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Getting There

Getting to Saas Fee and your chalet in the alps

Travel advice for reaching our Saas Fee apartment rentals

Have you decided to ski in Switzerland? Ride the Pearl of the Alps? If you have chosen a Saas Fee apartment rental and need help planning your journey then read on for the most comprehensive guide on the internet. Saas Fee is not as far as it may seem and getting here can be an enjoyable part of your holiday.

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As specialists in all things Saas Fee, including apartment rentals and travel, we will do our best to advise you on the easiest way to travel.

Our Top Tip:

Free train travel for children up to age 16, and save over 30% on your adult return rail and coach transfer tickets to Saas Fee.


Swiss railways offer visiting tourists the opportunity to buy a greatly discounted return transfer rail ticket from any airport in Switzerland to their final destination for a flat rate of CHF 139 ( instead of 194) per adult in second class and CHF 222 (instead of 342 )per adult in first class. Children up to the age of 16 accompanied by at least one adult travel for free. These tickets must be purchased in advance outside Switzerland, and can be bought online and printed at home. For train timetables the same Federal Railways website is excellent.

Our recommended method of travel: If transferring by train, fly to Zurich and take the train to Visp, where you can either take a pre-booked taxi / minibus transfer to Saas Fee, or take the Post Bus. The Zurich trains are more comfortable than the Geneva ones and the whole journey is very scenic, going alongside lakes, vineyards and mountains with typically Swiss efficiency. If you are in a hurry, or have a lot of luggage or children, then from Visp a limousine or people carrier transfer direct to Saas Fee is more comfortable than the bus.

If you prefer a limousine / people carrier transfer all the way, then Geneva is the closest airport. Going by car from Zurich to Saas Fee takes considerably longer.

And now on to the detail:A car is not really useful in Saas Fee because the village is entirely car-free - all cars must be parked at the entrance to the village - from where you take an electric taxi to your chalet.

Flying to either Zurich or Geneva airports is the most convenient. Note that all our Saas Fee apartment rentals run from Sunday to Sunday in order to avoid the Saturday ski travel crowds and costs. From the UK and other European countries, it typically takes a good half day to get to Saas Fee, which is comparable to most resorts and chalets in the alps. There isn't usually time to ski on the day of arrival, but if you book a late flight back then you can often get a full day's skiing on departure day.

A fast train tunnel has reduced journey times from Zurich and Basel to Saas Fee by one hour, making them quicker gateways than Geneva if you are travelling by train. (Note that if you prefer a limousine transfer all the way from the airport, then Geneva or Sion are the quickest options). The main railway hub in the valley is Visp, where you change from the mainline train to the Post coach. The last direct coach departing from Visp to Saas Fee leaves at 19:10; the last transfer leaves at 21:10.

Airport Overview

Because Geneva is a major gateway for skiers wishing to ski Switzerland, it is often very busy and flights can become expensive at peak times. In addition to Zurich, Basel and Sion; the Milan airports are well worth considering, especially Milan Malpensa, which is geographically the closest airport to Saas Fee.

Open jaw flights: many airlines, including BA and Easyjet and Swiss will allow you to book your outbound flight to one airport and your inbound from a different airport, so for instance you can fly into Zurich and back from Geneva. This is well worth considering for increased price and schedule options.

Airport transfer times to Saas Fee: here is an overview of average train times and driving times from surrounding airports to Saas Fee.

Transfer: by train/coach by car
Zurich 3:16 4:15
Geneva 3:30 2:45
Basel 3:00 4:00
Milan Malpensa 3:30 2:45
Milan Linate 4:15 3:20
Sion 1:30 1:15
Bern 2:00 2:45

Geneva and Zurich have very convenient train stations at the airports, which enable you to take your baggage cart directly from arrivals to the train. The other destinations require a transfer from the airport to the nearest train station by either bus or taxi. This takes 10 minutes at Milan Malpensa and up to 60 minutes at Milan Bergamo. We give you more details below under each airport heading.

 

The two essential tools which we use when travelling ourselves are:

http://www.momondo.com/

Momondo simultaneously searches all flights by all carriers, both low-cost and regular, between any two points in Europe, and gives you total prices including all fees and surcharges, thus making comparisons very easy.

