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Day trip to Zermatt from Lucerne or Interlaken

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dpitman
dpitman
11 posts
new member
Jan 26, 2020 - 9:50 PM

We will be staying in Lucerne and in Interlaken area in May. What is the best starting point for a day trip to Zermatt? We could spend night in Zermatt too. We will have the Swiss pass . We would like a scenic route but also don’t want to spend hours and hours on a train. Putting my itinerary together and have heard we don’t want to miss Zermatt. Any suggestions for best place to come from as well as how long to spend in Zermatt?

rockoyster
rockoyster
8888 posts
expert
Jan 26, 2020 - 10:00 PM in reply to dpitman

Hello Diane,

A day trip to Zermatt is best achieved from Interlaken rather than Luzern.

You should at least allow enough time to take the train to Gornergrat at Zermatt. Pick a day when the weather forecast looks good. Whether you stay in Zermatt depends how much time you are spending in Switzerland overall.

For checking timetables see www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/checking-train-timetables.

For your day trip to Zermatt consider at at least in one direction between Spiez and Zermatt going via Kandersteg. You will then travel on the BLS Regio-Express Lötschberger (www.myswitzerland.com/en-au/experiences/bls-regioexpress-loetschberger/)train over the traditional, more than 100 year old mountain route, giving you a wonderful view along the impressive peaks and down into the Rhone Valley. The faster more direct but less scenic route between Spiez and Visp incorporates the lengthy (in distance) but shorter (in time) Lötschberg Base Tunnel(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lötschberg_Base_Tunnel).

dpitman
dpitman
11 posts
new member
Jan 27, 2020 - 1:49 AM

Is the lötschberg tunnel train included free with the Swiss travel pass?

1960man
1960man
2717 posts
top member
Jan 27, 2020 - 1:52 AM in reply to dpitman

Yes

1960man
1960man
2717 posts
top member
Jan 27, 2020 - 2:03 AM

Lötschberg route

There are pros and cons

Lötschberg old mountain route (summit tunnel Kandersteg - Goppenstein)

Plus: a series of loops on the ‘north ramp’ to enable the line to gain height - famously passes through a now closed station (Blausee Mitholz) where you used to have to board a train running southwards to go north and vice versa. Clings to the valley side high above the Rhone valley on the south ramp.

Minus: is slower (much slower if the main aim of your trip is to get directly to Zermatt)

Lötschberg Base tunnel.

Pros: Fast modern railway - longer tunnel Frutigen - Visp. Much faster journey if heading direct for Zermatt. Still plenty of nice scenery either side of the base tunnel

Cons: none really

Last modified on Jan 27, 2020 - 2:04 AM by 1960man
dpitman
dpitman
11 posts
new member
Jan 27, 2020 - 3:03 AM

Thankyou so much

rockoyster
rockoyster
8888 posts
expert
Jan 27, 2020 - 4:13 AM in reply to dpitman

Tunnels are marked with a dashed line. Discounted routes with a dotted line. It can be confusing.

rockoyster
rockoyster
8888 posts
expert
Jan 27, 2020 - 5:51 AM in reply to dpitman

1960man says the Kandersteg route is “much slower”.

Going via Kandersteg adds roughly an hour to the trip from Spiez to Zermatt. So if you are going for a day trip you would only do it one way and return the other or vice verse. Or not at all if you want to maximise your time at Zermatt. For the cost of an hour it’s worth the detour I reckon.

Last modified on Jan 27, 2020 - 5:53 AM by rockoyster
TUKAIKOL
TUKAIKOL
35 posts
active member
Jan 27, 2020 - 5:04 PM

Hi rockyoster and 1960 man,

I have a very similar question . Will be staying at wengen and luzerne and will go to zermatt on a day trip to cover gornegrat and matterhorn. The time table shows if I catch a 10 am train from either wengen or luzerne it will take approximately same time 3 hours 14 mins and will reach zermatt at 1.14 pm. The only difference that I found was from luzerne it is only two changes but from wengen it is four changes. Hence I feel luzerne is better. .Please advise and also suggest when should I plan the return journey from zermatt after covering gornegrat and matterhorn..

rockoyster
rockoyster
8888 posts
expert
Jan 27, 2020 - 7:56 PM in reply to TUKAIKOL

I was comparing Luzern versus Interlaken not Wengen. Wengen is around 50 minutes from Interlaken.

dpitman
dpitman
11 posts
new member
Jan 27, 2020 - 9:57 PM

If I’m coming from Fribourg Germany would it be best to go to Interlaken area first, then to Lucerne as I need to end in Zurich. I Was going to go to Lucerne first but on the map it looks like I’m back tracking.

that being the case, I would go through lake Thun and then head to Zermatt on the fast tunnel train. I could stay the night in Zermatt and then take the slower pretty train to Mürren.

I hope this makes sense. I’m trying to plan my itinerary. I had planned to do Lucerne right after Germany because I wanted to postpone my travel to Mürren til possibly warmer days. But maybe a few days won’t matter? May 4th instead of may 7th.

rockoyster
rockoyster
8888 posts
expert
Jan 27, 2020 - 10:11 PM in reply to dpitman

It’s Freiburg. Buy a cheap ticket in advance at www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml. It’s about a 4 hour trip from Freiburg to Zermatt.

Makes sense.

1960man
1960man
2717 posts
top member
Jan 27, 2020 - 10:46 PM in reply to dpitman

A few days in early May won't matter either way in terms of warmness.

Coming from Freiburg, it would indeed be best to head down to Zermatt first to maximise the time in Zermatt (you'll want to do that, as all the highest Swiss mountains surround the village!) especially as you can do it with only 2 changes (Basel or Bern and Visp)

dpitman
dpitman
11 posts
new member
Jan 27, 2020 - 10:52 PM

Great! That is very helpful

Annika
Annika
6317 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 29, 2020 - 1:08 PM in reply to dpitman

Hi dpitman! You may already have discovered the Swiss Travel Pass validity page and its downloadable network map, but just to make sure: www.myswissalps.com/swisstravelpass/validity. For information on connections and tickets from Freiburg you can refer to www.myswissalps.com/traintickets/germany/price.

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