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Montreux

Montreux4.5/51
Montreux4.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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  • Montreux City Map

Montreux

The Parisian-esque lakeside city of Montreux (pronounced Mon-trew) offers a wonderful gateway to numerous Swiss ski resorts, or alternatively a refreshing break from the rigours of skiing. The city is cheap & cheerful in winter. Stay in a Grand Hotel overlooking Lake Geneva & the Alps, taking long walks along the foreshore. As well as being home to Switzerland most visited castle, the Chateau de Chillon & of course Freddie Mercury, Montreux is the stepping off point for a range of ski resorts accessible by train including Gstaad, Portes du Soleil (Champery) plus a host of others.

See the Montreux city map here.

Pros & Cons for Montreux

Pros

  • Convenient transport hub for numerous Swiss ski resorts;
  • Beautiful location with a relatively mild climate compared to the surrounding mountains;
  • Cheap high-end accommodation in winter;
  • Loads of sightseeing & non-ski activities;
  • Extensive range of shops, restaurants, services & markets.

Cons

  • Travel times to & from ski resorts are generally too long for day trips (except if one has a car), but perfect for one-way travel;
  • Montreux is so nice you could forget that you came to Switzerland to SKI (or snowboard)!

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Low elevation so may, or may not, have snow.

Where is Montreux, Switzerland?

The city of Montreux is in the canton of Vaud in the SW of Switzerland. Beautifully located on the northern bank of Lake Geneva, Montreux is close to the mouth of the Rhone River which drains a valley containing some of the world’s greatest ski resorts. The city has excellent rail & road connections to Geneva International Airport. The airport is only 92km by road to the west, about one hour in the car. By train the journey is a paltry 1.5hr. The train is the recommended mode of travel to Montreux. Ski Resorts are within 1hr by public transport (depending on connections, see below)

Search & book train tickets to Montreux here.

If taking public transport offends one’s sensibilities, we recommend looking at a private transfer or rental car hire, particularly if in a group of 3 or more people.

Search & book all airport transfers to Montreux here.

Travel from Montreux to Nearby Ski Resorts

Travelling from Montreux to nearby ski resorts by public transport is relatively swift depending on connections & time of day. To the north, the Golden Pass train travels to Gstaad ski resort & its many villages in around 1 to 1.5hr depending on where on gets off. To the east in the Valais & Vaud, the closest resorts all require a change at the town of Aigle.

The Portes du Soleil ski resort of Torgon is only 50min away with a change to a bus required in Aigle. (Note that only 5 buses a day head to Torgon, so timing is everything!) Also in Les Portes du Soleil, the village of Champéry is 1.5hr by train, again with a change to the local mountain railway at Aigle.

Aigle also provides the jumping off point to Leysin, Villars & Les Diablerets by mountain railway & bus, marking it as an important Swiss ski transport hub. The volumes of people heading to Leysin & Villars is instructive when compared to the handful of people that will be on the bus with you to Torgon!

Fast trains from Montreux travel to Sierre, Visp, Brig & beyond, allowing for connections to all manner of Valais ski resorts & even to Chamonix via Martigny (we did it after we skied Torgon!)

Of course with a car travel times are quicker but note that some mountain roads can be quite the adventure after heavy snow & with oncoming buses!

Montreux Accommodation

Montreux is a medium sized cosmopolitan city with a full range of hotel, apartment and guesthouse accommodation options. Several iconic traditional Grand Hotels grace the Lake Geneva foreshore & hillside. Most are within an easy walk from the centrally located train station.

Budget room options that still provide quality are available at several hotels located in the city centre. Innumerable great hotels are located out of town near the ski resorts.

Search & book all Montreux accommodation here.

Montreux Activities

Aside from the local ski resorts, the obvious activities in Montreux involve the Lake Geneva foreshore. In winter it is relatively deserted, but has wonderful sights, sculptures, the Chateau du Chillon & Freddie Mercury to name a few. Lakeside restaurants are open at various stages of the day & ice skating is available in the foreshore pavilion until well after dark.

Also after dark there is always some great dining & live entertainment to be enjoyed in the city centre. Montreux is synonymous with music.

Review

The Powderhounds visited Montreux during season 2018/19. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to see where we are currently skiing.

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