Hear about travel to Montreux and the Swiss Riviera as the Amateur Traveler talks to Chantal Patton from GrowingUpWithoutBorders.com about her adopted home country.
Chantal says: “If you’re talking about the French area, everyone hears often about Geneva and Lake Geneva, the Swiss Riviera is that beautiful area along Lake Geneva going over towards what they call the Valais area. I could go on and on about how beautiful it is. It’s a place that is sometimes missed. A lot of people go to the Swiss-German area, and they go see maybe Interlaken or Lucerne or maybe even find into Geneva but don’t really fully go around the lake and discover the beauty.”
Chantal starts us in Geneva. You can fly in there and easily catch a train to the other end of the lake to Montreux which can be a good base for exploring this area. Along the way, you will have a view of the French Alps on the south side of Lake Geneva (or Lac Léman). Check into your hotel or B&B and then recover from your jetlag with a stroll along the shores of the lake. In the summer, bring your swimsuit and take a dip in the lake or in a lakeside pool. Visit the Chillon Castle which inspired the Little Mermaid castle.
If you are a fan of Charlie Chaplain, there is a museum near Montreux in the house where the actor retired. Take a day to go on the MOB (Montreux Oberland Bernois) Railway which is a scenic train that heads up into the mountains behind the city. Also in that area is the city of Gruyères which is known for its cheese but you should also try the local chocolate from Gruyères.
For adventure sports, there is skiing and paragliding. On Rochers de Naye you can ski or sightsee. There is a restaurant at the end of the hour-long train ride with a great view into the Swiss Alps. Take a hike while you are there.
Take a ride on one of the CGN Boats which are sidewheeler paddleboats along the lake. Make a stop at Évian-les-Bains where the world-famous Évian water comes from.
There are many festivals in the Montreux area including the Montreux Noël Christmas market, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Fête des Vignerons (feast of the winemakers). The wine area at the north side of the lake is the Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces which are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Fans of Queen can come for Freddie Mercury Days.
Whether you take an alpine coaster or lounge in local hot springs, feast on the local cheese, or hike the mountains, there are a range of activities for visitors.
We also talk about the town of Zermatt and the Matterhorn which can make a great side trip from the area.
This episode is sponsored by Away. Start your 100-day trial and shop the entire Away lineup of travel essentials, including their best-selling suitcases, at AwayTravel.com/traveler.
right click here to download (mp3)
Montreux Oberland Bernois Railway
Rochers de Naye
Regional National Park Gruyère Pays D’Enhaut
Ski resort french alps
Montreux Jazz Festival
Fête des Vignerons
Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces – UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Switzerland UNESCO Sites
Le Deck – Montreux Riviera
Les Bains de Lavey Thermal baths
Alpine Coaster – Glacier3000
Fairmont Le Montreux Palace
Please take our listener survey