Skiing Guide to Interlaken

The name ‘Interlaken’ means ‘between the lakes’, and it’s exactly for this picture-perfect location that the town of Interlaken is hugely appealing in both summer and winter. Visitors flock to the pleasant waterside location for climbing, hiking, swimming and adventure on the lake. But come winter, skiers take over the town and the cheap hostels.

Adventurers can try their hand at any type of winter sport in Interlaken. There is atmospheric night sledding and snowshoe trekking. But if you are a confident skier, you might fancy being thrown from a helicopter to explore some more isolated locations. This seemingly terrifying experience will make you feel like James Bond. Interested? It’s called heli-gliding.

From the top resorts of Grindelwald, Mürren and Wengen, skiers have access to 160km of trails which you can reach by 45 cable cars and lifts. Runs last between 6 and 12 kilometres so it’s possible to ski a different route every day for a week. Beginners should start with the small ski area at Beatenberg then attempt some of Wengen’s nursery slopes. Intermediates are particularly well catered for and experts will find the most challenging runs at Wengen and Mürren, which offer excellent off piste skiing when the conditions are right.

The mountain railway is another reason why so many skiers choose Interlaken as their base. Take the train and you can reach three top ski resorts. In just 40 minutes, skiers can reach the Jungfrau ski region and, because the train journey is included in your ski pass, this makes it a nice little saver too.

If affordability is a major consideration when you are planning your ski trip, it’s definitely worth considering an Interlaken hostel. There’s usually a great atmosphere for après-ski in the lounge areas and you won’t be far from the train station. Staff are usually very well-informed on tours and other things to do in Interlaken and can get you all the latest weather reports.

Trains from Geneva to Verbier

Taking a train from Geneva to Verbier is a great way to travel to the famous ski resort when you are visiting Switzerland.

Trains from the city depart from the Geneva Cornavin station, which is centrally located. They arrive at the Verbier TV gondola station in the Swiss Alps. All services are run by SBB, which is the national rail company.

Trains from Geneva to Verbier depart every hour, so it is easy to travel whenever your schedule permits.

Most trains traveling on this route require two changes, one at Martigny and one at Le Chable. Some services also require a third change at Lausanne station. The connection at Le Chable is to a gondola that takes passengers up the mountain to Verbier.

The total journey time on this route ranges from 2 hours and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 45 minutes. Services with three changes are sometimes faster than those with two, so check timetables before you travel.

Fares for trains from Geneva to Verbier are 50.80 CHF in first class and 89.00 CHF in second class. This covers the rail portion of the journey only. You can get cheaper train tickets if you book online in advance.

Trains from Geneva to Chamonix

Trains from Geneva to Chamonix are a scenic way to travel from the Swiss city to the French Alps when you are visiting Europe.

Trains on this route depart from the Geneva Cornavin train station, which is the primary station in the city center. They arrive at the Chamonix-Mont Blanc and Chamonix-Aiguille du Midi stations. All trains are operated by SBB, the Swiss national rail company.

Trains from Geneva to Chamonix depart every other hour, so you can take one whenever it is convenient for you.

Most trains traveling to the ski resort require two changes, and the travel time is 3 hours and 20 minutes. This includes the connections.

The price of a ticket for a train from Geneva to Chamonix is 36 CHF one-way in second class. You can either book online or buy your ticket at the station in Switzerland.