Holidays in Montreux

Montreux is a little bit of everything Swiss - lake, mountains and vineyards, cheese, wine and chocolate... and walking of course

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).

Lake Geneva

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.

Added value

Half price rail, bus and boat travel with the Swiss Half Fare Card (worth over £100 per person)

Swiss Family Card Included - free travel for children under 16 on mainline trains/buses/boats in Switzerland when accompanied by a parent

24/7 support & tailored advice from our local resort team

All holidays include flights or trains from the UK and train transfers

Walking in and around Montreux

On an Inghams walking holiday, you have the freedom to explore the area at your own pace. Each day, a new adventure, with as much or as little walking as you like.

Why we love walking holidays in Montreux

With around 100 kilometres of walking paths there are plenty of opportunities in and around Montreux, for pleasant lakeside strolls or longer walks in the hills above the town. There are several walks which meander through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the terraced Lavaux vineyards, which stretch along the shores of Lake Geneva. Not only this, but you also have quick and easy access to walking in France on the south side of Lake Geneva too.

Getting around Montreux

Trains

Switzerland has an incredible railway system - one of the best in the world. You can use your included Swiss Half Fare Card to get up to 50% off journeys across Switzerland. Montreux has its very own train station, meaning you can enjoy a day trip to nearby towns for a change of scenery and explore more of the local walking terrain.

Routes and timetables are available locally. The best way to enjoy the trains is to pre-book a travel pass - see the "Cards & passes" tab for more information (supplements may apply locally for some routes).

Mountain railway

The Montreux to Rochers-de-Naye cogwheel railway takes you to a walking hotspot in just under one hour. From here you’ll experience spectacular views over the Alps, Montreux Riviera and Lake Geneva.

You can get up to 50% reduction on the fare when using your included Swiss Half Fare Card.

Bus

The bus circulates regularly along the lake, from Vevey to Villeneuve via Montreux. The main bus line number is 201, which is perfect for quick and easy access to onward connections and walking trails. There are also plenty of other numbered and colour-coded routes which reach hiking start points and mountain villages as well.

With the Montreux Riviera Guest Card that's included, you have free travel on these local buses, including Villeneuve nature reserve, Vevey and Glion viewpoint.

Boats

There are plenty of ports to stop at when catching one of the ferries or pleasure boats from Montreux. Nearby stops to consider include:

  • Vevey
  • Lausanne-Ouchy
  • Evian-les Bains

Use your Montreux Riviera Resort Card to get 20% discount on regional rides on the CGN’s Belle Epoque boats that sail around Lake Geneva.

Our favourite walks in and around Montreux

Montreux Riviera promenade

  • Easy walk
  • 6km
  • Expect to take one to two hours

Soak up the sun as you stroll alongside the lake shore. Visit the beautiful old town of Villeneuve, another place to explore after passing Switzerland's most visited historic building – the Chateau Chillon. For a short extension, carry on from Villeneuve and take the short walk (approx. 15 minutes) along the shore to Le Bouveret to admire the various plants and wildlife, including over 270 species of bird, which can be found here.

Chemin des Narcisses

  • Easy walk
  • 6km
  • Expect to take around two hours

View Lake Geneva from above as you complete this circular nature walk from Les Avants. Pass through stunning meadows with daffodils and fresh alpine forests with lots of wildlife. Take a short break on the trail bench, providing the best views facing the Dents du Midi, a three-kilometres mountain range in the distance.

Rochers-de-Naye to Montreux

  • Moderate walk
  • 13.2km
  • Expect to take around four hours

After catching the cogwheel railway up the mountain, make your way back down to Montreux on foot, a scenic route passing over the sandstone cliff trail and along steep ridges. This mountain is known as the home of marmots, so keep your eyes peeled for some friendly faces along the way. Before making the descent, you can visit ‘La Rambertia’ alpine garden at the summit of the Rochers de Naye where there are 1,000 alpine plants and great views of the lake.

Useful information and guidelines

Recommended equipment

Suitable walking shoes with good grip, appropriate clothing, rain jacket, sun cream, sun glasses, rucksack, at least a litre of water, a re-usable water bottle, a snack and cash. You may find walking poles useful.

Walking maps

For Montreux we recommend picking up a walking map from the tourist office or downloading one digitally online from the Montreux Riviera website. Maps will have a key to help you understand the nature of the walk before you begin. You can often find these from the hotel reception area too. 

