Leave London in the morning and be in Zermatt by bedtime.
TAKE THE TRAIN FROM LONDON TO ZERMATT
FROM £298 RETURN
JOURNEY TIME 16hrs ( if same day )
If you want to travel to Switzerland without flying this a great way to go on holiday to Switzerland. It's better for the environment and good for your soul as the journey provides some memorable scenery.
It is possible to travel by train from London to Zermatt in one day. However, it's a long journey to make in one day so, although it can be done, you might want to stay overnight in Basel or Lausanne on the way down and stay one night in Paris on the way home for a truly relaxing holiday. You could also travel to Switzerland via Basel and return via Lausanne if you wish to see these great Swiss cities.
HOW TO BOOK
If you'd like to speak to a real human being who will take care of all your train tickets, accommodation and any passes we suggest that you call Ffestiniog Travel ( see blue box on right). They have over 40 years experience and all their profits go to supporting the Ffestioniog Railway in Porthmadog.
Train tickets are cheaper if the further in advance that you book them. Eurostar allows bookings up to 120 days ahead. Voyages SNCF sells tickets up to 90 days ahead.
Our contact at the Switzerland Travel Centre recommends that you book your hotel first if you want to get the best deals secured several months in advance.
HOW TO BOOK
OPEN THESE TABS
EUROSTAR (London - Paris)
VOYAGES SNCF ( Paris - Switzerland )
SWITZERLAND TRAVEL CENTRE ( Swiss Passes, including Swiss Transfer tickets)
BAHN.DE ( This is the best site for timetables & options, although you can't book online unless you're travelling via a German city)
BOOKING.COM ( They tend to have the most comprehensive list of hotels, a no fee cancellation policy and the best prices)
1. Go to the VOYAGES SNCF site.
Book your return ticket ( 2 single journeys) to Basel, Lausanne or Geneva. Below we've made our recommendation for the best service to take. However, feel free to choose any other that suits your timetable using the Bahn.de site to do your research.
LON 10.25 - 13.47 PARIS GDN PARIS GDL 15.57 - 19.37 LAUS LAUS 20.46 - 23.44 ZER (change at Visp)
LON 10.25 - 13.47 PGDN PGDL 16.23 - 19.26 BAS BAS 20.31 - 23.44 ZER (change at Visp)
LON 10.25 - 13.47 PGDN PGDL 15.11 - 18.16 GEN GEN 18.33 - 22.13 ZER (change at Visp)
ZER 09.39 - 13.29 BASEL BASEL 14.34 -17.37 PGDL PGDN 20.13 - 21.39 LON
ZER 08.39 - 11.39 LAUS LAUS 12.24 -16.03 PGDL PGDN 18.13 - 19.39 LON
ZER 07.39 - 11.27 GEN GEN 11.42 -14.49 PGDL PGDN 16.43 - 18.00 LON
2. Go to the EUROSTAR website.
Book your connecting Eurostar services (see above)
UNTIL 1ST MARCH 2014 YOU CAN TAKE THE EUROSTAR DIRECTLY FROM LONDON TO ZERMATT, VIA LILLE.
AVAILABLE SAT 15th Feb, SAT 22nd Feb, Sat 1st March. Return service 7 days later. Service leaves at 06.57, change at Lille for TGV. However, at this late stage in the season availability is very restricted.
3. Go to the SWITZERLAND TRAVEL CENTRE site.
Choose your option for which Swiss Pass to buy if relevant.
Many people ask "Should I buy a Swiss Pass?". There is no easy answer to this because of the variables, you just have to do the maths. It all depends on what you intend to do once in Switzerland.
A Swiss Pass is best if you intend to do a lot of travelling around Switzerland, go to the museums and are travelling with children ( they travel free up to 15 if accompanied by an adult with a Swiss Pass).
There are other options such as the Swiss Transfer ticket ( perfect if you intend to just stay in Zermatt to ski) and a Half-Price Pass.
You can visit the Swiss Railway (SBB) site to check prices between Swiss destinations. You can also buy online with them.
WE CHECKED PRICES FOR YOU (FROM)
Lausanne - Zermatt CHF154 (approx £104) return
Basel - Zermatt CHF230 (approx £155) return
Geneva - Zermatt CHF186 (approx £125) return
Chidren up to 16 pay half the adult fare.
IS A SWISS PASS WORTH BUYING?
EXAMPLE: FAMILY OF 4 WITH 2 KIDS UNDER 16
Without a pass - Swiss leg of journey from Basel to Zermatt
TOTAL CHF690 (approx £464) return
With Swiss 1/2 price passCHF120 - Family of 4 with 2 kids under 16
Pass + tickets ( kids go for free )
TOTAL CHF 350 ( approx £235) PASS IS CHEAPER OPTION
Swiss Transfer ticket ( one onward return journey to destination from point of entry into Switzerland CHF 139 (approx £94)
Pass x2 CHF 278 ( approx £187 ) - kids are free. PASS IS CHEAPER OPTION
4. Go to BOOKING.COM
Go from the champagne bar of St Pancras to the heart of Paris in under three hours.
Check-in at The Eurostar terminal is smooth and simple, with e-ticket machines and a brisk security scan. Queues are usually short, though there may be a slight delay at rush-hour and weekends.
Check-in is open until 30 minutes before departure, and once checked in, there is a large passenger lounge with wifi and plug sockets, shops and cafes including WH Smith and Costa Coffee and comfortable seating, with a travelator which delivers passengers directly to the platform, and makes it easy to manoeuvre luggage. There’s also a lift if you prefer.
There is a buffet car on board the train, and an optional executive upgrade means food service at your table, a quieter carriage, more spacious seats and a plug socket and free wifi.
The Eurostar sets off from the beautifully refurbished St Pancras station, speeds through the countryside and takes just twenty minutes to dash through the Channel Tunnel and emerge in France. The journey is deceptively fast- the comfortable train rockets trough Kent, beneath the channel and emerges in France in the time it takes to queue at an airport.
Leave in the morning and the Eurostar will pull into the Gare Du Nord two hours and fifteen minutes later, in time for lunch.
Once you've arrived at Gare de Lyon you have a choice as to which city in Switzerland you travel to catch your connection to Zermatt ( see the information above). Take the train from Paris to Basel, from Paris to Lausanne or from Paris to Geneva - whichever is most convenient.
The train from Paris to Switzerland is a TGV Lyria. The TGV Lyria is a modern, hi-speed service with interiors designed by Christian Lacroix. Enjoy the scenery as you travel south. There's a buffet on board, but why not take a picnic instead?
Just a few hours later you'll glide into Switzerland, ready to catch your connection to Zermatt. The changes are simple. You can read our guide to the station at Lausanne and Basel Bahnhof . Remember to change at Visp for Zermatt.
Days 1 - 7
CLICK here for our guide to Zermatt. Once you've arrived at the station make your way to your accommodation either via the electro bus or electro taxis.
Zermatt is a town free from cars that sits in the shadow of the world famous Matterhorn. The surrounding landscape is extraordinary and truly memorable.
If you're coming from Gare de Lyon (or Gare D'Austerlitz and Gare Montparnase) you'll need at least 90 minutes to allow for check-in time at Gare du Nord. Gare De L'Est is much closer, just a 10 minute walk.
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