Located on the Northeast shore of Lake Geneva, in the heart of French-speaking Switzerland, glamorous Montreux is synonymous with that luxurious Riviera lifestyle.
Blessed by a Mediterranean climate, the region features historic castles, vibrant towns, charming countryside and luxurious hotels – making it the ideal destination for a dreamy European weekend away.
Things To Do in Montreux
Fairmont Le Montreux Palace
The city’s poshest pads can be found at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace. Built in 1906, this Jewel of Belle-Époque architecture offers a traditional and elegant atmosphere, with personalized and attentive service in true Swiss style.
In addition to being one of the most prestigious hotels in Switzerland, Fairmont Le Montreux Palace is the largest hotel in the Swiss Riviera, featuring 236 luxuriously furnished rooms and suites. If you’re feeling peckish be sure to visit the hotel’s jaw-dropping Montreux Jazz Cafe, opened in June 2014, the space was born of Claude Nobs’ (founder of Montreux Jazz Festival) passion for music and fine dining.
Switzerland’s most visited castle, Chateau Chillon, is a jaw-dropping fairy tale attraction located just outside of Montreux. The castle is uniquely located on a petite island on Lake Geneva, surrounded by water and filled with period pieces such as ancient chests, hand-carved chairs, and fading frescoes. Chillon began as a Roman outpost, guarding the strategic road through the Alpine passes. Today, visitors can step back in time while strolling through the castle’s nooks and crannies which include a grand bedroom, hall, dungeon, bedrooms, courtyards and illuminated chapel (pictured here) that features a wooden limewood statue of Saint George slaying his dragon. Be sure to pop into the Camera domini (the castle’s oldest bedroom), which was once occupied by the Duke of Savoy – and is decorated in 14th Century medieval murals.
Montreux Jazz Festival
Created in 1967 by Claude Nobs, the Montreux Jazz Festival rapidly became a major international cultural event attracting 250,000 visitors each year. While the festival was originally inspired by jazz, other musical genres quickly emerged inspired by the the mixture of genres and experimental acts that Montreux holds dear. The ambitious two-week event is a favourite with musicians and concert fans alike. If you’re not in town during the festival be sure to visit the Gardens of Fairmont Le Montreux Palace where you’ll find a sculpture garden which pays homage to the festivals most celebrated VIP guests such as Ray Charles, Carlos Santana, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Quincy Jones.
Domaine Close du Boux
Head west from Montreux and you’ll find yourself skipping through lovely Lavaux, one of Switzerland’s most picturesque wine regions. Located on the rolling hills of UNESCO World Heritage Site Epesses, Domaine Clos du Boux is a fifth generation winemaking family who specialize in producing award-winning bottles crafted with the celebrated white wine grape, Chasselas. The Clos du Boux mansion was built in 1649 by Bernese noblemen and today plays home to the winery’s intimate tasting room. Enjoy a splash or two of wine while taking in the awesome views at the winery’s al fresco terrace then march through the historic village in search of another bottle worth popping.
One of Switzerland’s newest attractions, Chaplin’s World, is located a short drive from Montreux at the famous comedian/actors Swiss abode. Guests begin their journey by watching a short film that showcases Chaplin’s most memorable movie moments. You can hear movie buffs audibly gasp as the theatre’s wall fall away, exposing a maze of thematic rooms filled with life-like waxed figures which offer an homage to each of Chaplin’s iconic films. Afterwards stroll through the property’s gardens before skipping through The Manoir. It’s here you can step back in time to see how Chaplin lived with his family in his new Swiss home sweet home.
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