Mont Blanc or Zermatt?

Aug 19th, 2007, 10:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 316
Mont Blanc or Zermatt?

We are thinking of making a stop at either Chamonix/Mont Blanc or Zermatt on our way from Lake Geneva (Montreux area) to Lake Maggiore (Stresa area). We will have a rental car and plan to leave Montreux in the morning and need to arrive at Lake Maggiore by about 6:00 pm or so for hotel reservations there.

Any thoughts as to which of these mountain locations would be most interesting, most spectacular views (assuming clear weather), etc. In either location, we would want to take the cable rides to the top.

This would be in September and I realize it would make for a long day, but we're OK with that. I've checked with Viamichelin, and both are about the same in terms of driving time. So it's hard to decide, which is the more "don't miss" location?

brandywine is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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Zermatt is not easy to access. You cannot drive to the town but must park at Tasch and train from there. It would be a big diversion on the way to Stresa via Brig.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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"assuming clear weather"

That says it all! As you would not be staying there overnight, you could perhaps check the weather for the day, and then make the decision.

I have to say that I have been to Zermatt many times, and it ranks high on my favorites list.

Before this year, I had only done day trips to Chamonix, never knew what all the hype was because I never could see the tops of the mountains.

However, this past March we stayed there a week, and OMG were my eyes opened! Each day was crystal clear, and now I know why throngs of tourists go to Chamonix.

The entire region is spectacular, breathtaking, unbelievably stunning! The ride up to the Auguille du Midi is top-notch. Once you're there, it's an entire complex of buildings with connecting bridges and staircases. Views like you wouldn't believe. It was so clear that you could gaze into the distance as view the majestic Matterhorn!

Either place (Zermatt or Chamonix) is a good choice. But if it's cloudy and you've only got the one day, tough call.

Happy travels!
kopp is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 04:35 PM
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The drive up to Tasch is somewhat spectacular in and of itself once you leave the valley floor.

However, one problem with the Matterhorn is that whereas the weather can be clear in Zermatt itself, the actual peak can still be shrouded in clouds.

The views over the Monte Rosa Massif are impressive and you'll see some of the highest peaks in the Alps although Mont Blanc is higher than all of them.
Dukey is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 12:23 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Since we will have a rental car, I think we will just have to start driving and see what kind of day it is. I guess the problem is that it looks nice as you start driving up, and then don't realize until you are at the base of the mountain that it is all clouded in. I would think that the drive up to either location would still be nice even if we can't do a cable ride. If the clouds don't cooperate, it appears to be just a few extra hours of driving to either location so no big deal.
Are the high peaks more likely to be shrouded with clouds in the morning or in the afternoon?
brandywine is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Cannot answer your last question with anycertainty but here's a possible strategy:

IF you go to Zermatt, when you get off the train from Tasch you'll see the Gornergrat Railroad station directly across the street. This is one of your two possibilities for ascending to better peak-viewing, the other being the cable system up to Kleine Matterhorn which leaves from the other end of the village.

Anyway, go into the Gornergrat waiting room and have a look at the livecam focused on the peak. If it is obscured then you'll possibly save yourself a ride up to disappointment.

BTW.., while you are in Montreux, consider taking the rack railway trip up to Rochers de that is one spectacular ride even if the summit is obscured in clouds...and if it isn't, the views over Lac Leman are very memorable.
Dukey is offline  

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