Lake Geneva is a funny place. The lake itself is split right down the middle between Switzerland and France, creating an immersion of two cultures. Almost any location around the lake speaks both French and Swiss. The lake is pristine and hills are filled with vineyards. Montreux lies on the north east side of the lake and is a small city filled with mostly high-end resorts and outstanding restaurants. The city serves as a great home base to visit the rest of the surrounding areas. When staying at one of the hotels, you receive a local train pass that allows you to bounce around. Across the lake there is the famous city of Evian and just south of Montreux is Lausanne and further Geneva.
Montreux, Switzerland City Guide
The most iconic point of interest in Montreux is the famous Château de Chillon that lies on the lake itself. When coming from Montreux, you can walk all the way there along the perfectly manicured pathways filled with fresh flowers. You will be amazed just how perfect the pathway is (I later found out that it is a school project where the kids do community service every weekend by taking care of the plant beds).
Montreux is also famous for the Jazz festival that is held there every year. The city gets filled with live music and festivities for a week and boasts some of the most iconic jazz musicians in the world. The city becomes lively and there are celebrations until the early morning almost every night.
One of my favorite things that I did there was taking the walk up to the old church. It wound through the old part of Montreux and eventually brought you to the top of the hillside. You can see clear across the lake. Along the way there is a gorge you can walk through if you like. The views on this walk are unforgettable. Most of the time was spent laying aside the lake on these little areas that were cut out. They usually have benches and a pier that you can jump into the water. My husband and I sat on the bench and read and sunbathed for hours. It truly was relaxing. The sail boats would pass by and there were plenty of geese to keep you on your toes.
Something about the Swiss that most people do not realize is that they are extremely private. It is not often they smile upon you when passing and they keep to themselves. I learned this first hand when I thought I would strike up a conversation with a family next to us. However the day was well spent enjoying some relaxation.
Overall Montreux is a great location to go enjoy the lake, take a tour of the surrounding cities, sip some wine and take in the fresh air. The amazing marriage of the French culture and Swiss culture is truly unlike most places in the world. You get the pristine cleanliness of Swiss yet the artiness of the French.