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Zermatt as a day trip from Riederalp or Bettmeralp

My husband and I are planning a trip of 16 days to Switzerland and Chamonix, France next September. The first 4 nights are in Wengen, then 3 or 4 in Chamonix and then on to Zermatt and/or Riederalp/Bettmeralp area in the Vallais before spending the last 2-3 nights in Lucerne before flying home from Zurich.

My question is should we spend 3 nights in Zermatt and then a couple of nights in one of the little villages of Riederalp/Bettmeralp OR spend 5-6 nights in Riederalp and use it as a home base and visit Zermatt as a day trip? Would that be enough time for Zermatt and the Matterhorn? It's about a two hour trip to Zermatt from Riederalp.

Posted by
3336 posts

Hi Noma,

We spent 3 weeks in Valais this summer about 45 minutes south of Zermatt. I don't know what you would do for 2 full days in Zermatt unless you plan to do a lot of hiking. The town isn't all that big and, once you've seen the Matterhorn, visited Glacier Paradise and walked around town, there really isn't much else to do. Plus it is uberexpensive! We were there for a long day and between parking, the train into town, eating and gondolas we spent about $600 for a family of 3. I would get there in the morning, spend the day and then one night, see the rest the next day and then move on.
While driving through Valais don't miss the town of Sion - the old town with its hilltop castle and church is a great place to stop on the way from Chamonix to Zermatt.

Posted by
12040 posts

Another vote for Sion for a brief stop.

3 nights in Zermatt would be good if you plan some hiking. I've hiked all over the Alps, but nowhere has the towering glory of the high Alps been more apparent than on the trails above Zermatt (less apparent at the town level).

I've driven by Riederalp, but I don't remember anything in particular about it, but I can picture the general area in my head. Higher up in the Rhône valley, and more rustic than some of the areas further downriver.

Posted by
2818 posts

Driven by Riederalp? How?

Bettmeralp is one of our favorite places. So much less expensive than Zermatt. Hiking is great in both places. If you have tie, 3 nights each would be great.

Posted by
12040 posts

Well, I entered it on Google maps, which brought me to a point down the road from the Grimsel Pass, which I have driven on the way to Zermatt. That's what I meant by "driven by".

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks everyone. After getting hotel rates from other locations in our itinerary, I'm now leaning towards staying 6 to 7 nights in Riederalp area and making day trips to Zermatt, Sion, and possibly Montreaux. I'm looking into renting a chalet in that area for either $150 per night or $650 per week. Really makes staying a week sound great to balance out the other 9-10 nights elsewhere! It might also be nice to really settle in somewhere and cook a few simple meals in the kitchen we would have available.

Posted by
12040 posts

"I'm looking into renting a chalet in that area for either $150 per night or $650 per week." That sounds unrealistically low to me. For comparison, in a relatively non-touristy area of the Ortler Alps in Italy (generally, MUCH cheaper than Switzerland), my wife and I rented a rather primitive chalet for around €900 for the week.

Posted by
14 posts

Tom - I have been communicating with a vrbo owner and the rate is $150 per night or $650 per week. It's not the entire chalet, but an apartment with a kitchen. It's in Greich just below Riederalp. Listing #124265.

Posted by
2818 posts

I just used the search engine at Bettmeralp.ch and found lots of Ferienwohnung in the 400 tp 700 CHF range, for a week in July.