I am traveling to Basel during the middle of week of October 25th. My business partner and I have Tuesday (10/26) - Thursday (10/28) to do some driving and sightsee. I have always dreamt of going to Zermatt so we were thinking of driving from Basel to Zermatt on Tuesday and staying somewhere in that area for the night. We would then possibly drive from Zermatt to Milan, Italy but we are not really sure as we have never been to the area.
I would love your input on our plans and some suggestions of places or things to see, or if you feel there would be a better use of our sightseeing time. Thanks.
Zermatt is a lovely area and definitely worth the journey (although obviously car is slightly awkward there...). However, as for Milan, whilst it is a nice city, to my mind at least - unless you are going for business or fashion - it isn't that special, and in just a couple of days (assuming you have to go back to Basel) it's a fair trek.
If you want to head to Italy i would suggest staying further north in the country as it is beautiful around the border areas by Lake Maggiore. However, i would say that you are better off staying in Switzerland. Bern (in particular) and Lausanne are lovely cities, whilst for scenery, head from Zermatt over to Interlaken/Grindelwald. You can either spend the day going up the Eiger mountain (stunning area), or head from there across the mountains to Luzern, which is a wonderfully sited city and great place to relax. Zurich is a nice city as well, but further away from Zermatt.
Basel to Zermatt makes a long day of driving and then you have to park your car at Tasch, take the train into town, but hey, you will see the Matterhorn from the village. Of course there are plenty of accommodation options in Zermatt, see www.backpackingeurope.com for some recommendations (backpacker style)
You may need to check if some of the passes are still open between there and Interlaken, the Grimsel for example, otherwise it really is a long way to go, via Lausanne to Visp.
And yes the Interlaken area, and Luzern areas are stunning, pray for clear days though this time of year, as often there is fog lake level.
Nestled in the Alps above the fog line is a great little cosy Chalet style hostel Swiss Alps Retreat www.gryon.com and this is on the way to Zermatt, from Lausanne, or on the way back, duck up the mountain from BEX.
2 days in Switzerland all the same barely does it all justice, but will certainly wet your taste buds for a return trip.
Milan is excellent when arriving by train as the station building is a stunner on it's own ! However I don't know in Italian cities are really built for cars, getting in and out by train would be easier.
From Zermatt however you would have to go back to Visp onto Brig and over the snowy (they keep the road clear) Simplon Pass.
And yes the lake areas of northern Italy are divine, better almost in summer !
Hi, Im flying to Basel, Switzerland in a few weeks time and want to get to Zermatt from there by train. Anyone no how I can do that? Are there direct train links or a website I can check train times? thanks, G
German railways travel planner has all the details:
It's at least hourly (on the hour) from Basel to Brig, where you have to change. There are a few extra ones as well, and in addition, every other hour from Basel you have to change in eitehr Bern or Speiz, in addition to Brig. Check first with times, and it's easy to arrange a direct train to Brig.
It's dead easy, and the Swiss timetable works to a near perfect clockface timetable (i.e. same minutes past each hour, every hour).
You always have to change in at least Brig, because the lkinbe from there to Zermatt is private narrow guage. The station to Zermatt is just out of the front door in Brig across the road.