnel. This new tunnel on the SBB system will cut about 70 minutes off of the trip to Visp, where you transfer to the train for Zermatt. Previously, you climbed up the mountains to Kandersteg, went through the tunnel to Goppenstein, then dropped down to Brig where you changed trains to go to Zermatt. Now you will go through the mountains at the base and come out at Visp. This is the longest railway tunnel, 35 km, in the Alps, at least until the Gotthard Base Tunnel is completed.
The time from Interlaken, Ost, with a change of trains in Spiez and Visp will be about 2:20. If you have a car, you could drive to Spiez and take the train from there, getting to Zermatt in only 1:38. In fact, the time to Visp is only 26 minutes, no way could one make the drive that fast.
At this speed, you can do this at the spur of the moment when you know the weather!
I spent a gareat deal of time in the Saas Valley east of Zermatt this summer. I think Kevin from West Sac has give you the best advice for for getting to Zermatt. The drive is exciting. To get the best view of the Matterhorn you will want to take the cog train that Pat mentions to the highest point via train.
About 5 years ago flew into Zurich and then took the trains to Murren for 3 nights, we then took the trains to Zermatt for 2 nights. We came down from there and rented a car for the rest of our trip up to the St. Bernard Pass, then to France and Alsace Lorraine area. We dropped our car off and rented a boat for a week on a canal and then took the train back to Zurich for our flight home. We bought a Swiss pass that we used I think for 3 or 4 days on that trip. The train ride to Zermatt was beautiful. We loved Murren and loved Zermatt. Both towns do not allow cars.
Thank you to all who have responded. The new tunnel sounds good. We don't have a car for any of our travels, so renting one for the day would be just that "for the day", sound like the train is best. Do you think we can take the train to Zermatt from Murren for a day and enjoy it? I understand checking the weather and arriving early for the best view of Matterhorn. We would not be spending very much time at Zermatt but could have some photo ops. I just want to be sure my family feels the time on the trian is worth it. (provided we actually see the Matterhorn). Thank you to all again.
You asked about riding the train from Murren to Zermatte for a day trip. The train ride is probably too long. The connections I found varied from 4 to 5 hours each way. That would not give you much time there. Have you checked www.sbb.ch. This is the swiss rail web sight. You can check the trains to any destination in Switzerland.
Zermatte is a very nice town especially if the weather is clear. Is there any way you could stay over night there. The travel time wouldn't be as much of a issue then. You could take the Golden Pass train to Montreux, take a quick tour of Chateau de Chillon, and arrive at Zermatte with time for a nice evening of looking around.
From your posting, I am unclear as to when you are making this trip, but I can tell you that seeing the Matterhorn is well worth it if the weather is cooperative. I have been lucky, I have been to Zermatt twice, and I have seen it twice. On the other hand, I have family and friends, all of whom live in Switzerland, and they have never been to Zermatt when they could see the Matterhorn.
The fact that you will be staying in Murren means that the train trip will take about 3:15 each direction, but with very good connections on the five changes of trains you would have to make. Look on www.sbb.ch click on the en at the top to get english, and put in Murren and Zermatt to get schedules.
In Zermatt, I would recommend taking the lift to Furi, and then on to Schwarzsee. This takes you up quite close to the Matterhorn, and you can hike back through a beautiful meadow and valley, with a restaurant on the trail, about 3-4 hours, almost all downhill. We will do this in July.
It is indeed a 5.0hr. trip from Murren to Zermatt. Interestingly, you have selected a trip that has unusual train connections. From Murren, you take a cog train and gondola down to Lauterbrunnen. Walk across the street into the train station and train to Interlaken Ost. Change trains in Interlaken Ost for Spiez. Change trains in Spiez for Brig. At Brig, walk over to the Glacier Express train for your final ride to Zermatt from Brig. 6 legs and five train changes and one gondola change in Murren. The Murren to Interlaken Ost and the Brig to Zermatt legs, you'll need to pay in Swiss Francs. It's a great classic train ride in Switzerland. Stay overnight and enjoy.
There was always a 10am rule when I had gone to Zermatt as a kid growing up - visiting family a few times during summer vacations. After 10am on clear days - that little cloud had can come and sit on the top. So your best best might be as other suggest - go for the day and enjoy the town in the afternoon- stay the night and do your early AM sightseeing of the mountain/Gornergrat, Littlematterhorn etc and then leave by lunch or when the tourist busses arrive. Its too long for a day trip unless you leave at 5am and want to return at 10pm!
You guys are all so helpful.. We are now considering spending one night in Zermatt. I see that the train ride from there to Italy is not so bad - that is our next stop. We will be visiting Berner Oberland at the end of July 2008. It sounds like an overnight there is best - we could shorten our stay in Murren by one night. Going from Murren to Zermatt, staying one night, seeing Matterhorn next morning, (hopefully) then taking an afternoon train to Italy. Does this make better sense? If so, where do you suggest staying in Zermatt, there are 4 in our family and we don't mind sharing one room. Thanks again to all for your suggestions.
I didn't make that clear. Visiting Berner Oberland end of July then moving on to Italy. Last night in Switzerland is July 29 - spend it in Zermatt then move on to Italy.
Staying one night in Zermatt looks great. From there, train back to Brig and then down to Italy. Brig is a great transfer point to pick up the high-speed trains. As for the Berner Oberland, how many nights will you stay there now? If only one night, you may not see much. Note that if you want to see the top of the Jungfrau, it's a 2hr. cog train ride up and 2hrs back down plus 1-2 hours to hang out at the Jungfraujoch and Ice Palace. There is also the gondola ride up to the top of the Shilthorn. Two night minimum in the BO is suggested. Two full days and three nights is much better.
My family will be staying in the Hapisburg (Goldern) area for 4 days before moving on to Murren for another 4 days. Thus we may be willing to move on to Zermatt for the last night. I know we won't be able to see everything and may pass the Jungfrau, but will for sure do Schilthorn. I think we will leave mid morning to head to Zermatt and have the afternoon and evening to enjoy it and cross our fingers for a clear morning to see Matterhorn. I haven't looked at the exact times but we'll probably leave Zermatt around lunch to head to Cinque Terre in Italy. Sounds like I should look to make a transfer to high speed trains at least into Milan and then head on to CT. I am open to any suggestions you might have beyond those already posted. thanks for your help.
Linda, your plan looks right on target. You are correct that the high-speed trains will take you to Milan. Note, however, that there are high-speed trains that go from Milan down to Pisa (and through the CT). Be cautious as these high-speeds may not stop at Vernazza, Corniglia or Manarola. On some, you will change in Genova and others at Sestri. Here's a SAMPLE SCHEDULE. The ICPlus and EC trains are higher-speed with fewer stops. They all need seat reservations. The Cisalpino (CHEESE-ALPINO) is an inter-country train system that runs on the same tracks. Feel free to take those trains as well.
My wife and I have found the Hotel Romantica,
to be a very nice quiet little hotel off the main street, but right off of it. They offer a room that can be made into a family room for four people.