A new cable car between Italy and Switzerland allows for a superb alpine crossing without the need for skis or hiking boots. But is Matterhorn Alpine Crossing worth it?

By: Paul Healy | Published: 13 Aug 2023 | Last update: 21 Nov 2023

The Matterhorn Alpine Crossing between Switzerland and Italy opened in July 2023. The cable car journey links 9 different stations on the 90-minute trip.

Beginning at 1,620m in Zermatt, it climbs to the incredible views of Klein Matterhorn at 3,883m. From the peak, it descends to Breuil- Cervinia at 2,050m.

With over 4,000m of ascent and descent, the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing has the largest elevation change of any cable car link in the Alps.

The journey became possible in July 2023 when a new cable car connected Plateau Rosa and Klein Matterhorn.

The new cable car is not cheap, but it brings together two iconic ski resorts with a host of wonderful things to do.

Here’s all you need to know about the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing and whether it’s worth the hefty price of the tickets.

Italy to switzerland cable car klein matterhorn
TESTA GRIGIA TO KLEIN MATTERHORN CABLE CAR

WHAT IS THE MATTERHORN ALPINE CROSSING?

The Matterhorn Alpine Crossing is the highest cross-country cable car in the world. It connects Zermatt in Switzerland with Breuil-Cervinia in Italy.

The crossing takes about 90 minutes. This involves 8 cable car journeys connecting 9 different cable car stations – 5 in Switzerland and 4 in Italy.

The entire return journey (3 hours return) covers 4,000 meters of ascent and descent. As a result, the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing is the cable car link with the greatest altitude difference in Europe.

The highlight is the views from Klein Matterhorn, the highest cable car station on the course, at 3,883m. From here you can see the pyramidal Matterhorn and climbers ascending snow-covered Breithorn.

Each cable car station has its attractions and there are opportunities to get out and explore.

MAP | MATTERHORN ALPINE CROSSING

The Matterhorn Alpine Crossing connects Zermatt in Switzerland with Breuil-Cervinia in Italy. Our map below includes all the stops between Switzerland and Italy.

How to use this map / Click on the top left of the map to display the list of locations, then click on the locations to display further information. Click on the top right corner of the map to open a larger version in a new tab or the star to save to your Google Maps.  


WHEN DID THE MATTERHORN ALPINE CROSSING START?

The Matterhorn Alpine Crossing commenced on July 1, 2023, after the completion of the Matterhorn Glacier Ride II.

The highest part of the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing is Klein Matterhorn at 3,883m. It sits on a high-altitude ridge between the mountains of Matterhorn (4,478m) and Breithorn (4,164m).

The northern side of the ridge drops to the Swiss town of Zermatt, while the southern side drops to Breuil-Cervinia in Italy.

MATTERHORN GLACIER RIDE I

The Matterhorn Glacier Ride I has been running from Zermatt to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise on Klein Matterhorn since 1979. The cable car from Breuil-Cervinia on the Italian side, however, stopped at Plateau Rosa station.

The Matterhorn Glacier Ride II bridged the 1.6-kilometer gap between Plateau Rosa and Klein Matterhorn.

matterhorn from klein matterhorn glacier ride i
MATTERHORN FROM MATTERHORN GLACIER RIDE I

MATTERHORN GLACIER RIDE II

The Matterhorn Glacier Ride II opened on July 1, 2023. The new connection between Plateau Rosa and the Klein Matterhorn takes 4 minutes. The journey bridges the 1.6-kilometer section over the Theodul Glacier.

The state-of-the-art ride features a rotating cabin so you can take in the whole view without leaving your seat.

With the final piece of the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing now complete, visitors can travel from Italy to Switzerland by cable car.

WHEN DOES THE MATTERHORN ALPINE CROSSING OPERATE?

Cable car services from Italy to Switzerland operate from July to October.

The first car leaves from both Zermatt and Breuil-Cervinia at 6.30 am. The last car returns to Italy from Zermatt at 2.45 pm, and the last cable car returns to Switzerland from Breuil Cervinia at 3 pm.

Other sections of the cable car link operate at different times throughout the year. Check online before your trip.

Breuil-Cervinia Website

Matterhorn Website

DO YOU NEED A PASSPORT?

We weren’t asked for our passports at any stage during the crossing. However, as you are traveling between countries, it’s advisable to have your passport with you.

