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Visiting Montreux, Switzerland, Viewing the Alps and Lake Geneva

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Lake Geneva & Alps views from Montreux, Switzerland

Lake Geneva & Alps views from Montreux, Switzerland

Montreux, Switzerland

Someday I would love to spend more time in Montreux, Switzerland. It is one of the most scenic places that I have ever experienced. It is on a bay of Lake Geneva, and vineyard-clad hills surround Montreux, plus the towering Swiss Alps add beauty to the spectacular scenery.

Most people's eyes gaze towards the lapping waters of Lake Geneva, where boats and ships navigate against a backdrop of the mountains in the distance. I know that my eyes went there! From wading and swimming to boat rides, windsurfing and scuba diving, etc., those who enjoy lakes are sure to appreciate this stunning beauty. There is even an inland water park that offers fun for young and old alike.

As if that is not scenic enough, a beautiful lakeside promenade allows one to walk along the waterfront while looking back at the shops, hotels, and villas built into the hills. The historic Chillon Castle is also a landmark feature.

Known as the Swiss Riviera, Montreux provides those vacationing to this part of Switzerland much in the way of entertainment, plus being an attractive place to unwind and relax.

For hiking adventures, vineyard tours, walking the lakeside promenade, or simply exploring the town, Montreux can have one on one's feet for hours of fun. Of course, the mighty snow-capped Swiss Alps await exploration for those who like something a bit more strenuous, either in summer or winter.

From casino gambling to shopping, being pampered at a spa, or attending one of the festivals, there is no lack of things to do in this scenic location.

Chillon Castle

This large castle's history goes back centuries to Roman times. It has seen many guises, including a prison site, and would be worthy of exploration if one has the time. Today, it is one of Switzerland's most visited historic sites.

The tour my friend and I were taking stopped in Montreux long enough to locate a place to eat lunch and allowed us a little time to stroll around town. After dining on some fresh perch fish at a restaurant called Au Parc Montreux, we spent the rest of our time walking along the scenic lakeside promenade, where I took the photos included in this post.

You can see some of Chillon Castle in the video below, and again more of it, in the last video on this page.

Lake Geneva

Also known as Lac Léman in the French dialect, Lake Geneva is the largest lake in all of Switzerland, and a part of it is also in France. The elevation of the lake is 1,220 feet (372 meters). The average depth is 507 feet (154.4 meters), with the maximum depth doubling those numbers.

One can see many types of boats cruising the waters, from the smaller private craft up to those transporting tourists from one scenic spot on the lake to other locations. The lake also has some islands. If I were to return, I would like to do some cruising around the entire lake, disembarking at other locations for daytime sightseeing activities. I would also enjoy a romantic sunset dinner cruise, among other things.

Walking along the promenade after our enjoyable but purposely hasty lunch, we noticed the wide range of vegetation that grows in this part of the world, including palm trees and cypress trees. I took a photo of a man watering some blooming flowers and got another shot of scenery through the draping branches of a weeping willow tree. It is a lush mixture of plant life that seems to thrive in this climate along Lake Geneva.

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Rochers de Naye

Rochers de Naye is the tallest mountain that towers over Montreux. An electrically powered railway takes one from Montreux to the top of the mount. From that vantage point, one can look down upon Lake Geneva and the surrounding spectacular mountain scenery. For sure, on a clear day, I would wish to experience this trip up and back. Elevation at that height would be a little over 8,900 feet or 2,400 meters.

Montreux Jazz Festival

This jazz festival is a celebrated event each year in the summer and draws internationally famous musicians from all across the world in addition to music lovers.
It has expanded into other types of music than merely jazz, so it is a sure crowd pleaser!

Many people crowd into Montreux for the two weeks of the festival, which typically are the end of June into July. If reservations are made well in advance, it would be fun to be part of the excitement. Several venues are available, including some outdoor ones. I am sure that tourists have a rocking-good time during that annual event!

"Lover of Life, Singer of Songs"

There is a statue of Freddie Mercury prominently featured along the lakeside promenade, and the saying above in quotes is what is on the memorial sculpture.

Freddie Mercury was the lead singer for the rock band known as Queen and he died in 1991. Mountain Recording Studios which is owned and operated by Queen is located in Montreux and therefore had and still has a strong presence and undoubtedly following as well in this resort town.

Freddie Mercury statue in Montreux

Freddie Mercury statue in Montreux

Vacation in Switzerland

My friend and I had started a three-day bus and train tour of Switzerland, leaving from her hometown of Herrenberg, Germany. Our ultimate destination was Zurich and the Matterhorn. We saw beautiful scenery along the way, and I learned many things about Switzerland.

When we had a stopover in Montreux, my eyes nearly popped out of my head because of the sheer awe-inspiring loveliness of the place! Perhaps by now, you more fully realize why I would enjoy going back to Montreux, Switzerland. Just the beauty of what I got to see on that short layover made me yearn for more time to be able to spend in that gorgeous city alongside Lake Geneva someday.

I have just touched upon some of the many activities that could occupy one's time there. I know that I have quite a wish list, and my choice of time of year would be a similar time to when my friend and I were there in May as the weather seemed perfect, and we were probably just slightly ahead of the summer crowds.

Sources

© 2012 Peggy Woods

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