All train times including to/from Italy are taken from the Swiss Railways website:

http://fahrplan.sbb.ch/bin/query.exe/en

Top Tip: Don't forget that, as we mentioned above, Swiss railways offer visiting tourists the opportunity to buy a greatly discounted return transfer rail ticket (and free for children under 16) visit http://www.swisspasses.com to buy yours online.

Geneva Airport

Swiss, British Airways, Easyjet, Flybaboo and BMI are the airlines with the most flights to Geneva.

In our experience the best deals are either with Easyjet or Swiss - the latter can be surprisingly useful, especially from London City Airport. If you can't find availability or a good price, then it's worth looking at Zurich, Basel, or Milan Malpensa.

The train station is in the airport building and you can take baggage trolleys on the escalators - they have specially designed rubber teeth! Take the mainline train toward Brig and change at Visp for the small-gauge red train which winds its way up the valley to Saas Fee. Trains usually leave at 27 min past the hour.

If you are arriving at the airport late in the evening, it will be necessary to do the final leg, between Visp and Saas Fee, by limousine. This costs around CHF50 per person if there are 4 or more travelling together. Limousines need to be pre-booked and we would be glad to do so for you.

Last train with connection to Saas Fee:
Geneva Airport dep: 18:24
Saas Fee arrive: 21:59

Last direct train to Visp:
Geneva Airport dep: 22:27
Visp arrive: 00:57, then Taxi.

First Coach/Train from Saas Fee to Geneva:
Saas Fee depart: 05:31
Geneva Airport arrive: 09:13

Zurich Airport

Like Geneva, it is equally convenient in having a train station under the airport building and escalator friendly trolleys; the train transfer is faster than from Geneva. In addition to Swiss, BA, Easyjet and other European airlines, there are also more intercontinental flights to Zurich than to Geneva, making Zurich the best choice for overseas visitors.

Last train with connection to Saas Fee:
Zurich airport depart: 18:40
Saas Fee arrive: 21:59

First coach/train from Saas Fee to Zurich:
Saas Fee depart: 06:02
Zurich Airport arrive: 09:16

Basel EuroAirport

Journey time to Saas Fee is shorter by 20 minutes than from Zurich, but the train station is not in the airport, so you need to transfer by bus or taxi. The bus from the airport to the main train station, Basel SBB, leaves every 10 minutes, and takes 20 minutes. The last train leaves Basel SBB at 19:01, arriving in Saas Fee at 21:59.

Milan Malpensa Airport

This airport is the closest to Saas Fee as the crow flies, however the transfer to the train station and the connections are slightly less convenient. On the other hand, flights can be very low cost. It lies to the North-West of Milan, toward the Swiss Alps. The nearest train station is a 10 minute, 10 euro taxi ride away at Gallarate. From there mainline express 'Pendolino' tilting trains go to Brig in Switzerland where you change onto the little red mountain train. Total train journey time is usually 3:45 hours.

In addition to BA and Alitalia; Easyjet flies from London Gatwick, Bristol and Edinburgh to Malpensa, while Flybe goes from Birmingham and Manchester. Prices can be very advantageous compared to Swiss airports, particularly at peak dates such as school holidays. It is of course perfectly feasible with Easyjet to fly out to Geneva or Zurich and back from Malpensa, or vice-versa, for instance.

Last connecting train from Gallarate to Saas Fee (change in Stresa or Brig and Visp):
Gallarate depart: 18:02
Saas Fee arrive: 21:59

First connection from Saas Fee to Gallarate:
Saas Fee depart: 06.02
Gallarate arrive: 09:27

Milan Linate Airport

This is slightly less convenient than Malpensa because you need to go around or through Milan to head toward the mountains. On the other hand, the transfer to Milano Centrale train station is quite fast (20-30 minutes by taxi or direct bus) and the shopping is divine!

Last train from Milano Centrale:
Main station depart: 18.25
Saas Fee arrive: 21:59

Milan Bergamo Airport

The attraction of this airport is that it is served by Ryanair which means cheap flights. This airport is 1/2 hour farther than Linate, also requiring you to go around or through Milan to head toward the mountains. The transfer to Milano Centrale train station is by shuttle-bus and takes 50min. The last connecting train to Saas Fee is at 18:25.

Bern Airport

This is a small provincial airport; however Flybe flies there from Southampton and Birmingham. BA flies to Bern from Brussels.

 

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+41 (0) 27 967 4353 +44 (0) 845 425 2001
bookings@mountainexposure.com