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The lakeside resort of Montreux is one of the best places to enjoy Switzerland. Surrounded by nature and on the banks of Lac Léman, it’s buzzing with lively culture and a vibrant arts scene. Don’t miss the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival which is a definite must-see.
Montreux’s lakeside promenade is always bursting with colourful flowers and is a favourite for walkers, runners and those looking to take a dip in the glistening waters of the lake. The trail takes you from Montreux along to the town of Vevey or to Chillon Castle. All in all, it is a 10 kilometre walk that is best enjoyed during spring or summer.
The highlight of any trip to Montreux is Chillon Castle, a medieval fortress that sits atop a rocky outcrop overlooking Lac Léman. It’s known as Switzerland’s most beautiful castle and as you approach it from the lakeside promenade, you’ll understand why, as its setting couldn’t be better.
As November ends, Montreux comes alive with the arrival of the month-long Christmas market, one of the best in all of Switzerland. Chillon Castle turns into a medieval wonderland that’ll keep young children entranced, while at the market you can try traditional local delicacies and browse through handicrafts to your heart’s content.
Every year come July, Montreux plays host to one of the world’s biggest and best jazz festivals. Big names from all over the world flock to grace the stages at this week long festival, where you can also enjoy music from up and coming artists at the free shows. The atmosphere and the setting are unsurpassed.
A short walk along Montreux’s promenade takes you to Vevey. There you’ll find Charlie Chaplin Square, with a charming lifelike sculptor of the actor and artist. After dodging your way past the Chaplin impersonators, who turn up everywhere, you can escape to the fascinating Charlie Chaplin Museum, which will show a side of the great man that’s not always seen.
In May, the fields above Montreux turn white with the coming of the narcissus blooms, one of the most beautiful feats of nature to be found in this part of the country. These blooms are beautiful, but they are also disappearing year after year, so don’t forget to support the local agencies who are vying to protect them.
A short distance from Montreux are the Lavaux vineyards, a splendid stop-over for wine lovers and a fantastic hike for everyone else. The vineyards stretch for around 30 kilometres around the shore of Lac Léman and offer up splendid views of the surrounding mountains. The trails are dotted with wine cellars where you can stop over to try the local beverages.
Discover where the magic happened at the studio where rock legends Queen recorded seven of their albums. Learn all you ever wanted to know about Queen and the story behind the hits. The studio is like Mecca for diehard fans, but even those who know only the chart-toppers will love the experience.
Montreux is a resort town, best enjoyed as summer rolls in. The town sits in a curved bay at the end of Lac Léman, meaning that it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a dip or go for a ride on a boat. Outside of the town, there are also plenty of trails to explore the countryside. Information can be found at the tourist information centres.
Fridays are market day in Montreux and stalls are packed with the best of local produce from the surrounding countryside. During the summer months, the lakeside becomes one long flea market where you can pick up a number of trinkets and souvenirs.
The Golden Pass Line starts or ends in Montreux. It takes you on one of the most scenic adventures through Switzerland, passing by mountainous terrain, glittering lakes and much more. Along the way you stop over at Interlaken and Zweisimmen. Lucerne is the end of the line.