Montreux

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We had just one night in sophisticated Montreux and stayed at the Hotel & Spa Bristol. We had a family room with sofa bed for our children and it was a wonderful choice for a very expensive area of Switzerland. The bus stop was right outside so going to the town side or Chateaux de Chillion was easy. Our room was on a higher floor and faced the city. Breakfast was more than adequate and included tasty muesli.

In Montreux we were able to hike through the Lavaux vineyards and they are truly spectacular in beauty. We also toured the Chateaux De Chillon and strolled on the lakeside promenade.

The Montreux Riviera card:

Montreux-Vevey Tourism created this card to make the guest’s stay more pleasant. The Riviera Card is offered free to every guest staying in a hotel and offers many advantages such as free rides on VMCV buses and 50% reduction for train tickets in the area with the free Riviera card at Montreux.

 

Free Airport Transfers in Geneva:

If landing at Geneva airport, before you leave the baggage claim area, look out for a machine that says “free ticket,” right by the exit. Just press the button, and you’ll get a ticket valid for the next 80 minutes on trains, buses and trams, completely free.

 

Montreux area attractions

  1. Chateaux De Chillon (Free admission with valid Swiss Pass)
  2. Montreux lakeside promenade is a pure delight
  3. Lavaux vineyards
    1. Train from Montreux To Vevey
    2. Wine train from Vevey to Chexbres
    3. Walk thru vineyards to St. Saphorin and down to Rivaz
    4. Boat ride back to Montreux or train back to Montreux

 

The Terraced vineyards of Lavaux

The terraced vineyards stretching out in both directions (30 km!) are stunning in beauty and you will understand why this area has been protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Villages in the area include Lutry, Grandvaux, Rivaz and St. Saphorin,

There is a Wine train to Chexbres from Vevey. In Vevey, you can go off for a  walk down hill through the vineyards and down to St. Saphorin or Rivaz along the lake. There are nice paved walking paths, but not much signage. You’ll see several walkways going left, right, and down, and you can just pick any one of them and meander along. At several spots along the way, you’ll see information boards with paintings of the grapes and descriptions of the types of wine made from them. You’ll also see signs telling you which vintner owns that vineyard.

Soon you’ll see the red roofs of the village of Rivaz, and then you’ll be wandering through its twisted streets. In Rivaz, you can stop and eat at the Auberge du Rivaz across the street from the lake, with a terrace overlooking the lake.

You can catch either the train in St. Saphorin to return to Montreux or from Rivaz take a boat from the ferry dock. And with the Swiss pass any option you pick your transportation is covered.

The lakeside village of Cully, just east of Lausanne, is a picturesque stop and has two fine restaurants, the Auberge du Raisin and the Au Major Davel.

The lakeside village of Lutry, just two miles east of Lausanne, has a well-posted tour of medieval buildings as well as some good wine caves for tasting.

There are also 1 hour boat tours to Vevey from Lausanne – home to IOC.
Restaurants in the area:-

  • Café de Riex in the village of the same name, a family-owned bistro with delicious home-style fare
  • Café de la Poste in Cully for its excellent perch filets
  • Auberge La Crochettaz in Epesses, this unique hotel/restaurant offers Swiss, Indian and Chinese food as well as one of the most delightful lake views of any establishment in the region
  • Guillaume Tell in Aran, an exquisite experience in an elegant setting

Rochers-de-Naye

You can catch a little train from Montreux station to a beautiful spot high above the lake, Rochers-de- Naye (alt. 2045 m).  If you have a Riviera card, you get 50% off this journey. The train journey is just under an hour (50 mins each way) and winds through beautiful countryside, climbing all the way.  At the top there is a cafe cut into the cliff, overpriced slightly but with beautiful views over Lake Geneva and the mountains on a clear day.  You can breathe in the fresh mountain air and enjoy good views.

Tickets must be booked by phone, see the website http://www.goldenpass.ch/en/goldenpass/offer/view?id=12

Cheese and Chocolate Trains

Reports on the cheese and chocolate train by at least some folks are that it is a touristy rip off. The scenery getting there is fine but there are many other routes to get scenery.

But if you are a cheese aficionado you may well enjoy it, both the cheese factory and the castle in Gruyères.  You can also ride the “Chocolate Train” that takes you through the region where Swiss chocolate was born. Visit the Cailler chocolate factory and taste plenty of chocolate along the way.

 

A word on Switzerland’s scenic trains

A great way to experience the scenic beauty of Switzerland is through relaxing train journeys.

The Glacier Express, Bernina Express and William Tell Express are among the scenic trains.

The Bernina express which travels through astounding scenery from Chur to Tirano is one that any visitor will remember for life. The Glacier Express is a longer train journey and while it includes beautiful scenery some folks find it a tad too long.

Golden Pass:

The best of the Golden Pass journey is the five-hour stretch from Luzern to Lake Geneva, and its crème de la crème is the two hours between Zweisimmen and Montreux.

Other Swiss Experiences

Check out any of Switzerland’s numerous World Heritage Sites such as Lavaux, Aletsch Glacier, the castles of Bellinzona and the old city of Berne.

You can actually rent a battery powered E-bike across the whole of Switzerland. Bikers enjoy the journey through the village and vineyards of Lavaux among other places.

Visit the Lausanne Cathedral at night and wait for the night watchman to call out the hour from the tower.

Rent a paddle boat in Lausanne and fanciful waterfront of Ouchy.

Visit CERN near Geneva, where The World Wide Web was invented in 1989 by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee. This invention created a revolution in communications worldwide.

Swiss villages and towns are home to some delightful street markets, like Carouge in Geneva and the Laret market in Pontresina.

You can Shop at the Manor department store in Geneva for Swiss chocolates but they are closed on Sundays. We like Frey classic branche among others.

Switzerland is a very blessed and beautiful country and most of all I loved its public transportation. You can get to any part of the country simply using its fabulous trains, buses and boats. I admire the Swiss efficiency and the manner in which they make visitors feel welcome by making it so easy to traverse the length and breadth of this stunning country.

 

Please do visit https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/home.html for more information.