Hello and thank you for your advice,
My wife & I are traveling to Europe for 2 weeks, spending time in Italy & Switzerland.
I wanted to know what’s the best way to get to Zermatt from Manarola (Cinque Terre). I searched on http://www.sbb.ch/en however, it says I will have to take 4 different trains (9hr – 10hr) to get to Zermatt.
Typical route shown is LaSpezia – Genoa – Milano – Domodossola – Brig- Zermatt.
There’s one with less transfers that leaves LaSpezia (at 12.38pm) – Milan – Brig – Zermatt (however reaches at 9pm+
Are there any other options or routes that any one can think of or know of?
There are direct trains from la Spezia to Milano C. No need to go to Genova. Try to time your train from la Spezia to arrive about 45 mins before the EC train Milano C to Brig departs. This will give you some “wriggle room” in case the train is late. For example there is an EC train (no change between Milan and Brig) that leaves Milano C. at 1123 and with the connection in Brig gets you to Zermatt at 1451. Far better to take an EC train than to change yet again in Domodossola.
For your travel in Italy get the tickets from http://www.trenitalia.com To get to zermatt get the Milan/Brig/Zermatt connection on http://www.sbb.ch/en
Route is: Manarola/Monterosso/la Spezia/Milano C/Brig/Zermatt
Conections here are a fact of life and work very well as a rule.
The main issue is that there are is are several large gaps in the Milan – Switzerland (via the Simplon Pass) schedule. (And it will take another year or so before that is fixed)
So if you take an early train from the Cinque Terre to Milan you arrive there at a time when there is no convenient onward travel. But the system tries to find something for you anyway, and puts you on a regional train to Domodossola… I would not choose that.
So if you want a convenient trip on comfortable IC/EC trains you have no choice but to accept an arrival in the evening.