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Aletsch Glacier and Zermatt in early May

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12 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2019 - 12:30 PM

Hello everyone, this is my first and I am sure not last post. we are visiting in early May and have probably 5 nights in Switzerland I think basing in Lauterbrunnen. We will have a car and coming in from Innsbruck and leaving to Nice probably via Albertville. We would like to see Zermatt and the Aletsch Glacier and trying to figure out the best way to plan that. The options that I can see are

1. Drive from Lauterbrunnen to maybe Visp (stay 1 night) go down to Zermatt and then see glacier(Eggishorn), what would be the best way to drive from a cost and time point of view around the east or on the car train?

2.Leave the car in Lauterbrunnen ( can I do that if so where and how much would that cost) and catch the train to Zermatt and use trains and cable cars to get around then back to Lauterbrunnen. Are these trains and cable cars included in any of the passes?

3. I have seen there is a company (Scenic air) that looks like it flys over the glacier and the lands on another so you can walk on it, would this eliminate the need to go to Aletsch, does anyone have experience with this?

Is early May going to be a limiting factor with any of this?

Rail Europe
14370 posts
expert &
Aug 10, 2019 - 1:24 PM

Hi Yeatesp,

Welcome to MySwissAlps! It might be better to base yourself in the Valais region. There is plenty to see there for 5 days, and reaching Zermatt and the Aletsch Glacier will be much easier: www.myswissalps.com/va lais. Having said that, I'll try to answer your questions as well as I can:

1. The detour via the eastern route is very long, so if you plan to drive then the car train is the best option: www.myswissalps.com/ca r/cartrains.

2. This is the best option because you can't use the car for major parts of the trip anyway. You can best leave your car at your accommodation (www.myswissalps.com/la uterbrunnen/hotels). Please find details to plan this here:

3. I have no experience with that and don't recommend it. The glaciers suffer heavily from global warming; I don't think helicopter rides are a good way to see glaciers for that reason, but also because it's noisy in a relatively densely populated country. Getting there by mountain train or cable car is a better experience I think. You will actually see and experience more that way.

Early May is low season so do check cable car schedules in advance. The higher road passes will be closed: www.myswissalps.com/ca r/trafficinfo.

I hope this gets you started!

Last modified on Aug 10, 2019 - 1:26 PM by Arno
7535 posts
Aug 10, 2019 - 10:33 PM in reply to Yeatesp

Hi Yeatsp-

Please note Arno's comment:

<<"The higher road passes will be closed">>

And when Arno says <<"Early May is low season so do check cable car schedules in advance.">>

That also counts for hotels and other tourist services in the high Alps.

Too late for skiing, too early for hiking, therefor few tourists. A corollary - a lot of tourist oriented stuff shuts down. Not all, but a lot.

May is quite nice in the lower altitudes in Switzerland, but my impression is that you are interested in the Alps at their worst time of the year....? (Except maybe for November).

It is still late Winter in the high Alps until roughly June 15th.


12 posts
new member
Aug 11, 2019 - 11:22 AM in reply to Arno

Thankyou Arno and Slowpoke for your reply, if I can respond. 1; According to viamichelin that route is 124km and 2h30min which is about 50 min longer than the direct train. So for me it comes down to will that road be open at that time of year? and what would the cost of the train be both individually (Lauterbrunnen to Brig return) and also if we took the car on the car train. I can see a price of 25chf for that which I presume means car and passengers? but cannot find how to get price for individual tickets for the passenger train from Lauterbrunnen to Brig. With this option staying at Brig for the night instead of Visp(does this make a difference?)

2; Do you think the hotels would mind if we left our car there for a night or 2 if we are not staying there on those nights? Would they charge?

Unfortunately I cannot do much about the time of our visit so just trying to utilize our time in the most cost and time efficient manner we can, by the way there is only 2 of us.

P.S I have just found the price for Lauterbrunnen -Brig.

Last modified on Aug 11, 2019 - 11:30 AM by Yeatesp
7535 posts
Aug 11, 2019 - 1:15 PM in reply to Yeatesp

<<"With this option staying at Brig for the night instead of Visp(does this make a difference?)">>

Brig is a bit larger....probably more choices.

www.myswissalps.com/br ig/hotels

if you wish to leave a car with them, it will depend on the hotel. Some have small parking lots. Some train stations have a parking area that has no fees. I routinely leave a car at those during the day, but have not left one overnight.

Info on passes and traffic conditions:

www.myswissalps.com/ca r/trafficinfo

Scroll down for passes.



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