Hiking guidelines

The mountains are a natural paradise, with lots to explore and discover. To help it stay that way, and remain an enjoyable and safe place for everyone, we recommend following our little list of do's and don'ts:

  • Plan your route well and don't overestimate yourself
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Tell someone where you're planning to walk and what time you're expecting to be back
  • Take all the recommended equipment
  • Make a note of emergency numbers:
    • Swiss Emergency Services: 144
  • Don't leave the marked trails or go onto a glacier without a guide
  • Let nature stay wild by not picking alpine flowers (it's illegal in some places) or getting close to/making contact with wild animals
  • Always leave gates as you found them
  • Leave no trace

Check out our Responsible Walking insider guide if you want more tips for your summer walking holiday.

Hotels in Montreux

  • from£859pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 75 rooms
Hotel Rene Capt, Montreux - Lake Views From The Terrace

Hotel René Capt is close to the water, just behind the leafy lakefront promenade and within an easy walk of the centre of Montreux. In front of the hotel the lush, green, palm-lined garden has loungers for relaxing and soaking up the sun. Opt for a Lake View room to enjoy the best of the views.

  • from£799pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    3 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 30 rooms
Montreux Masson 2

The oldest hotel in Montreux, family-run Hotel Masson is a member of Swiss Historic Hotels. It's close to Chateau Chillon and a pleasant lakeside stroll from Montreaux's bustling centre. Enjoy romantic interiors, exceptional meals, lake views, and exceedingly comfortable beds.

  • from£969pp
  • @accommodation.PropertyRating

    4 Rating

    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

  • 157 rooms
Eurotel Montreux - aerial view2

The towering Hotel Eurotel sits at the edge of Lake Geneva - step inside for a taste of the French Riviera. Enjoy lakefront dining and sip prosecco on the terrace. In the centre of Montreux's centre and close to the quay and train station it's a great location for exploring.

Travel information

All our holidays include return travel either by flight or train, and then a transfer between the airport or railway station and Montreux.

All departures are on Saturdays, Wednesdays or Fridays with stays from three - 14 nights.

On arrival into Montreux station, there will be a hotel shuttle or taxi to take you to your hotel.

Travel by air

Flights to Geneva airport are available from six UK airports.

Flights to Geneva:

Fly from

Days

Durations

Gatwick

Wed, Fri, Sat

3 - 14

Heathrow

Wed, Fri, Sat

3 - 14

Luton

Wed, Fri, Sat

3 - 14

Bristol

Fri, Sat

6, 7, 13, 14

Manchester

Wed, Fri, Sat

3 - 14

Edinburgh

Wed, Fri, Sat

3 - 14

Transfer time from Geneva airport: approx. one hour 15 minutes by rail. Your journey may have a change of trains.

On arrival into Montreux station there will be a hotel shuttle or taxi to take you to your hotel.

Flight supplements may apply and are based on seven nights of midweek/weekend departures. 

Travel by train

We offer holidays by train to Montreux which depart on Saturdays for seven or 14 days. The journey takes around 14 hours from London St. Pancras and you'll be able to enjoy the change of scenery out of the train window as you journey through France and into the Alps of Switzerland.

The provisional outbound timings are:

Saturdays

Arrive

Depart

London St Pancras

-

07:01

Change at Paris

10:20 (Gare du Nord)

14:22 (from Paris Gare du Lyon)

Change at Basel

17:26

onward travel by train

Onward travel from Basel: the transfer from Basel to Montreux will be by train. The journey will take around three hours and will have two or three changes of train.

On arrival into Montreux station, there will be a hotel shuttle or taxi to take you to your hotel. 

For your return journey, you will travel back to Basel on Saturday morning by train. The journey takes around three hours and will have two or three changes of train.

The provisional inbound timings from Basel are:

Saturdays

Arrive

Depart

Basel

travel to Basel by train

14:34

Change at Paris

17:38 (Gare du Lyon)

19:12 (Gare du Nord)

London St. Pancras

20:30

-

Swiss Half Fare Card and Montreux Riviera Resort Card - included

The Swiss transport network is an excellent combination of trains, mountain railways, cable-cars, boats and buses that make it a pleasure to get around and explore at your own pace. 

Swiss Half Fare Card included for all Inghams guests

The Swiss Half Fare Card is included in the price of your holiday and is sent to you as part of your rail transfer tickets. This card can be used around Switzerland for up to 50% discount on various modes of transport - so make sure you keep it with you. It also gives free travel to children from 6 to 15 years old, when accompanied by a parent with the Family Card.

