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Zermatt in Jan

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Will be in Europe this Jan and we (two of us) wanted to try some European skiing, so of course was thinking about Zermatt. Was able to find lodging and lift prices but transportation was a little vague.

Was planning on going from Zürich. Seems like the two options would be to either rent a car or take the train. But renting a car means we park at Tasch. But also allows us to stay off the resort, in much cheaper accommodation. How much would you estimate the cost of transportation to be? We would like to keep the costs to a minimum but would like to see Zermatt for a few days before skiing at cheaper resorts.

Any recommendations? Cheers!

Mod note: moved to International Zone
post #2 of 17

You can use the Swiss Rail site (www.cff.ch) to check the fares from Tasch to Zermatt. I did a search for next Wednesday at 8:00, and it comes up as 4.10 francs (probably a single rather than round-trip price).

 

But if you really want a nice experience without the cost of staying in Zermatt, why not check out other resorts altogether? There are plenty of nice resorts that you can get to easily from Zurich that will cost less than Zermatt and still offer a great all-round experience. And since the lift tickets will be lower and you'll probably find better prices for accommodation, you'll probably be able to stay in town, which eliminates the hassle of commuting in every day.

 

Without knowing too much about what you're looking for, I'd recommend either St. Anton or Arosa. Both are really nice towns that you can get to by train from Zurich, they both have access to large ski areas with a lot of good terrain, and they're both more affordable than Zermatt.

post #3 of 17
I skied Zermatt last year, over the New Year's Week. I flew into Zurich and took the train in. It was very painless (other than moving the luggage). the train ride in the day is just beautiful as it cuts thru the Alps. if you check the train schedules, you can do just one change in Tasch.
when you arrive in Zermatt, it is pretty easy to get around town as it is pretty small. if you don't have too much luggage, you can probably walk to your hotel, otherwise you can take a cheap car ride . (some hotels even offer pickup, but at a higher cost than cabs).
getting around town is easy as the town busses are no charge.
The Swiss Rail system is terrific, ALWAYS on time. after my research, the cheapest rail pass was the Swiss transfer Ticket from Zurich to/from Zermatt. (It is a to/from ticket only, no other excursions allowed unless done within a couple of hours). If you are spending time before or after in Zurich, it's cheaper to pay for those as you go.
post #4 of 17

Keep your eyes on the weather and conditions. It hasn't started snowing in the Alps yet. 

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
 

Keep your eyes on the weather and conditions. It hasn't started snowing in the Alps yet. 


Yeah, I'm going to Zermatt for Christmas and New Year's and starting to get a little worried. Even though weathertoski.co.uk says northern and western Alps are not much below average for this time of year. Keeping everything crossed.

 

To the OP, I was in Zermatt last Christmas and agree with everything GerryF said. 

post #6 of 17

Switzerland and Northern France are the best places to be this Christmas. You'll be fine. You shouldn't be worried at all. Just look at the current snow conditions and open lifts over there... http://www.zermatt.ch/en/We-have-snow

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheizz View Post
 

Switzerland and Northern France are the best places to be this Christmas. You'll be fine. You shouldn't be worried at all. Just look at the current snow conditions and open lifts over there... http://www.zermatt.ch/en/We-have-snow

http://www.zermatt.ch/en/Snow-report  

 

- those conditions are from March 12 2015 :\ 

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by neonorchid View Post
 

http://www.zermatt.ch/en/Snow-report  

 

- those conditions are from March 12 2015 :\ 


European format - it from Dec 3, 2015.

post #9 of 17

- well then that's more like it.

post #10 of 17

January should not present any issues for accommodations in Switz. You could probably leave it later to book. Maybe wait until after mid-December and see how the weather/snow fall shakes out.

 

And you do not need a car for Zermatt, nor would I recommend one for Switzerland, unless you plan to bounce around and chase powder.

