Montreus,Lausanne or Chamonix in May?

Jul 4th, 2001, 02:40 PM
  #1  
Mary
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Montreus,Lausanne or Chamonix in May?

We will be travelling in Switzerland in mid to late May. We're spending time in both Lucerne and the Bernese Oberland area (maybe Wengen??) and would like to see one other region as well for 2 nights. Any suggestions? We've heard good thing about Montreux, Lausanne, Chamonix, Lugano, Ascona...don't know anything about any of them. We'll be traveling from Interlaken to ???(one of them) by train.Any preferences from your experiences? Also, any 3 star hotel recommendation would be great as well.We're not the athletic type but do enjoy beautiful scenery, people watching, good food and wine.
 
Jul 4th, 2001, 04:19 PM
  #2  
Mika
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http://www.mob.ch/GPS/main.htm?e
Have a lood at this link, it may help you.Have a nice trip.
 
Jul 4th, 2001, 09:51 PM
  #3  
Tony
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Montreux will be considerably warmer than Chamonix, and Lausanne, for mine, is too busy and commercial.
Montreux offers ecellent train and lake steamer connections. For example you could do a very scenic one day train ride to Chamonix and back via Martigny.
Or you can take a train or lake steamer to Lausanne then catch a steamer across the lake to Evians les Bains in France for Lunch or Dinner. There are other mountain railway rides to Gruyere (for cheese) and another place, whose name escapes me for chocolate.
There are also some lovely walking paths alongside the lake in both directions from Montreux.
Lastly when its time to transfer to the Bernese Oberland, there is the stunning Crystal Panoramic Express which leaves Montreux for Interlaken at 0900 or thereabouts.
 
Jul 4th, 2001, 09:55 PM
  #4  
Tony
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Mary..

Forgot to mention Hotel du Lac in Montreux is a 3 star at about US$65 per night. Not flash, but friendly, good location, rooms have balconies overlooking the lake and mountains, and the continental breakfasts are adequate.About 7 minutes walk from the station, mainly down steps - suggest you get a taxi back.
 
Jul 29th, 2001, 07:31 AM
  #5  
jw
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Hello, Mary. My trips to Switzerland have been during the first week of June, and the weather was wonderful (but do bring along a rain/windbreaker just in case). Tony's suggestions about the Montreaux area of Lac Leman are good ones. I've stayed in a two-star place in Rivaz and have done the same day-trips as he did. Wonderful possibilites if you're using a Swiss rail pass. My suggestion is this (I've posted it before): If it's not too late, try to divide your trip between the German-, Italian-, and French-speaking areas -- such remarkable contrasts within a single country! Lucerne and the Berner Oberland can be combined into one stay (perhaps on either Lake Thun or Lake Brienz). You can day-trip up into the mountains or to Lucerne or to Berne from any of those lake villages. I loved Lugano (lake of the same name) and Ascona on Lago Maggiore; the only catch is that Ticino is quite a train ride from the Berner Oberland (maybe 3 hours from Lucerne--I'm guessing). Nevertheless, if you can split your trip three ways between Lac Leman, Berner Oberland, and Ticino, you'll have the best of three gorgeous aspects of Switzerland. I would guess that if you go nearer the end of May, the weather will be ok. Ursula can probably give you better advice. She's commented at this site many times.
 
Jul 29th, 2001, 08:28 AM
  #6  
s
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Hi Mary,
Just in case you've missed it, here are my favorite things to do in Montreux with some associated websites:

Spend a morning walking along the 11km flowered lakeside promenade from Clarens to Villeneuve, passing the Chateau Chillon along the way; there are plenty of cafes to stop and have a coffee & snack along the way to replenish your strength. There are also plenty of benches to sit and read, watch other walkers, or simply stare at the majesty of the lake and the mountains in the distance. This is a favorite and necessary activity.

Every few months, the city gardeners construct witty and elaborate sculptures along the promenade. The first one I saw used colorful flowers to represent paint spilling from large cans, with large straw brooms to represent paint brushes; another year there were six-foot spiders in the trees and nine-foot ants along the way; one year there were large cows; last November I saw the gardeners working on six-foot godzillas and lizard monsters. Each time I return, I look forward to seeing their latest efforts!

Top off your long walk with a wonderful pizza & beer lunch at a lakeside café in Villeneuve, then take the ferry back to Montreux (I think the ferry stops in late Sep/Oct).

