Montreux and Vevey
Situated on the eastern side of Lake Leman (sometimes mistakenly called “Lake Geneva”), Montreux and Vevey (or Montreux-Vevey) are only 39 kilometers (58 miles) outside of Geneva. Frequent regional trains service this area year-round. Visitors can also reach Montreux-Vevey by ferries that travel the length of the lake (ferries are typically only in service from April through October).
The area is known for its luxury ski such as Gstaad, Leysin and Château d’Oex, as well as the Valais mountains (the Matterhorn is part of this range).
Sports and nature aficionados will love Montreux-Vevey for its mountain-biking, rafting, paragliding and hiking opportunities. There are also a variety of fine eating establishments located near the resorts. For more information on this area, see: www.montreux.ch/tourism
Château de Chillon
It is easy to access the celebrated Château de Chillon, located only 3 kilometers from Montreux. One option is to simply follow the walking path near Lake Leman – it will lead you to the Château in approximately 45 minutes. Another option is to take a picturesque tram ride around the lake that takes around 20 minutes. Château de Chillon is one of the most carefully preserved medieval castles in Europe and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Switzerland. The earliest written record of the castle is from the year 1005, which means that some parts of the current structure may date back to the 11th century.
Throughout the 12th century, the castle was home to the Counts of Savoy. The current manifestation of the Château de Chillon (expanded by Pietro II in the 13th century) served as a fortress in the Middle Ages, strategically positioned to look out over and protect the narrow passage between mountains and lake. Throughout its history, Château de Chillon was never taken in a siege, but it did change hands through several treaties. Today visitors can take in the château’s towers, courtyards, the frescoes, bedchambers, medieval weapons, furniture and paintings. For more information, see: www.chillon.ch/en/