The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for me – in a good way. We had our road trip to Adelboden with Mazda Suisse, then the day after we arrived home we were off to see Montreux with Montreux-Vevey Tourisme and Hotel Du Leman (which I will tell you all about below), a few days later it was Jason’s 30th and we also had one of my best friends from Australia visit for the week! So my first big brand partnership, a media trip, a birthday milestone for Jase and a week of touristing (is that a word? I’m not getting the red squiggly line so I guess so) with my friend. If you follow along on Instagram Stories you would have seen it all!
After a year and a half of second guessing myself and doing my best to build up my personal brand, I’m moving into a really exciting time for my blog. Which also means I’ve been doing a little restructuring and can’t wait to share more right here very soon. Lately I’ve been very travel focused but I’m going to be sharing lots more about my capsule wardrobes, and my biz/blogging/instagram/photography tips in the coming months.
But for now, let me show you one of the most incredible pieces of Switzerland I’ve seen yet (sorry, I know I say this every time – Switzerland stop being so damn beautiful). Welcome to Montreux… they call it the Mediterranean of Switzerland.
TWO DAYS EXPLORING MONTREUX: THE MEDITERRANEAN OF SWITZERLAND
HOW LONG TO VISIT
Montreux, like most places in Switzerland, isn’t a huge area so I would say that 2-3 nights is a good amount of time to spend here. We stayed for 2 nights but definitely could have fit in more time amongst the vineyards if we’d stayed for one more.
HOW TO GET AROUND
The public transport system is extensive and easy to use in Montreux. You can even catch a bus up into the vineyards and hike your way back down making as many pit stops as you like at wineries along the way. A big plus with that is there is no designated driver! Woo! It’s a hilly area (which makes for some ahhh-mazing views), so there is also lots of funiculars to get you up and down. We actually drove a car from home to Montreux but then hardly used it once we were there! Some hotels also give you a public transport card so you can catch the local buses for free.
WHERE TO STAY
There are a wide range of hotels in Montreux catering for every kind of trip and traveler. We were lucky enough to have Hotel Du Leman have us for our two night stay and we couldn’t have been happier! We even got to try out there newly refurbished room (32 rooms of the 63, will be refurbished next winter).
After the long drive (haha I sound so European now… calling a 2.5 hour drive long – in Australia that is NOT a long drive), we were very happy to chill out and watch the sunset over the water from the beautiful gardens of the hotel. Think perfect sunlight, outdoor lounge chairs, a glass of wine and (I hate to go to far but I kid you not) butterflies fluttering amongst the lavender…
SITES TO SEE
Because we spent most of our time in the Vevey area we decided to make a stop to the castle on our way in. So our timing wasn’t perfect for avoiding the crowds but we were pretty happy to enjoy views of the castle from a distance rather than go inside. But if you are a fan of exploring castles I think this one would be worth a visit. The medieval Chillon Castle dates back to 1150 and is nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva.
THE FORK & CHARLIE CHAPLIN
In Australia we love giant statues of things – the big banana, the big prawn, the big pineapple, the big lamb… I could seriously go on forever. So it must have been my inner Aussie who was pretty excited to visit the giant 8m stainless steel fork that graces the shores of Lake Geneva in Vevey. The Fork has become an emblem for Vevey. It was only supposed to stay for one year but the locals fell in love with it and petitioned for it to become a permanent feature.
As a little bonus if you visit The Fork, the famous Charlie Chaplin statue is just a few meters away. Charlie Chaplin lived in Vevey for 25 years with his wife and children and his statue acts as a reminder of his stay in the region. You can find The Fork and Charlie on Quai Perdonnet, 1800 Vevey.
THINGS TO DO
SATURDAY FOLK MARKETS
If you happen to plan your visit for the weekend the folk markets are a perfect way to spend your Saturday morning. They run every Saturday, from the beginning of July to the end of August are full of local produce, hand crafted items and flowers (yes that’s where I was hanging out). But one of the things that draws big crowds to this market is the wine tasting. You can buy a souvenir wine glass for a few Francs, and get unlimited refills of delicious local wines from Lavaux and Chablais growers.
LUNCH ABOARD THE BELLE EPOQUE PADDLE STEAM BOAT
To get that really Mediterranean feel a ride on the Belle Epoque paddle steam boat is a must. The Montreux Belle Epoque is part of the most prestigious steam boat fleet in the world, and commissioned in 1904 is the oldest in the fleet. Step back in time and sail Lake Geneva in vintage style. We did a round trip from Vevey and enjoyed the gorgeous coast like views over lunch aboard.
TRY STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING
This summer Jase got his first stand up paddle board (aka SUP) and we’ve loved taking it down to our local lakeside spot for a paddle and float on hot days. So we were really excited to have a little time at a SUP school to brush up on our skills. Actually who am I kidding, I was just there for the pretty photos! Hehe… No but really, for some real ocean vibes SUP is perfect. You can be really active and paddle around or find a nice spot and just float around on your board and take a dip. Swiss Paddle in Vevey is the place to go if you want to give it a try when you are in Montreux. They even do SUP pilates classes and have giant 8 people boards! Talk about SUP goals.
HIKE THE VINEYARDS OF LAVAUX
If you are visiting Montreux in the warmer months this is one thing you have to do. There is no view quite like it – rolling, vineyard laden hills sitting right on the edge of aquamarine Lake Geneva. Catch the bus up to the top of the vineyards then spend the day walking back down with plenty of pit stops in at wineries along the way. We went to the Chexbres area and pretty much spent most of our time at Domaine Bovy – a gorgeous little family owned winery. It was just so relaxing and the view was so good that we didn’t want to leave.
The Lavaux region in Montreux has a rich wine history. In the 13th century, to overcome the steep gradient in the Lavaux area, the monks started to build stone wall terraces and plant vines in them. These terraces have now earned inclusion as a UNESCO cultural world heritage site. The monks passed along their work to the wine-making families who have since maintained the vines and walls. Chasselas, Plant Robert and Pinot Noir are among the various grape varieties grown in Lavaux, producing some of the finest Swiss wines. So if you are a fellow wine enthusiast you will love following any of the marked trails through the vineyards and cute villages.
PLACES TO EAT
There are so many beautiful places to eat in Montreux but we just didn’t have the time to see a lot of them. However the places we did eat at where really yummy – and both had lakeside views!
You probably guessed from the name already but this cute little restaurant has a perfect view of The Fork in Lake Geneva. Pair your visit to The Fork and Charlie Chaplin with a dinner at Ze Fork for the perfect evening in Vevey.
LE CAFÉ LITTÉRAIRE
Le Café littéraire is a beautiful book themed cafe and makes the perfect spot for brunch. It’s by the lake and they have a delish brunch menu. I loved their home made lemonade and savoury pancakes.