Ordinarily, Montreux Switzerland is a scenic, sleepy town on Lake Geneva. But once a year, it burst into buzzy, bebop, bluesy beats when the Jazz Festival comes to town.
If you are a fan of Jazz, Blues or R&B, and a lover of exquisite, serene lake towns, Montreux provides the best of both worlds.
Montreux and its three-mile-long esplanade provide photo ops at every turn, especially during the Jazz Festival when nights are bathed in every conceivable neon color.
Occasionally, you’ll get lucky and catch a rising star. Here, California-based Stewart Viets collaborates with jazz-singer, Mary C. Hall (daughter of Mercedes, sister to actor Anthony Michael) for a small gathering before the Montreux Jazz Festival Main Events.
And then there’s Quincy Jones who celebrated his 75th birthday at the 2008 Montreux Jazz Festival and is still going strong.
Things to Do in Montreux Switzerland
But even if you aren’t that into the rifts and rhythms of this kind of music, preferring say, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, you’ll find much to do and stunning views along the majestic shore of Lake Geneva. Though it hosts one of the premier Jazz Festivals on the planet, Montreax isn’t just about Jazz. The following photographs might entice you to come even after the musicians go home:
1. Walk along the Lake Geneva Shoreline esplanade, which provides incredible lake and mountain views at every turn.
2. Visit Chillon Castle. It’s about a 2 mile stroll along the lakefront from the center of Montreux’s downtown on a flat, paved walkway. Don’t miss the Cellar, which also served as a prison. In 1816, Lord Byron visited and was moved to write his famous poem The Prisoner of Chillon. You’ll find Byron’s name carved in the basement stone.
3. Take a paddlewheel ferry around Lake Geneva on a 2 hour spin that leaves from Montreux and brings you back, nine stops later, refreshed and relaxed.
4. Walk uphill to Old Montreux’s stone church for an unparalleled view of Lake Geneva.
5. Dine at Mai Thai on a deck cantilevered over Lake Geneva. The food is good, the view, supreme.