Zermatt in Switzerland had to wait a long time for a direct connection to Cervinia in Italy. Now it's here – but passing by has its price.
Zermatt – With the highest, continuous crossing of the Alps, the "Matterhorn Alpine Crossing", there is finally a long-awaited, cross-border connection between the world health resort and the Italian winter sports resort of Cervinia, which can be used all year round. The Matterhorn Glacier Ride II thus concludes an 80-year project. This is reported by the Swiss daily newspaper Blick. The last section from the Little Matterhorn to Testa Grigia cost around 61 million euros. In some ski resorts in the Alps, you can also cross borders with skis or snowboards – from the Milky Way to the ski beach.
It is scheduled to start on July 1st. According to Valle D'Aosta Tourism, the cable car connects the summit of Piccolo Cervino (Little Matterhorn) with the Plateau Rosa. Panoramic gondolas allow you to travel between Cervinia and Zermatt, the Aosta Valley and the canton of Valais, and vice versa.
With the "Matterhorn Alpine Crossing", there is finally a direct cable car connection from Zermatt to Italy. (Symbolic image) © Dominic Steinmann/ dpa
New cable car to further boost tourism
In summer and winter, people from all over the world flock to the foot of the spectacular Matterhorn summit - it offers Swiss diversity and Italian enjoyment. The direct luxury train from Switzerland to Italy is intended to boost tourism in Zermatt even further, but above all to attract new customers from long-distance markets. As reiseropert.de writes, the Matterhorn Glacier Ride II section of the cable car will have a station in Testa Grigia, Italy, at an altitude of 3458 meters. Visitors can cross the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing from there.
But not everyone is euphoric. Many residents fear mass tourism. Markus Hasler, CEO of Zermatt Bergbahnen, is reassuring: "The corresponding pricing strategy does not promote mass or transit tourism, but the experience for individual travelers," according to an official statement. "In addition, the mountain railways also have small groups in their sights," said a spokeswoman at the request of the Swiss daily newspaper.
From the Plateau Rosa, the Matterhorn, but also the profiles of Mont Blanc, the Gran Paradiso, the Monte Rosa massif and the Swiss Alpine peaks in Valais are easily recognizable, writes the travel portal reisevor9.de. In the direction of Italy, the view falls on the silhouette of Monviso in Piedmont.
Crossing the Alps with a perfect mountain panorama has its price
"The Matterhorn Alpine Crossing experience is a premium offer and fits into the existing pricing strategy of Zermatt Bergbahnen," explains a spokeswoman for the mountain railway. And indeed, the gondola ride also has a deluxe price: Zermatt Bergbahnen charge just under 246.63 euros for a return ticket from Zermatt to Cervinia in the summer season.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
As Blick writes, you can fly from Zurich to holiday destinations such as Ibiza and back for the same price. In autumn and winter months, prices are slightly cheaper. Young people and holders of a GA Travelcard receive a 50 percent discount, while children under the age of nine are transported free of charge.
But the prices for excursion railways are similarly expensive elsewhere as well. For example, the excursion from the terminal in Grindelwald BE to the Jungfraujoch round trip costs between 168 euros and 220 euros, depending on the season.