When we visited (July 2023) some of the infrastructure was still being set up, so it’s possible passport checks will happen in the future.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

The Matterhorn Alpine Crossing is not cheap.

SWITZERLAND TO ITALY CABLE CAR COSTS

A return ticket from Zermatt to Klein Matterhorn costs CHF 120 between July and August, and CHF 109 between September and October.

A return ticket from Zermatt to Breuil-Cervinia costs CHF 240 between July and August, and CHF 218 between September and October.

Discounts

  • Free for children up to 8 years old.
  • Children 9 to 16 travel at half price.
  • Swiss Half Card reduces return ticket from Zermatt to Breuil-Cervinia to CHF147.50
cime bianche to testa grigia cable car
CIME BIANCHE CABLE CAR

ITALY TO SWITZERLAND CABLE CAR COSTS

A return ticket from Breuil-Cervinia to Klein Matterhorn and back costs €120 between July and August, and €109 between September and October.

A return ticket from Breuil-Cervinia to Zermatt and back costs €240 between July and August, and €218 between September and October.

Discounts

  • Free for children up to 8 years old.
  • Children 9 to 16 travel at half price.
testa grigia station italy to swtizerland cable car
TESTA GRIGIA STATION

SWISS SAVINGS

SWISS TRAVEL PASS

The Swiss Travel Pass provides unlimited access on trains, buses, and boats throughout Switzerland including panoramic trains.

The Swiss Museum Pass is also included which provides free access to over 500 museums.


SWISS HALF CARD

Purchase train, bus, boat, mountain railways and cable cars at half price with the Swiss Half Card. This is a great opinion if you are driving yourself but intend on using cable cars.

CAN I TAKE LUGGAGE WITH ME?

Currently, the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing does not allow for luggage transfer. There are plans for this service to be available in 2024.

IS THE MATTERHORN ALPINE CROSSING WORTH IT?

In our opinion, the return journey to Klein Matterhorn from Breuil-Cervinia (€120) and from Zermatt (CHF 120), is worth it for the unique panoramas.

The Klein Matterhorn is one of the best viewpoints in the Alps and one of the most stunning panoramas in the world.

The triangular peak of the Matterhorn rises above snow and ice and the snowy peak of Breithorn is in front of you. The mountains of Castor and Lyskamm pierce the sweeping snow and the Gornergrat train is visible on the Gornergrat glacier.

Having said that, the entire crossing from Italy to Switzerland is double the price of getting to Klein Matterhorn. This is the highlight of the journey.

The full crossing also takes 3 hours. This leaves little time to explore the attractions around each cable car station.

In our opinion, the full crossing is not worth the cost.

To help you make the decision we have included below a list of attractions at each station with a breakdown of the ticket prices to get there.

ZERMATT TO CERVINIA CABLE CAR STATIONS (SWISS SIDE)

The journey from Zermatt to Cervinia includes 9 cable car stops. We have listed them in order from Zermatt, but you can complete the journey in either direction.

switzerland stations matterhorn alpine crossing

1 – ZERMATT (1,620 METRES)

Opening Hours – 6:30 am to 6 pm | Last ride to Italy – 2:45 pm

Zermatt is a charming Swiss town tucked into a tight valley. The town is cute with wonderful chalets perched over pedestrianised streets.

It’s a cool place to grab lunch, a coffee, or stroll lanes lined with alpine chalets.

Positioned under a wall of rock, the views from Zermatt are not particularly wonderful. But the tip of the Matterhorn flickers above the valley wall.

Things to do at Zermatt –

  • Ride the Gornergrat Train for magnificent views over Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn.
  • Hike the 5 lakes from the top of the Sunnegga Funicular.
  • Hang out in the lovely streets of the pedestrianized town.
  • Visit the Matterhorn Museum to learn about mountaineering, skiing, and the history of the town.

2 – FURI (1,867 METRES)

Opening Hours – 6:30 am to 6 pm | Last ride to Italy – 2:50 pm

The first stop on the Alpine Matterhorn Crossing is Furi.

It’s in a lovely position, set amongst the trees and meadows. Cattle graze beside charming wooden barns. There are several atmospheric restaurants overlooking the meadows.

Things to do at Furi

  • Cross the 100 m-long suspension bridge that hangs 90m above the Gornerschlucht gorge.
  • Explore the Gorner Gorge from the wooden walkways above the river.
  • Grab lunch at Bergrestaurant Blatten between Furi and Zermatt.