Montreux Riviera Resort Card - included

The ‘Montreux Riviera Resort Card’ is provided by your hotel upon arrival and gives you:

  • Free Travel on local buses, including to Villeneuve nature reserve, Vevey and Glion viewpoint above the lake
  • Free welcome drink at the tourist office upon arrival
  • Up to 50% reduction on entrance to many local attractions, including Château de Chillon and Swiss Toy Museum
  • Reduced fares on some mountain railways

Subject to change.

Lake Geneva Regional Pass - pre-bookable

Lake Geneva Regional Pass (pre-bookable)

The Lake Geneva Regional Pass is best for getting around on trains, boats and mountain railways in the Lake Geneva region including Vevey, Evian, Geneva and Rochers de Naye.

There are two passes available:

  • Five day pass - includes two days of unlimited travel and three days with 50% off
  • Seven day pass - includes three days of unlimited travel and four days with 50% off

Subject to change. Please note that the Chocolate/Cheese train is not included.

Things to do in Montreux

Things to do in Montreux

Walking in Montreux

With nearby alpine gardens, vineyards and nature reserves, Montreux makes for a fantastic walking destination – perfect for beginner hikers and leisurely strollers. A less challenging walk is the Gorges du Chauderon, coming across beautiful greenery in under three miles, with easily accessible paths. Or, if you are wanting to test your fitness, there are also routes like the “Dent de Jaman” to the summit of Rochers de Naye starting in Haux-de-Caux, a circular with rewarding views of Lake Geneva.

Leisurely cycling and mountain biking

Everyone loves a scenic bike ride, right? The beautiful lakeside promenade lined with palm trees and flowers can be explored even further by bike. Take a gentle ride to nearby villages such as Clarens and Veytaux for picture-perfect views with refreshment breaks along the way. More of a mountain biker? Then the 29-kilometre Montreux Panorama circular trail will have you winding through forests, riding over rolling hills and speeding down tracks to Bains de l'Alliaz.

Sightseeing and shopping

Montreux has excellent train, bus and boat links to the Swiss cities and towns of Geneva, Lausanne, Morges, Vevey and Nyon; as well as the French towns of Évian-les-Bains, Yvoire, Thonon-les-Bains and Saint-Gingolph. This is a wonderful base to explore the region, with lots of places to visit – perfect for day trips around Lake Geneva. Alternatively, take the little mountain train up to Rochers de Naye, one of Switzerland's favourite viewpoints.

Lake cruises

Hop on a charming lake steamer or ferry as you set sail to nearby towns and villages. Or, take a round trip. The scenic cruises will have you landing in Evian, Lausanne and other pretty destinations to explore further by foot. Glide over the clear waters as you travel past Chillon Castle, alongside the Swiss and French Alps on the two-hour Montreux Riviera cruise by paddle-steamer.

Château de Chillon

Visit the famous 12th Century castle, located on a rock on Lake Geneva's banks – something quite spectacular. The museum inside is incredible for the whole family, and has amazing views over Lake Geneva. Or, visit the nearby Fort de Chillon in Veytaux – an interactive military museum.

History and culture museums

You can explore the three museums of centre of Montreux, being the Musée de Montreux, Centre Culturel Maison Visinand, and Queen: The Studio Experience. Not only this, but you have endless other museums around the lake, which you can get to at a reduced rate using your Swiss Half Fare Card. Sports lovers, head to Lausanne and visit the impressive Olympic Museum.

Visit Vevey

Visit the old town of Vevey, with its cobbled streets, little shops and local history museum. You can also go to “Chaplin’s world,” the Charlie Chaplin interactive museum. On Saturdays from July to September, there are folk markets that take place in Vevey – ideal for snapping up some souvenirs and local products.

Lavaux Vineyards - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Take a trip to the staggered vineyards in Lavaux where you can taste some of the 300 regional wines. Discover the UNESCO world heritage site – where you will go on a beautiful vine grower stroll before tasting the fresh products back inside. Maybe you will find your new favourite wine.

Flora and fauna

Head up the surrounding mountains to beautiful gardens and flower trails. Or, make your way down to Villeneuve, where ‘Les Grangettes’ nature reserve is an internationally recognised hotspot for songbirds, natural habitats and home to over 250 species. There are even beavers here too – will you spot one?

Water sports

You can pick up a paddle board, canoe and other water sport equipment at local hire shops, perfect for cooling off on the lake. If your feeling daring, then there are also opportunities to try more advanced water sports like wakeboarding, water skiing and rubber dinghy and banana boat rides.

