Montreux sits on the north-east shore of Lake Geneva, between bright blue waters and the forested foothills of the Alps. Visitors have long been drawn to the mild climes here – from the monks who first planted the Lavaux vineyards to the well-heeled tourists and rock stars who have stayed in the belle époque mansions and stylish hotels. Trains climb into the mountains, exploring food routes and heading up to high alpine footpaths and viewpoints. The mild climate also fuels the food and drink scene; the whole Montreux Riviera is famous for its wine and cuisine.
Strolling the Montreux Riviera
A promenade runs along the shore of Lake Geneva, sweeping south from Montreux to the town of Villeneuve via the medieval towers of the charming Château de Chillon. Look out for Freddie Mercury while walking the prom; Queen recorded six albums in the Mountain Studios in Montreux, along with fellow rockers Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie. If music is your thing, time your visit for the summer Montreux Jazz Festival (around 5-20 July 2024).
Geneva is the largest lake in Switzerland – and one of the best ways to explore it is by boat. Ferries and paddle steamers cruise between the villages, towns and cities that dot the shores. With a day pass in hand, you can hop on and off wherever you fancy (we recommend Vevey for museums and galleries or Lausanne for its café culture and the Olympic Museum). To see the lake from above, head up the Rochers de Naye cog railway from Montreux - there's views for miles and plenty of exciting walking trails to discover.
The Lavaux vineyards
The Lavaux vineyards were founded by the monasteries that ruled these parts back in the 11th Century. With sunny, sheltered terraces that dip down towards the waters of Lake Geneva, the Lavaux must be one of the prettiest winemaking regions in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spanning around 800 hectares, it has some of the loveliest walking territory too, including the 11 kilometre-long Terrasses de Lavaux hiking trail. Back in Montreux, you can sip a glass of Lavaux-grown Chasselas with a plate of fresh fish or platter of peppery le petit chaude cheese.
Trains and trails or cheese and chocolate?
You can take your pick of train stations in Montreux, which is home to the scenic trans-Alpine Simplon railway line. A cog railway also runs up to the viewpoint at Rochers de Naye. From here, you can embark on the final part of the Via Alpina long-distance walking trail, which runs back down to Montreux, or wander the Alpine garden. Alternatively, embark on a typically Swiss culinary day out and hop aboard the Chocolate Train which runs from Montreux. The belle époque-style carriages trundle through vineyards and mountain meadows, to Montbovon where the Chocolate bus takes over, taking you first to the medieval village of Gruyères - famous for its cheese - and on to the village of Broc and the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory.
Why book a summer holiday in Montreux with Inghams?
At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of the Montreux's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.
With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Montreux include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team overseas can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.