Can You Ski From Cervinia To Zermatt? Skiing Between Italy & Switzerland

by Laura Penrose | Updated: October 27th, 2022 |  Skiing Articles

Going on a ski holiday in Italy and popping over to Switzerland for a day sounds like a great way to spend a day. But, instead of driving or taking a train, can you ski from Cervinia in Italy to Zermatt in Switzerland? 

Yes! You can ski from Cervinia to Zermatt via a ski passageway and enjoy skiing on both sides of Italy – Switzerland border. 

Cervinia Italy ski

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Where Are Cervinia And Zermatt Located?

Cervinia and Zermatt are ski areas located at the base of the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino). The Cervinia area is situated on the Italian side and Zermatt on the Switzerland side.

Cervinia in Italy is located at a high altitude guaranteeing significant and reliable snowfall. With impressive views of the Matterhorn and stunning landscape views of the area, Cervinia ski resort is a great place to visit. 

As Cervinia is located on the Italy side of the Matterhorn, you will be treated to fantastic restaurants and après-ski in the Italian style. 

Zermatt Ski resort in Switzerland is known as the highest ski resort in Europe and attracts skiers worldwide. Known not just for the incredible skiing but the views of the Matterhorn and the cultural vibes, Zermatt offers a genuinely unique Swiss experience.

Can You Ski Between Cervinia And Zermatt?

Photo by Leo-setä licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

So, if you are going on a ski vacation to either Cervinia or Zermatt, can you ski to the other area? Yes, you can. As of 2014, a passage between Cervinia and Zermatt was opened to allow skiers to ski between the two regions. 

This ski passageway has opened up a large area for skiers basing themselves out on one or the other side of the Matterhorn. Open both during the winter and summer seasons!

If you plan to ski over from Cervinia to Zermatt or from Zermatt to Cervinia for the day, make sure you don’t lose track of time to get the last lift back. Driving between the two takes around 3 hours and 45 minutes, and you may end up having to stay the night in Switzerland or Italy! Which might be a fun or costly adventure - or both.

Why Ski Between Cervinia And Zermatt?

Ski at Cervinia
Photo by /kallu licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Zermatt is one of the largest ski areas in Europe (behind Les Portes du Soleil), but the cost of skiing here is more expensive than in Cervinia. 

A lift pass at Cervinia starts at 36€ compared to 83 CHF (the CHF exchange rate is very similar to the Euro) for a day pass to Zermatt. However, as Cervinia and Zermatt are linked, it is possible to buy a ski pass for both areas at a discounted price (known as an “International Pass”). The prices start at 97 CHF for winter passes. 

Buying a ski pass to both areas will allow you to enjoy up to 360 kilometers of pistes across two regions. Zermatt alone has over 200 kilometers of pistes to ski on, making it an extensive area to ski. 

Photo by Patrick Nouhailler licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As such, if you are planning on visiting the Zermatt-Cervinia area, you should plan for multiple days of skiing to make the most of the experience. Prices drop the more days that you book for. You can check out the price calculator to see the costs here

Because both of these ski areas are so large, I would recommend taking a few days to explore both Cervinia and Zermatt. It is possible to base yourself out of one side and then take the lifts up and ski a full day on the other side, but you will need several days to explore this vast area and take full advantage of everything on offer. 

Other Options To Travel Between Cervinia And Zermatt

Traveling between Cervinia and Zermatt without skiing will become much easier with the new Matterhorn Alpine Crossing. Right now, driving a car between Cervinia and Zermatt is around a 3-hour and 45-minute trip, but this new crossing will allow for a 1-hour transfer and sightseeing trip on the new 3S cable car. 

Skiing at Zermatt Switzerland
Photo by Atibordee Kongprepan licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

This new cable car will go from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise on the Zermatt side to Testa Grigia on the Cervinia side, making it possible to travel between the two without skiing. This excellent cable car will span over 4,000 m in altitude change. 

This link is set to open in spring 2023.  Other options for traveling between Cervinia and Zermatt include taking a train or a bus. However, due to the location of these two areas, this can be difficult.

As such, I recommend choosing one side of the Matterhorn as your base location and buying the “international pass” to ski in Cervinia and Zermatt. 

Should You Base Yourself At Cervinia Or Zermatt?

Zermatt Switzerland
Photo by Philip Larson licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you are planning on going on a ski vacation to Cervinia or Zermatt, you should be planning on spending multiple days at the location. As discussed before, until the new cable car link between the two areas opens, it can be difficult to travel between the two places unless you ski there.

Which side of the Matterhorn you base yourself on really comes down to what experience you are looking for. Especially for accommodation, après-ski culture, and landscape views of the Matterhorn. 

Skiing at Cervinia is cheaper than at Zermatt. So, if you plan to ski for multiple days and you want to stay in Cervinia, you could buy a ski pass for just Cervinia for the first few days and then the international pass to ski to Zermatt for the rest of the trip for example. 

Where you should stay also might depend on where you are coming from. Cervinia is a 3-hour 30-minute bus ride from Milan Malpensa airport, whereas Zermatt is a similar train ride from Geneva airport.  

Cervinia lift ski
Photo by Nick Webb licensed under CC BY 2.0

Your Next Getaway?

Going skiing in the Cervinia or Zermatt area is an incredible experience, but the ability to ski between the two has opened up a world of opportunity. Whether you are looking to pop over to Switzerland for lunch or ski over 360 km of terrain, the ski passageway between Cervinia and Zermatt allows you to explore the extensive area at the base of the Matterhorn.

If you like resorts that allow you to ski between countries, check out our article on skiing between France & Switzerland.