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Rail pass 5 days Geneva-Zermatt, late December


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Posts: 16 
Rleggs
Rleggs
7 posts
new member
Oct 11, 2021 - 10:56 PM

Hi forum

We plan on visiting Switzerland as a family for the 1st time, this coming December, around Xmas time.

I'm Hoping to get advice on train tkts ( which type, prices,etc ..would suit our needs)

Our tentative itinerary ( based/hotel in Zermatt)

Dec 22nd: Depart from Geneva airport to Zermatt. (Train)

Dec 22 or 23rd: day trip to Montreux from Zermatt ( train,round trip), maybe visit Chillon- Santa ( train)

Dec 23 or 24 or 25:

* Take Gornergrautbahn cog railway ( train/roundtrip, +cable car)..to see Matterhorn

* Trip to Glacier3000 ( train, cable car.. roundtrip)

* Maybe go to Kulm Hotel for lunch ( train,roundtrip)

Dec 26th: Zermatt to Geneva airport ( need to take 1st train in morning to catch 11am flight)

We will be 2 adults + 17yr old, 14yr old

What do you guys advise as to best type of ticket to get?

What site is the best to buy?

Thanks!

Anna
Anna
1558 posts
top member &
moderator
Oct 12, 2021 - 11:50 AM in reply to Rleggs

Hi Rleggs.

Welcome to MySwissAlps.

Have a look at "Quick rail pass overview" at www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/chooserailpass.

Based on your itinerary, you probably should be looking at getting a combination of the Swiss Half Fare Card and Saver Day Pass. Please click on the links to get more details about each pass. Click on the 'price' tab to see a list of online resellers.

With the Swiss Half Fare Card, you pay half-price for point-to-point tickets. You'll also get up to 50% discounts on cable cars and mountain railways. Children under 16 years old travel along free with the Swiss Family Card, which is given complimentary when you buy a Swiss Half Fare card.

To be sure if you're getting the best pass, you can compare different pass combinations by downloading and using the excel sheet here:www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/chooserailpass

Hope this helps you plan your trip. Let us know if you need further information.

Regards,

Anna

Last modified on Oct 15, 2021 - 5:28 AM by Arno
Annika
Annika
6620 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 13, 2021 - 7:45 AM in reply to Rleggs

Hi Rleggs!

I think you'll love Zermatt in Christmas time. I too think that a Swiss Half Fare Card and Saver Day Pass(es) can work well. You may also look into the combination of a 4-day Swiss Travel Pass (https://www.myswissalps.com/swisstravelpass) plus a Saver Day Pass for the 1st or last day. If you want to know for sure which options is most economical, you can use Anna's link to run calculations.

Note that a day trip to Glacier 3000 takes a lot of traveling time from Zermatt. You'd have to leave very early to spend enough time at the mountain. Please refer to www.myswissalps.com/glacier3000/gettingthere and www.myswissalps.com/timetable for details.

In case you feel safer with a hotel close to Geneva Airport for your last night, this overview might help: www.myswissalps.com/genevaairporthotels.

Rleggs
Rleggs
7 posts
new member
Oct 13, 2021 - 8:58 PM

Thanks Anna,Annika for the useful info!

Ok, I'll compare the prices of the half fare and saver pass to the 4 day consecutive travel pass

Re: Glacier 3000..yes, understood. In that case.. we are staying overnight in Geneva on the 21st, leaving to Zermatt on the 22nd...so after a possible late check out from the hotel, we can visit. Glacier3000 from Geneva before we leave to Zermatt,yes?

Do you recommend visiting Glacier 3000? Been getting mixed recommendactions..I just loved the peak bridge walk and views...:) ..

Ildiko
Ildiko
1309 posts
top member &
moderator
Oct 14, 2021 - 12:52 PM in reply to Rleggs

Hi Rleggs,

From Geneva to Scex Rouge it takes at least 3 hours to get. You spend some time there, and then after you head to Zermatt. From there to Zermatt it takes at least 4,5 hours. Meaning, that this will be a very long day. I would recommend an early check out instead of a late one from your hotel in Geneva.

Glacier 3000 is wonderful - if the weather is nice, so make sure to check the weather forecast in advance (like the previous day).

www.myswissalps.com/weather/forecast

www.myswissalps.com/glacier3000

If you like the bridge, you might like the pedestrian suspension bridge called Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, if it is open - also weather permitted. Note, that it requires hiking. (www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/charles-kounen-suspension-bridge-1)

Ildiko

Last modified on Oct 15, 2021 - 5:29 AM by Arno
Rleggs
Rleggs
7 posts
new member
Oct 14, 2021 - 4:57 PM

Ok. Thx for the info Ildiko.

The only concern now is Covid situation in Switzerland. The US has labeled Switzerland , Level 4- Do not travel.

How bad is it in Switzerland, esp in the Zermatt, Montreux areas? And on the trains?- safe? % fully vaccinated?

Would you advise coming?

Ildiko
Ildiko
1309 posts
top member &
moderator
Oct 14, 2021 - 6:02 PM in reply to Rleggs

Hi Rleggs,

we have an updated forum port regarding the Covid situation in Switzerland, please have a look at www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/does-the-corona-virus-affect-trips-to-switzerland and see the first post in that thread.

