Switzerland, being landlocked, actually has no ocean. However, the shores of Lake Geneva near Montreux and Vevey are named “The Swiss Riviera” because of it’s picturesque and prestigious location on the lake, in view of both the Swiss & French Alps. When Heidi & Olga were visiting Geneva, we took a day trip to this special region of Switzerland.
This area is located about an hour train or car ride from Geneva. The ride provides amazing views of the coastline of Lake Geneva.
Upon arriving in Montreux, we walked through the Montreux Marché, or Friday market. I had actually never been to Montreux for a Friday market, and found it delightful. It included vendors selling everything from handmade sweaters, to Provençal soaps, to secondhand goods. They also had quite a variety of delicious street food.
We strolled along the Quai des Fleurs (walkway of flowers) towards Villeneuve. One of the most special things about Montreux is that it has somewhat of a tropical ambience to it, provided by its plants and landscaping.
After a half hour’s stroll, we reached Chateau Chillon. The castle dominates the coastline and was a major defensive structure up until modern times. We didn’t go inside, but instead enjoyed the different perspectives we could see on the nature trails surrounding the chateau.
The town of Chexbres is a quintessential Swiss wine town. Gabe & I have driven guests through it, descending off the A1 at the Chexbres exit and weaving down the wine roads to Rivaz. There are almost as many wine cellars as citizens, with dozens of these little operations dotting the small village. We have always enjoyed the drive; however, there is a certain magic about walking around in the town that Heidi, Olga & I discovered. This was especially true during the timing of our visit, as it was the height of the grape harvest. The locals were busy, soaking in the sunshine, and tasting the year’s dividends.
It was very tempting to stay and drink our way through the town, but we continued on walking towards the outside of town and our destination: Le Deck. Our friends were right – this is certainly a special place. Cushy chairs and linen canopies provide an oasis above the Lavaux vineyards. You can purchase wine by the glass and enjoy the view, savoring the fruits of the labor of the vineyard workers, who just happened to be harvesting underneath our feet.
Au Revoir, Swiss Riviera. Thanks for a remarkable day!