Festivals and events

  • Montreux Jazz festival with live music (approx. 5 - 20 Jul)
  • ‘September Musical’ classical music festival
  • Street Artists festival with free shows in Vevey
Family activities in Montreux

Family activities in Montreux

Marmotte Paradise observation area

View Lake Geneva from new heights as you make your way up the Rochers-de-Naye by rack railway. There is even a “Marmottes Paradise” themed coach, so keep your eyes peeled and count how many marmots you can spot – they love soaking up the sun and being cheeky - just like your little ones.

Glacier 3000

Take a journey up to the glacier where the whole family can brave the peak walk by Tissot suspension bridge, or zoom down the alpine coaster at the funpark. This is also an exceptional place for family photos, with an incredible ice capped backdrop – even in the summer months.

Swiss Chocolate Train

Pack your bags and set off for a full day culinary trip. This experience will have you all seeing, smelling and most importantly tasting the world-famous Swiss chocolate. Starting in Montreux, going to Broc and then returning, you will visit the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory and “La Maison du Gruyère” show dairy where they produce famous Swiss cheese.

Water sports on Lake Geneva

Head down to one of the public swimming areas for a dip in the lake. Or, increase the fun by renting water sport equipment like stand-up paddle boards or canoes. Have a family race, or if you have teens looking for real speed, let them try wakeboarding.

Aquaparc

This family fun spot close to Montreux has lots of fast flumes, rubber raft rides and family slides. There is also a kiddie section called “Sharkyland,” with their own suitable slides and paddle pool. This waterpark also has a large splash lagoon, wave pool and outdoor lazy river – perfect for all ages.

Scenic boat trips

Take a seat on one of the boats as you take a round trips on Lake Geneva. Perhaps a game of eye-spy would be good, where you can point out Chillon Castle or the nature reserve Les Grangettes. Considering how large the lake is, you have lots of opportunities of routes – so why not hop and off rather than go on a full round tour.

Explore Geneva

If you love a shopping spree, head to the city of Geneva by train, located on the other end of the lake. From giant indoor department stores to boutique cobbled street shops, there is something for everyone. Or, let them go round spotting landmarks like the Jet d’Eau.

Excursions

Bookable locally

‘Riviera Tour ’ lake cruise

Daily 
A 2 hour cruise on the picturesque ‘Haut-Lac’ where the most beautiful scenery and impressive backdrops of the upper part of Lake Geneva can be enjoyed.

Chocolate train & Gruyères Cheese Dairy 

The Chocolate Train runs from  May to September 

  • May, June and September on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • July and August every day

Travelling in authentic train carriages from the “Belle Epoque”, style the Chocolate Train allows passengers to discover the landscape and Swiss products. Starting in Montreux, train will cross sunny vineyards, mountain pastures and pass famous chocolate factory in Broc to arrive at the picturesque medieval village Gruyères. Upon completion of this gourmet experience, you will know all there is to know about traditional and tasty Swiss milk choco­late and the famous Gruyères cheese.

Included:

Belle Epoque train Montreux – Montbovon

  • Coffee and chocolate bread served between Montreux and Montbovon
  • Entrance to "La Maison du Gruyère" and entrance to "La Maison Cailler" with chocolate tasting
  • Guiding
  • Coach transfer from Montbovon between sites and travel back to Montreux

Prices include a Swiss Half Fare Card discount.

Please note that the price of excursions will vary depending on the resort you are staying in. We act at all times as a selling agent for the suppliers. All excursions require minimum numbers to run and are subject to change. Some excursions may not be available to pre-book in low season but may be available to book locally subject to numbers. Prices will be confirmed at the time of booking. Please see our terms & conditions.

Good to know

Walking trails: at least 100km of well-marked walking routes

Terrain: diverse terrain from lakeside promenades and vineyard terraces to steeper routes into the hills

Best time to go: end of May to mid October. If you like music, time your visit with the Montreux Jazz Festival

Recommended for: easy walking, food and drink, sightseeing, activities

Arrive into: Geneva airport (approx. 2 hours), or Montreux station (approx. 14 hours from London St. Pancras)

Transfer time: approx. 1 hours 15 mins by train (journey may require changes of train)

24/7 Support and advice: In person or over the phone from our local resort team

Resort card: Swiss Half Fare Card included for all hotels - travel passes are available to pre-book

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