The Swiss Riviera stretches from Lausanne to Montreux and encompasses the beautiful Lavaux vineyards perched on steep hills with a dramatic view of the lake and the Alps on the other side. Then you reach Vevey and its old town, passing La-Tour-de-Peilz before ending in Montreux, its casino and of course Chillon castle.
Dents du Midi, 1873 Val-d'Illiez, Switzerland
As seen from Vevey on a clear sunny day
With well over a thousand lakes, Switzerland is blessed with its fair share of stunning bodies of water. The most extensive, however, is Lake Geneva (also known as Lac Léman), where you can bask in seductive views and amazing sunsets. It’s practically impossible to take your eyes off the shimmering water when driving down the mountainside or gazing out a train window, especially in the upper regions of Montreaux and Vevey. Other recommended viewing points include the banks of Lausanne, where bobbing swans and crystal-clear water calm the soul, and the Château de Chillon, a castle three miles from Montreux. Of course, you could also enjoy the views from the lake itself, where steam boats, ferries, and private yachts roam freely.
Expect to be transported back to medieval times during your visit to Château de Chillon. More than 1,000 years old, the beguiling castle has inspired many poetic greats, none more so than Lord Byron, whose poem The Prisoner of Chillon was based on François Bonivard’s imprisonment. Travel across Lake Geneva on a paddle steam boat to arrive at the castle and note that the Rivera Pass, offered by most hotels, grants you half-price admission. Once inside, pick up an audio guide (available in English) and explore everything from cobblestone courtyards and eerie dungeons to secret passageways and castle walls.