Wonderful French vibes on the Swiss Riviera in Montreux, between the mountains and the lake, known for its microclimate and annual Jazz Festival in summer and Christmas market in winter.
With a beautiful lakeside promenade, and belle epoque architecture, you have a lot to discover. Great food, with many restaurants to choose from, and lots of local attractions and activities, you will be spoiled for choice.
Montreux is home to the Château de Chillon, a medieval castle, dating back to the 12th century, and also more recently renowned for Freddie Mercury and Queen’s link to the town, where you will find the Queen recording studios inside the Casino, fans can enjoy free access, and visit the bronze Freddie Mercury statue at the lake shores.
The Lake expands all the way to Geneva (1 hour by car/train), and across to France; you can take a day trip on the lake by steam boat, or hop on and off and enjoy the small towns and villages along the way.
Château de Chillon
Chateau de Gruyeres
You can go for a day trip to Gruyeres, the town famous for it’s cheese, you can visit the cheese factory, and also the medieval village itself, set high on a hill with the 13th century castle, Chateau de Gruyeres, at the top.
There are many restaurants on the cobbled pedestrian only streets where you can enjoy traditional Swiss cheese fondue or raclette.
Nearby is the Maison Cailler chocolate factory, and you can access these with the cheese or chocolate train from Montreux.
Why not take a trip to the UNESCO world heritage Lavaux vineyards, located just after Vevey, and stretching for 30 kilometres. You can enjoy wine-tasting on the stunning panoramic terraces, and many guided tours and excursions run, to make the most of the many vineyards.
Accessible by the Golden Pass railway line is Rochers de Naye, 2’042 metres above sea level, offering incredible views over Lake Geneva, the Swiss Alps and the Jura mountains. For the more adventurous, you can hike to the summit in around 5 hours from Montreux. At the summit you can also enjoy wildlife, a panoramic restaurant, and skiing activities plus a visit to Father Christmas in his grotto in December.
Lavaux vineyards, Vevey
For the more adventurous, there is the Glacier 3000, with the peak walk suspension bridge, home to the highest bobsleigh track in the world, a place you can go tobogganing, dog sledding, ride the Alpine Coaster, and of course, hit the slopes for cross-country skiing. The views are also impeccable, should you prefer to just sit and soak in the vistas.
Only 40 minutes to the mountain resorts of Villars, Les Diablerets (Glacier 3000), Les Portes du Soleil, and Leysin, and 1 hour from Verbier, Crans Montana and Gstaad, which are fantastic in summer as well as winter, where you can enjoy the landscapes, fresh mountain air, hiking and climbing in the summer months, and ski resorts with ski domains and activities for all levels in winter. Zermatt is also accessible within 2 hours, where you can marvel the famous Matterhorn peak.
Montreux is approximately 1 hour from both Geneva and Bern, and 2 hours from Zurich.