3 – SCHWARZSEE (2,583 METRES) – OPTIONAL

Opening Hours – 8 am to 5 pm | Last ride to Italy – 3 pm

It’s possible to skip the Schwarszee cable car station and go straight from Furi to Trockener Steg.

But in our opinion, it’s worth visiting.

Schwarzsee is the closest cable car station to the Matterhorn with excellent views of the north and east faces. The landscape is beginning to get bleak and barren, and the hut is a great spot for a warm coffee and grand views.

Things to do at Schwarzsee:

  • Peer up at the Matterhorn rising above you.
  • Take photos of the chapel on Schwarszee lake.
  • Hike to Hörnlihütte – Matterhorn’s base camp (3-4 hours round trip).

4 – TROCKENER STEG (2,939 METRES)

Opening Hours – 6:45 am to 4:30 pm | Last ride to Italy – 3:15 pm

Trockener Steg is on the edge of the ski slopes and the highest point at which you can start summer hiking without walking on snow. It’s a barren, rocky landscape left behind by the retreat of the glacier.

Things to do at Trockener Steg

  • Learn about the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing in the Info Cube.
  • Hike the remnants of a glacier on the Matterhorn Glacier Trail.
  • Join a guided Winter Snowshoe Tour.

5 – KLEIN MATTERHORN / MATTERHORN GLACIER PARADISE (3,883 METRES)

Opening Hours – 7 am to 4:30 pm | Last ride to Italy – 3:30 pm

Klein Matterhorn is the highest mountain station in Europe. It has the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise which is an unmissable experience on the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing.

Surrounded by 38 four-thousand-foot peaks and 14 glaciers Klein Matterhorn is a captivating world of snow and ice.

Things to do at Klein Matterhorn

  • Absorb breathtaking vistas from the Panoramic Viewing platform.
  • See sparkling crystals of ice in the Glacier Palace.
  • Get a guide and climb 4,164 meter-high Breithorn Mountain.
  • Catch the film about the cable car construction in the cinema lounge.

ZERMATT TO CERVINIA CABLE CAR STATIONS (ITALIAN SIDE)

The are 4 cable car stops on the Italian side, Testa Grigia/Plateau Rosa, Cime Bianche Laghi, and Plan Maison and Breuil-Cervinia.

Italy stations matterhorn alpine crossing

6 – TESTA GRIGIA / PLATEAU ROSÁ (3,480 METRES)

Opening Hours – 7 am to 4:15 pm | Last Ride to Zermatt – 3:45 pm

Testa Grigia (Plateau Rosá in Italian) is the location of the Swiss / Italian border. There’s a small restaurant with excellent views and a brand-new adventure park, SnowXperience, which is due to open in August 2023.

The adventure park will have year-round snow-based activities.

Things to do at Testa Grigia / Plateau Rosá

  • Stand on the border with one foot in Switzerland and one in Italy.
  • Go snow tubing, snowboarding, and skiing at the brand-new SnowXperience.
  • Grab a coffee and cake at the atmospheric Rifugio Guide del Cervino.
testa grigia klein matterhorn
TESTA GRIGIA TO KLEIN MATTERHORN CABLE CAR

7 – CIME BIANCHE LAGHI (2,812 METRES)

Opening Hours – 6:45 am to 3:55 pm | Last Ride to Zermatt – 3:30 pm

Cime Bianche is set in nice landscapes but there’s not so much to do at this station.

You can walk to the nearby lakes for excellent views of the Matterhorn or if you’re feeling more active, try the Breuil-Cervinia Bike Park.  

Things to do at Cime Binache Laghi

  • Take in views of the Matterhorn and Les Grande Murailles reflecting in pretty lakes.
  • Enjoy one of the over 100 kilometers of downhill biking trails that leave from Cime Bianche.
  • Try some hearty Italian food at the Bar Ristorante Cime Bianche Laghi.

8 – PLAN MAISON (2,565 METRES)

Opening Hours – 6:45 am to 3:55 pm | Last ride to Zermatt – 3:15 pm

Plan Maison is at the heart of the ski slopes at Breuil-Cervinia. There’s a wide range of activities for both summer and winter from skiing to biking, boarding to hiking.

