Montreux and Vevey are known as the “Pearls of the Swiss Riviera,” and I can only concur. I will never forget the stunning beauty of this area and the wealth of things to do and see. Be sure to take a boat ride on the lake; you will not forget it.
Blessed with an extremely mild micro-climate, Montreux-Vevey features a several-mile promenade with beautiful arrays of palm trees and tropical flowers. Along the promenade, you will find a statue of Charlie Chaplin, one of the area’s famous residents; his family still lives in the region.
What to do and see in Montreux-Vevey
Chateau de Chillon
One of the most interesting attractions 3 miles (5 km) east of Montreux is Chillon Castle, Switzerland’s best-known castle, which was immortalized by Lord Byron. It is located right on the shores of Lake Geneva, and is open to visitors daily.
Fondation du Château de Chillon
Avenue de Chillon 21
CH – 1820 Veytaux-Chillon
Tél: 0 21 966 89 10
Montreux has a strong musical tradition in the summer that attracts visitors from the world over. And surprisingly, right on the promenade, along the waterfront, is a larger than life-sized statue of Freddie Mercury! Musical events include the Golden Rose TV Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Montreux-Vevey Classical Music Festival.
Nestlé’s Food Museum Alimentarium in Vevey presents subjects devoted to food and nutrition and can be experienced in an interactive and informative way.
The nearest mountain is the Rochers-de-Naye, 2,045 m above sea-level. Famous for family outings. Rochers-de-Naye is easily accessible by cogwheel train leaving from Montreux and is a good half-day excursion.
Le Musée Suisse du Jeu (Swiss Museum of Games)
Towers and ramparts dating back to the Middle Ages surround the castle, situated between the lake and the Old Town. In this romantic setting, the Swiss Museum of Games invites you to discover games from around the world and throughout the ages. In addition visitors can play with many classical as well as modern games.
Case postale 9
CH-1814 La Tour-de-Peilz
Tel:0 21 977 23 00
Musée Historique de Vevey (Vevey Historical Museum)
This museum is housed in a beautiful 16th century building dating from the Bernese occupation. Its collections of objects, paintings and documents bring the region’s past back to life. The Château is also the home of the Brotherhood of Winegrowers. It is therefore the place – where – about every 25 years – the famous “Fete des Vignerons”are planned.
Rue du Château 2
Tel: 0 21 921 07 22
Musée Suisse de l’Appareil Photographique (Swiss Camera Museum)
Through a collection of cameras dating from the invention of photography to the present day you will see The history of photography, from the camera obscura and magic lantern to the latest digital images. There is an audio guide in English. Games and special presentations are offered for young visitors.
Tel: 0 21 925 21 40
In a neo-classical style building the Jenisch Gallery houses two institutions which alternate presentations of their own collections and temporary exhibitions. The Fine Arts Gallery has representative works of both Swiss and foreign schools of painting, as well as of modern and contemporary artists. The Cantonal Print Collection maintains and illustrates the art of the print, ancient, modern and contemporary.
Avenue de la Gare 2
CH – 1800 Vevey
Tél: 0 21 921 29 50
Take a boat excursion on Lake Geneva or as the locals call it Lac Leman. There are several tourist boats including some Belle Epoch paddle boats and some modern vessels where you can enjoy a truly unforgettable cruise on this glorious lake.
Compagnie Générale de Navigation
Av. de Rhodanie 17
In the spring of 1976, Léonard Gianadda, an engineer, discovered the remains of an ancient Celtic temple, the oldest of its kind in Switzerland. He used this property to create a memorial to his much loved brother Pierre, who died tragically in a plane crash. Inaugurated on 19 November 1978, the foundation has on display the Roman temple excavation, an automobile museum, a sculpture garden and permanent and temporary art exhibits.
Rue du Forum 59
1920 Martigny (Suisse)
Tel: 0 27 722 39 78
The Golden Pass Panoramic Route is a convenient train link between Montreux and the Jungfrau Region and offers spectacular views of the Lake Geneva Region and the Alps.
Worth a day excursion is a visit to Gruyères. Known for its cheese of the same name, it is also a beautiful walled medieval town. The castle of Gruyères offers awe-inspiring views from its 13th-century ramparts. It also displays treasures owned by the former Counts of Gruyères.
In Pringy, you can learn the secrets of Gruyère cheese-making. Several times a day, farmers come to deliver milk and as you watch, the master cheese-maker produces wheels of Gruyère. The Restaurant de la Fromagerie is on site and offers wonderful cheese specialties.
Where to Stay in Montreux and Vevey
Fairmont – Le Montreux Palace 5-star Luxury
A Belle Epoque gem built in 1906, Le Montreux Palace offers 235 rooms and suites that combine a refined decor with modern comforts and high-technology.
Fairmont Le Montreux Palace is member of Leading Hotels of the World.
CH 1820 Montreux
Tel: 0 21 962 1212
Ermitage au Lac 4-Star
In a chateaux situated on the shores of lake Geneva, you will enjoy a stay that offers calmess and serenity.
Rue du Lac 75
Tel: 0 21 964 44 11
Hotel Trois Couronnes 5-Star Luxury
In the heart of Vevey, situated on Lake Geneva with views of the Alps, this Belle Epoch hotel offers classic, comfortable rooms with all the amenities including an on-site spa with heated pool and gourmet restaurant
rue d’Italie 49
Tel: 0 21 923 32 00
Grand Hotel du Lac 5-star
I have a warm spot in my heart for the Hotel du Lac; we stayed here before its recent renovation, but loved it none-the-less. The hotel offers 50 rooms of which 9 are junior and spacious suites. The hotel is located on the shore of Lac Leman and views overlook the Alps, Lake Geneva or the charming city of Vevey. Entirely renovated in 2006 and decorated with pastel colors, the style is classic and comfortable. The hotel also has an outdoor pool and spa.
1 Rue D’Italie
Tel 0 21 925 06 06
Restaurant Recommendations for Montreux and Vevey
Restaurant le Chateau: Denis Martin $$$
This is one of the most spectacular restaurants of Vevey. Chef and owner Denis Martin is rightly proud of his 2 Michelin Stars, 3 Gault & Millau Toques with a score of 18 out of 20. Specialties include duck liver served with apple chutney and spice bread; and sea bass with basil-flavored olive oil and sweet peppers.
2, rue de Château
Tel: 0 21 921 12 10
Le Pont du Brent $$$$
Three star Michelin chef since 1998, chef Gérard Rabaey, now accepted as an honorary Vaudois, welcomes gourmets to this picturesque residence above Montreux. Rabaey’s inventive French cuisine is prepared with the finest local produce. The wine cellar offers an extensive list of Swiss and French vintages.
4, route de Blonay
CH-1817 Brent/Montreux (Vaud)
Tel: 0 21 964 52 30
Ermitage au Lac
In a chateaux situated on the shores of Lac Leman, Etienne Krebs uses the best of local ingredients to develop his seasonal menus. He is a much-awarded chef who continues to surprise with his culinary prowess.
Rue du Lac 75
Tel: 0 21 964 44 11
Written by Terri Fogarty for EuropeUpClose.com