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Zermatt - Lausanne/Montreux routes - please compare

Zermatt - Lausanne/Montreux routes - please compare

Mar 14th, 2010, 06:20 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Zermatt - Lausanne/Montreux routes - please compare

I'm still tweaking our itinerary. I see two possible ways to go from Zermatt to Lausanne/Montreux.

1. Zermatt to Spiez to Montreux. My map shows the Visp to Spiez portion as part of a scenic rail route (the Glacier Express).

2. Zermatt to Visp to Martigny to Montreux, which is not shown as a scenic route.

Is the Visp to Spiez route impressive enough to justify 2 extra hours on the train? We'll be doing the other two scenic segments one way or another.

Doing this route would also allow us to go to Bern via Gruyere and Fribourg, which would be difficult to pick up otherwise. Given that this is a short (10 day) trip, are these worth trying to "squeeze in"?

For all you Berner Oberland fans, I have included 3 days in that area. Given that we are not in condition to hike, I think we can cover all that we are able to.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
drchris is offline  
Mar 14th, 2010, 09:30 PM
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Hi drchris,

I'm a little confused by your question about "this route" allowing you to see Bern, Gruyeres, and Fribourg.

I think you are talking about the Spiez detour, yes? If so, you still have two choices to get to Montreux from Spiez. You could take the Golden Pass route that goes from Spiez to Zweisimmen to Gstaad and ends in Montreux -- this route would take you close to Gruyeres (you would change trains in Montbovon). The other route would be Bern and Fribourg, with Gruyeres more of a detour (changes in Fribourg, Bulle, and Montbovon).

Sorry, I don't think I can help you with the choice of which route to take in any case -- I'm one who likes to spend the most time in my destination rather than on the way to the place! I just wanted to clear up that bit about seeing Gruyeres --

Which rail site are you using for your connections? If you're not using the SBB, it is your best source. It's at


Have fun!

swandav2000 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 06:44 PM
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Thanks for your comments, swanday. Sorry I wasn't clear. If we took the Zermatt to Visp to Spiez to Montreux route, it would include a scenic rail route on all parts of the trip. (We are interested in just watching the scenery from the train.) If we did this route, we could the go to Bern via a different rail route that would allow us to pick up Gruyeres and/or Fribourg. If not, then we would probably take the Montreux to Spiez to Bern route so that we could tavel the Golden Pass route from Montreux to Spiez.
drchris is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 09:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi again,

I think I also wasn't clear.

The Golden Pass route links Spiez and Montreux. Gruyeres is kind of on the way.

If you go to Bern, it is out of the way from the Golden Pass route and out of the way from Gruyeres.

I understand how much folks like the scenery from a train window, but the scenery really is better when you're outside and part of it. Mountaintop restaurants are more relaxing than a train and give you a really 360 deg view.

swandav2000 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 11:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 517
I am also visiting Zermatt in May 10.
The scenery from Montreux to Visp via Martigny is supposed to be very good with mountain and vineyards vistas.
You pass thro' Valais Canton.
If you have do a scenic rail journey, you will have to take a train via Kandersteg- Frutigen. Otherwise a normal train journey will take you thro' a long tunnel just after Visp.
Take care that you select appropriate route.

Best would be to complete a round trip loop, as Zermatt is a kind of cul-de-sac. You need to come to Visp.

I suggest you extend your journey a little further to Brig.
This section is beautiful.(Visp -Brig- Visp)
Have fun...
Paragkash is offline  
Mar 16th, 2010, 12:36 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
I've been on all of these routes and here is my advice. First of all as has been said you have to travel through Visp regardless and the section from Zermatt to Visp is quite scenic.

Second, the route between Visp and Spiez is NOT part of the Glacier Express route...the route from Zermatt to Visp to Brig is part of that route and between Visp and Brig which is a short segment all you are probably going to see are the palisades on the north side. If you change in Brig for Spiez then you would be going UP the edge of those palisades, possibly, on your way to Spiez.

As opposed to the usual route from Visp westbound to Montreux/Lausanne (through Martigny) which is scenic especially beyod Aigle and you start seeing the actual lake, I think you would enjoy going up to Spiez and changing for Zweissimmen and a Golden Pass train onward to Montreux..THAT IMO would be the most scenic route of all.
Dukey is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 12:10 PM
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Thanks again for sharing your experience and advice!
drchris is offline  
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