We are getting off a cruise in Venice and fly home 3 days later from Geneva. We want to spend 2 nights in the alps and are looking at either Chamonix or Zermatt. When I looked into renting a car it was very expensive due to the drop off in another country. The train from Venice to Chamonix was 10 hours with 3-5 changes. Zermatt was not much better. There are 4 of us, 2 adults and 2 teenage boys. Also we are looking for a hotel near the Geneva. airport. Any suggestions. Thanks!
Just an option (maybe)...
Have you thought about renting a car in Venice, staying 2 nights in the Italian Dolomites (either Alta Badia or Val Gardena), returning the car in Bozen/Bolzano (Italy) and then training on to Geneva? The "best" of the Dolomites lie just 3 or so hours drive from Venice.
We can highly recommend the Ciasa Montanara in La Villa, Alta Badia or the Garni Ariston in St. Christina, Val Gardnea.
Keep the car rental option open - you don't need to be using up valuable time hanging around train stations. The drive to Chamonix is easier and quicker than to Zermatt, and then you'll also be closer to GVA. Give AutoEurope a call to check on drop off charges. I don't think the car rental cost will be much more than 4 train tickets (might be even less).
If you are in Geneva then Chamonix is rather close by and they have shuttles that take you right to the resort from the airport. Check ALPIbus. THey can take you back too. In Chamonix you can also take the train toward (but not direct) Zermatt - but it will take a while. Its beautiful tho and you get to go by Sion then to Zermatt from the top of the valley. Its a long haul anyways but nice. Chamonix has a great day hike option as well if its short.
Also - as another mentioned Venice is close to the Dolomoites- very different than the Alps but also Very beautiful. Last summer there I met swiss people! Lots of Edelweiss too!
So it depends on how much time you want to spend on the road/train vs in the mountains with your extra 2 days. Chamonix would be closest if you leave from Geneva but a long ride from Venice.