 

You might even consider Grindelwald/Wengen in the Jungfrau, or Arosa/Lenzerheide as well if snow conditions are good there.

post #11 of 17

If you are flying on Swiss, you can check your bags directly to Zermatt from your starting point in the US and do the same on your return as well. They will arrive at the Zermatt train station no more than 6 hours behind you.  Your hotel will send their electric cart to pick them up. There is a charge but, as I recall, it's not too steep.  If you are in Zurich for a few days on business, you can take your bags to the Zurich station the day before you travel and send them to Zermatt.  This saves the on and off the train schlep.  You can also send you bags to your ski destination from the airport once you pick them up from baggage claim. You can also check them for a few days at the airport if you are staying in town and coming back to the airport to pickup a rental car.

 

If you decide not to go to Zermatt, I'd second the idea of heading to the Arlberg or, Klosters and Davos are a short train ride (2 hrs.) away and have reliable snow and tons of great skiing.  Easy to find good lodging at that time of year.  Rates are usually lower.  Hotel Silvapina in Klosters Dorf is a good lower cost option in that area. 

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by choucas View Post
 

If you are flying on Swiss, you can check your bags directly to Zermatt from your starting point in the US and do the same on your return as well. They will arrive at the Zermatt train station no more than 6 hours behind you.  Your hotel will send their electric cart to pick them up. There is a charge but, as I recall, it's not too steep.  If you are in Zurich for a few days on business, you can take your bags to the Zurich station the day before you travel and send them to Zermatt.  This saves the on and off the train schlep.  You can also send you bags to your ski destination from the airport once you pick them up from baggage claim. You can also check them for a few days at the airport if you are staying in town and coming back to the airport to pickup a rental car.

 

You don't have to be flying Swiss to use SBB: Fly Rail Baggage. According to sbb.ch "From any airport around the world, your luggage travels directly to your railway station in Switzerland via Zurich, Geneva or Bern Airport.". We used it last year and it's brilliant. And will use it again this year. You buy special luggage tags and check your bags as normal at your departure airport. When they arrive in Switzerland they get routed to your destination train station. Last year we stayed a night in Zurich before getting the train to Zermatt and the bags were waiting for us when we got there. This year we're going straight from airport to train to Zermatt. We'll see how long it takes to get the bags. I bought the tags from RailEurope, but there are other vendors.

post #13 of 17

You are correct.  Returning to the US however, you can't check bags the day before at the train station through to your US destination if you're using a US carrier.  I believe you can with any non-US carrier.  You can however, ship your bags (skis too) ahead to the train station at the Zurich or Geneva airport for pickup before your return flight to the US.  You'll have to check to see how far in advance you can do that so that you're sure that your bags will be there. You are also correct that it works great.  Trust the Swiss to get it right.

post #14 of 17

We're flying Swiss and Austrian Air on the return so we'll find out if we can check all the way through. If not, even checking them to ZRH is a big help.

post #15 of 17

If you haven't already picked up lift tickets, check out snow n'rail on the SBB site.  You can get a discount on lift tickets by booking train/ski passes together. 

 

http://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/day-trips/snownrail.html

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dprice72 View Post
 

If you haven't already picked up lift tickets, check out snow n'rail on the SBB site.  You can get a discount on lift tickets by booking train/ski passes together. 

 

http://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/day-trips/snownrail.html


Thanks, but already purchased our train tickets. Leaving tomorrow, hope it starts snowing, which doesn't seem too likely. Good thing there's a glacier.

post #17 of 17
I was in Zermatt until the 14th. Snow was fine.

One cheaper option would be staying in a hotel or resort like Saas Fee and taking the train to Zermatt for a day or two to ski. Transportation would take maybe 45 minutes each way and when you get off at Zermatt you are right next to the Gornegrat train up.

One note of caution if budget is a concern - lift tickets are very expensive compared to other places (80-90 Francs).

Also, train from Zurich to Zermatt isnt cheap either. If you decide to stay elsewhere and travel around Swiss a bit, tell the ticketing counter at Zurich airport and they can set you up with the appropriate multitravel pass.
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