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Driving to Zermatt from Venice

Singapore, Singapore
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Driving to Zermatt from Venice

I am traveling in Italy with my family of 5 this July, and we are thinking of renting a car to get to Zermatt from Venice. We were discouraged from taking the train because it takes longer and there are two connections. What can we expect from the drive? Are there any difficulties with the terrain and the border crossing?

Mannheim, Germany
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1. Re: Driving to Zermatt from Venice

>We were discouraged from taking the train because it takes longer and there are two connections.

Why do you believe it takes longer? I would rather expect driving to take longer as you would need to drive over the Simplon pass while the train travels under it. And unless you have enormous amounts of luggage or mobility challenged people along there is nothing difficult in changing trains. Also, I trust you know that you cannot drive to Zermatt? You would need to change to a train anyway. And are you planning to return the car in Italy? Because you would pay several hundred € drop-off fee otherwise.

>What can we expect from the drive?

Mountain driving, curvy steep roads, tunnels, etc.

>Are there any difficulties with the terrain and the border crossing?

Terrain is a question of driving skill, border crossing is driving past a sign "welcome to Switzerland"

Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage, Zermatt
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2. Re: Driving to Zermatt from Venice

If you rent a car in Italy you will be charged a very high fee for dropping it off in Switzerland. That charge is often not shown in the reservation confirmation as the companies can slide it in under the "other fees may apply to this rental" clause. One of our experts here was recently told she would have to pay about 800 Euros. She simply turned the car in in Italy and took a train the remainder of the way - she had rented the car for only a day as I recall!

The approximate cost of petrol, tolls and fees to drive from Venice to Tasch (that's the end of the road for Zermatt - from there you have to take the train) is about 110 Euros plus the cost of the rental car. The estimated driving time is just under 7 hours NOT including traffic delays, stops for meals, etc.

Changes of trains are not difficult - you have an hour to make the change in Milan and about 40 minutes at Brig. When driving, you have to make a "change" at Tasch so there is only one change more by train.

By train, you can get up and walk around, everyone can look at the scenery, you go through the towns and not around them on a highway (I would never have known how lovely Lake Maggiore is had I always driven!) and bring a great picnic to eat as you go.

Hope this helps.

Singapore, Singapore
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3. Re: Driving to Zermatt from Venice

Thanks so much, this is very helpful. Looks like we are taking the train! One last thing. What can I expect about luggage? My daughter is coming from a summer program and meeting us in Italy for this trip so she has a rather big suitcase. The rest of us will travel light.

London
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for Verbier
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4. Re: Driving to Zermatt from Venice

You can also start early and get the one direct train per day. 7:39 from Zermatt connects with a direct train to Venice at Brig. Only one change and 7 hour journey (surely faster than car).

Edited: 08 July 2013, 07:53
Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: Driving to Zermatt from Venice

Good idea, we will look into that. Waking up early will be worth the convenience. Thanks!!

London
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6. Re: Driving to Zermatt from Venice

In my experience, the one change I would be happy to skip is Milano Centrale. Big and a bit chaotic. Also means changing to Trenitalia whereas the direct train is run by SBB (more reliable).

Anchorage, Alaska
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7. Re: Driving to Zermatt from Venice

JT14, I believethe OP is travelling from Venice to Zermatt and there isn't a direct train in that direction - I don't know why. It is a mimimum of 2 changes from Venice to Zermatt.

The trains have an area for luggage in the carriages. Recently there have been thefts so I would be sure the cases are locked together (a bicycle lock works just fine) or kept right by you on the seat (if you put things on the overhead, be sure to keep an eye on them as there have been instances of a team distracting you and the other taking bags from the overhead and walking on). Alertness is the key. It doesn't very frequently but it's worth knowing about!

Hope this helps.

London
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8. Re: Driving to Zermatt from Venice

Are you sure Kileysmom? The thread title and original question says Zermatt to Venice.

Anchorage, Alaska
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9. Re: Driving to Zermatt from Venice

Well, I read "driving to Zermatt from Venice" to mean Venice to Zermatt. It's written a little backwards from the usual English style and is a bit confusing.

Lucerne, Switzerland
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10. Re: Driving to Zermatt from Venice

Of course, there is also a direct train from Venice to Geneva (via Brig).

The direct train EC37 leaves Geneva at 7:42 and arrives in Venezia S. Lucia at 14:40 (6:58h). Obviously this train cannot go back earlier than its arrival, but further, it has also to be cleaned before it heads back to Geneva.

Therefore the direct train EC42 from Venezia to Genève leaves Venice at 16:20 and arrives in Geneva at 23:18 (6:58h). It arrives at 21:16 in Brig.

Unfortunately this late arrival at Brig leads to a bad connection with MOB to Zermatt: you have to wait more than one hour in Brig for the departure at 22:25 to arrive in Zermatt at 23:44.

So instead of the possible 6:20h it takes 07:24h with this "direct" connection. :-(

But you can make it in 7 hours with rather lengthy changes in Milano Centrale (1h) and Brig (35min) … see departure at 14:20 and 15:20.

Edited: 09 July 2013, 05:02