We drove from Geneva to Montreux all along Lake Geneva, which took maybe an hour and a half – it’s a pretty drive with some beautiful views just as you’re approaching Vevey, about 7km from Montreux. We stayed on the top floor of the Grand Hotel Suisse-Majestic – the hotel’s not amazing by any stretch of the imagination but the view is fantastic. There’s not a whole pile to do in Montreux, we just wandered around the lake and ate a whole pile! We had a really lovely dinner at La Rouvenaz one night. I’ll admit we also did the Irish Bar, Barrel-Oak one evening for dinner and drinks. There’s also a castle right at the end of Montreux called Chillon Castle which is one the main attractions in the area but it rained quite a lot whilst we were there so we didn’t quite make it. Next time!
We took an afternoon trip to Vevey which is a beautiful little town back towards Genevea. We went there on the La Suisse paddle steam boat which honestly was so lovely. We reserved our tickets online that morning from Montreux to Vevey-Marché – we purchased first class tickets which were 17 CHF/17 Euro one way for both of us. Nobody checked our tickets and the only difference I could see between first and second class was that you could go upstairs and outside upstairs – there’s nobody stopping anybody from walking anywhere though. It was definitely worth doing this trip for the views alone. We ended up getting the train back from Vevey to Montreux – I don’t think it even took 10 minutes and the trains are very frequent.
Whilst we were in Vevey we went to the Alimentarium, or Nestlé’s food museum. I didn’t really rate this place to be honest, the 8 metre high fork in the water outside guiding you there was much more enjoyable! Nestlé’s world headquarters are in Vevey so it makes sense to have the museum here – Vevey was also the birthplace of milk chocolate so obvs we were going to visit! Thanks Mr. Daniel Peter!
Charlie Chaplin lived in the Vevey area for 25 years and you can visit his home which has since been turned into a museum, Chaplin’s World.
Vevey has a lot more little shops and alley’s to stroll around that Montreux – if I had to choose again I’d probably stay in Vevey.
Jesus were we underdressed for Zermatt! Who’d have thought the base of the Matterhorn would be so God damn cold! We LOVED Zermatt. It’s so unbelievably gorgeous, typical Swiss chalet buildings (mostly hotels to be fair) – it’s chocolate box Switzerland! We stayed at the cosy-as-you’ll-get Chalet Hotel Schönegg – we had a room on the ground floor with it’s own terrace looking out at the Matterhorn. It’s about a 5 minute walk from the main town area and they’ve got their own Batman style underground entrance!! Amaaaazing.
Zermatt is a German-speaking town (as opposed to Montreux and Vevey which are French) and the area is car-free (although you can technically drive in there – if you do you’ll get a handsome fine) so they have these little Thai-style tuk tuk type electric vehicles whizzing around the place. We parked at Matterhorn Terminal Täsch. We booked our parking online a couple of days before arrival – you just pop in the registration and the barriers open automatically for you on entry and departure. Easy as. The train/Zermatt Shuttle goes directly into the centre of Zermatt from Täsch. This is 16.80 CHF return per person. We just called our hotel from there and they were down in their little tuk tuk in just a few minutes. Brilliant!
As we were at the foot of the Matterhorn we decided to go on the cable car up to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. The ticket prices are convoluted as feck so I don’t know what we actually paid but the lady behind the counter said something about it being the afternoon so I think maybe aroun 160 CHF or about 140Euro return. It’s a tad on the ridiculous side but you are going on the highest cable car in Europe and you’re out and about for about 2.5 hours or more. We didn’t see too much to be honest as it was quite overcast – it actually snowed whilst we were up there which really was awesome. I had to buy a raincoat down in Zermatt before we headed up – I was not prepared for ‘summer’ in Switzerland!!
We tried twice to get into Whymper-Stube for fondue twice but it was packed to the rafters both times and when we’re hungry there ain’t no waiting! We went to Restaurant Le Gitan for our fondue experience. It was only alright to be honest, they had Swiss wine but I’m not sure it suited us to be honest…they should probably stick with cheese and chocolate…After dinner we checked out Little Bar – they’re not lying, it’s probably one of the tiniest bars in the land! Cute place though and the staff are friendly. We also checked out Hexen Bar – it was a bit random with flying witches hanging everywhere. Nice but not really that memorable.
I’d been reading about the Grand Tour in Switzerland and happened upon some information about the snack-box. Picnic? I’m in. Picked up the Grand Tour Snack-Box in Bistro Fuchs on the morning we were leaving for Italy. It’s available from 45 different outlets (map) and each of them have their own version – generally sandwiches, some fruit and water. It basically just looks like a large First Aid kit but…souvenir!!