In addition to that I usually check this site, it is all official information: www.covid19.admin.ch/en/overview.

Take care,

Ildiko

More information: www.myswissalps.com/coronavirus

Last modified on Oct 14, 2021 - 6:03 PM by Ildiko
Rleggs
Rleggs
7 posts
new member
Oct 14, 2021 - 6:45 PM in reply to Ildiko

Hi, yes, I have seen this for the entry requirements...my question/concern is regarding the situation within Switzerland itself. If we're getting on a train, what's the likelihood that most passengers are vaccinated? Do they all have to be? Masks? Etc

Arno
Arno
14587 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 15, 2021 - 5:34 AM

Hi Rleggs,

You'll find info about the current situation in that post as well: currently 61% is fully vaccinated and on the trains and other transport it is mandatory to wear a face mask and social distance where possible. Vaccination is not required to board a train. The situation is more or less the same as in most countries in Europe.

Last modified on Oct 15, 2021 - 5:35 AM by Arno
Rleggs
Rleggs
7 posts
new member
Oct 15, 2021 - 1:05 PM

Ok. Thx for the info.

Q. I was reading on another thread that Dec 24-26, all shops, will be closed, yes?

So if we come into Zermatt on Dec 22, the only days we can visit the Montreux Christmas markets will be Dec 22 or 23rd only, yes? And if we want to take/visit Gornergrautbahn, the trains, cable cars will still operate on the 24th, 25th?

CAn we still eat at restaurants on the 24th,25th? (Zermatt)

I'd like to know the exact days of closure/holidays?

Thx

Anna
Anna
1558 posts
top member &
moderator
Oct 15, 2021 - 2:10 PM in reply to Rleggs

Hi Rleggs,

The Montreux Christmas market runs until 24 Dec. You can find other Christmas markets here: www.myswissalps.com/activities/christmasmarkets

Most shops are still open on Christmas Eve albeit many would close slightly earlier than usual. Most mountain destinations however remain open during this period (25 - 26 Dec are public holidays). In general, most hotels and restaurants are also open during this period. Public transport and some mountain railways and cable cars will operate as usual. This includes the train going up to Gornergrat.

Let us know if you need more information.

Regards,

Anna

Danielsan
Danielsan
206 posts
active member
Oct 16, 2021 - 1:44 AM in reply to Rleggs

Hi Rleggs,

You may want to consider staying in Montreux for the first night. I say that only because from Zermatt to Montreux is a two and a half hour train ride. The train from Aigle (about fifteen min. south of Montreux) to Les Diablerets is about an hour, and then a bus from there could be another half hour, (depending on connection). That's two days of traveling 5 hours, more, if you go to Glacier 3000. Thats a lot of time that you could use for seeing other things. You could do this on your way to Zermatt, (train from Geneva to Montreux is approx. an hour and fifteen min.) and then see more of Zermatt by using what would be all that travel time to Montreux. This way too, you're not backtracking and crisscrossing. Look at a map and you should understand what I mean. I understand your basing out of Zermatt, but it may behoove you to spend one night Montreux, and then head for Zermatt after the Glacier 3000. Hope this helps and you have a great trip without any (covid) hitches. Happy holidays.

Danielsan

Rleggs
Rleggs
7 posts
new member
Oct 16, 2021 - 5:31 AM in reply to Danielsan

Thanks Danielsen!

So, if I'm understanding..

We arrive in Geneva airport on 21st night, spend night, leave to Glacier3000 in 22nd morning after checking out of hotel and come back to Geneva, leave to Montreux , arrive in Montreux 22nd evening, spend the night, leave to Zermatt on 23rd, spend 23,24,25 in Zermatt, leave to Geneva airport on 26th morning?

Anna
Anna
1558 posts
top member &
moderator
Oct 16, 2021 - 7:16 AM in reply to Rleggs

Hi Rleggs,

My personal recommendation would be to go straight to Montreux from the airport. A direct train from Geneva Airport will take you there in a little more than 1 hour. In the morning, you can catch the Golden Pass or regular train from Montreux station to Gstaad, then switch to the bus to Col du Pillon that will take you to the cable car base for Glacier 3000. Or as Danielsan suggested, you can also travel via Aigle to Les Diablerets and switch to the bus there for Glacier 3000. I think Montreux is a good base for 2 nights to cut travelling time and you won't have to worry about checking-in at different hotels twice in 2 days.

Hope this gives you more options.

Regards,

Anna

Rleggs
Rleggs
7 posts
new member
Oct 16, 2021 - 7:21 AM in reply to Anna

But the problem is we would arrive only in the evening in Geneva airport around 7:45pm, by the time we get bags, immigration, catch train..it will be 9pm?..can't check in to hotel in Montreux that late?

Anna
Anna
1558 posts
top member &
moderator
Oct 16, 2021 - 7:48 AM in reply to Rleggs

Hi Rleggs,

It would be best to contact your hotel and inform them of your late arrival. Most hotels are happy to accommodate their guests requests.

A few weeks ago I travelled to Geneva and arrived close to 9pm due to some unforeseen delays. I just sent an email to inform the hotel of my late arrival and encountered no problems at check-in.

Regards,

Anna

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