Things to do at Plan Maison

  • Hike to Lago Goillet a picturesque reservoir in a glacier basin.
  • Take one of the four mountain bike trails between Plan Maison and Cervinia.
  • Enjoy wonderful food in an excellent setting at Rocce Nere.

9 – BREUIL-CERVINIA (2,050 METRES)

Opening Hours – 6:30 am to 4:20 pm | Last ride to Zermatt – 3 pm

Breuil-Cervinia is an Italian town nestled in the Aosta Valley. It’s known for its ski slopes and stunning views of the Matterhorn.

While it’s not as pretty as Zermatt, it’s more dramatically set. Towering mountains seem to rise straight out of the top of the roofs of the town.

Things to do at Breuil-Cervinia

  • Hike to Lago Blu for perfect reflections of the Matterhorn.
  • Play a round of golf at Cervino Golf Club.
  • Enjoy Italian Aperitivo at one of the many cool hotels dwarfed by mountains.

ITALY TO SWITZERLAND CABLE CAR – SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

The Italy to Switzerland cable car opens up a whole world of mountain experiences.

While you may not want to do the entire crossing, you can use parts of the infrastructure to put together a great itinerary.

Suggested itineraries on the Matterhorn Alpine Crossing

  • Go from Zermatt to Klein Matterhorn and then over to enjoy the new SnowXperience at Plateaus Rosa before returning.
  • Go from Breuil-Cervinia to Klein Matterhorn and then over to Schwarzsee to hike to Hornlihütte base camp before returning.
  • Go from Breuil-Cervinia to Klein Matterhorn and then over to Trockener Steg. Hike the Matterhorn Glacier Trail to Scwarzsee and then return.

SWITZERLAND TO ITALY CABLE CAR PRICES

Here’s a breakdown of all the prices (as of summer 2023) from Switzerland to Italy

RouteNov to AprSep to Oct | May to JuneJul & Aug
Zermatt to Furi (one way)CHF 11.50CHF 13CHF 14.50
Zermat to Furi (return)CHF 16.50CHF 19CHF 21
Zermatt to Schwarzsee (one way)CHF 31.50CHF 36CHF 39.50
Zermatt to Schwarzsee (return)CHF 48CHF 55CHF 60.50
Zermat to Trockener Steg (one way)CHF 41CHF 47CHF 51.50
Zermatt to Trockener Steg (return)CHF 62.50CHF 72CHF 79
Zermatt to Klein Matterhorn (one way)CHF 62CHF 71CHF 78
Zermatt to Klein Matterhorn (return)CHF 95CHF 109CHF 120
Zermatt to Testa Grigia / Plateau Rosá (one way)CHF 89CHF 107CHF 121
Zermatt to Testa Grigia / Plateau Rosá (return)CHF 135CHF 163CHF 185
Zermatt to Cime Bianche Laghi (one way) CHF 119.50CHF 133.50
Zermatt to Cime Bianche (return) CHF 182CHF 204
Zermat to Plan Maison (one way) CHF 130.50CHF 144.50
Zermatt to Plan Maison (return) CHF 200CHF 222
Zermatt to Cervinia (one way) CHF 142CHF 156
Zermatt to Cervinia (return) CHF 218CHF 240

Discounts

  • Free for children up to 8 years old.
  • Children 9 to 16 travel at half price.
  • The Swiss Half Card is valid.

ITALY TO SWITZERLAND CABLE CAR PRICES

Here’s a breakdown of all the prices (as of summer 2023) from Italy to Switzerland

RouteJul & AugSep & Oct
Cervinia to Plan Maison (one way)€12.50 
Cervinia to Plan Maison (return)€19 
Cervinia to Cime Bianche Laghi (one way)€23.50 
Cervinia to Cime Bianche Laghi (return)€37 
Cervinia Plan Plateau Rosà (one way)€35 
Cervinia Plan Plateau Rosà (return)€55 
Cervinia to Klein Matterhorn (one way)€78€71
Cervinia to Klein Matterhorn (return)€120€109
Cervinia to Trockener Steg (one way)€114.50€104
Cervinia to Trockener Steg (return)€179.50€163
Cervinia to Zermatt (one way)€156€142
Cervinia to Zermatt (return)€240€218

Discounts

  • Free for children up to 8 years old.
  • Children 9 to 16 travel at half price.
matterhorn view from klein matterhorn
MATTERHORN FROM KLEIN MATTERHORN

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