Spend the morning in Vevey hunting down the antiques shops in the old town. Then have lunch at the Hostellerie de Geneve on the Pl. Marche (reviewed -- sort of-- in NY Times Travel section. Go to www.nytimes.com, then to the archives of "What's Doing," then find "What's Doing in Vevey" from summer '99).

Take the train (the “wine train”) from Vevey to Chexbres, then spend a morning walking the vineyards down to the lake, hitting Rivaz & St. Saphorin. For lunch, find the Auberge du Rivaz (in Rivaz . . . ) with a terrace lake view or see if any of the cellars are having a cheese/wine tasting.

Cully (esp. the Auberge du Raisin) and Lutry's well-posted tour of ancient sites are worth a trip as well.

Spend a day in the mountains, taking the train to the resort of Gstaad. On the way back, stop at Chateaux d'Oex, where the only successful round-the-world-by-hot-air-balloon trip was launched. Or stop at Glion for lunch at the Hotel Victoria with its panoramic views of the lake; then walk the rest of the way down to Montreux on a stair-step path through the forest (or take the train or the funicular to Territet).

Spend an afternoon in the medieval village of Gruyeres, making sure to sample the berries in creme-double.

Spend an afteroon in Nyon at the Roman museum and the Caesar's columns nearby.

Spend a morning walking up to Montreux's old city & the museum & the old church. Fantastic views from the old church (can't remember the name -- but it's prominent in the old city). Have lunch at the restaurant at the museum.

Here are the websites:
www.montreux.ch (find their picture gallery)
www.vevey.ch
www.lake-geneva-region.ch
www.gruyeres.ch
www.nyon.ch
www. lutry.ch
www.concierge.com (type in "Switzerland" as a
destination, then go to "Lausanne & the Alps").
www.myswitzerland.com

Feel free to e-mail me.

s
 
Jul 29th, 2001, 08:31 AM
  #7  
s
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Mary,
Like Tony, I forgot to include my hotel pick. In a few weeks I'll be trying a new hotel in Montreux, the L'Ermitage (actually in Clarens). It's an "inn with rooms" and only has seven rooms. you can find it on the Montreux web site - in the 3-star section. I can give you personal recommendations & impressions on this hotel if you write me in late Aug.

s
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 07:28 AM
  #8  
jw
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Hi, I've got to say again how much I enjoy reading Tony's and S's descriptions of their visits to Lac Leman. S, your list of favorite things to do is wonderful, and you reminded me of the name of the place we've stayed twice, that is the Auberge du Rivaz. Dandy food, humble but peaceful accommodations. I dream about our walk from tiny St. Saphorin back to Rivaz via the vineyard path. I applaud the lovely places mentioned; I enjoyed the Folk Art Museum at Chateax d'Oex. Cully and Lutry are beautiful. We made a short afternoon visit to Yvoire from Nyon's port. Riding the lake boats from port to port lowers my blood pressure. And Lausanne is a gracious old city. My little hotel might have been two-star, but the Lavaux is a five. jw
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 07:36 AM
  #9  
s
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jw (apologies to Mary!),

Yes, it really really warms my heart to see others enjoy the area as much as I do. I really don't understand why it's not more popular . . . but then . . . maybe we should just keep our mouths shut!! Anyway, I feel that I've just barely scratched the surface of the place; over the next few years I intend to explore Aigle, Leysin, Evian, and Celigny, and one day I want to spend a month in language studies there. One day. Thanks for your kind words. I envy you your intimate knowledge of the smaller villages around L. Lucerne; that too is on my to-do list.

s
 
Aug 1st, 2001, 03:34 PM
  #10  
Jay
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Mary,
I would recommend Montreux as well. I spent quite a bit of time there and in La Tour de Peilz and Vevey on business. Try the Hotel Eden au Lac. Very nice, beautiful views of the lake and mountains, larger rooms than the Hotel du Lac and a good breakfast buffet each morning. If you decide on Montreaux, be sure to day trip to Gruyeres - beautiful castle and scenery, great cheese! Also take the funicular up to Caux for dinner and a day by boat arcoss Lac Leman to France. Enjoy!
 
Aug 3rd, 2001, 06:09 AM
  #11  
jw
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Mary, I've just re-read your original message. Are you making any progress? It is really such a delicious decision to make. I don't think you mentioned how many total days you'll have in Switzerland. You might want to limit yourself to two good locations rather than squeezing in a two-nighter. If you are willing to visit the mountain villages rather than actually staying in a mountain village, Lucerne and the Oberland can be combined into one place on Lake Brienz. (That way, you could divide into two restful visits to Lac Leman and the Berner Oberland). If you need three nights up in the mountains, then you probably should allow a separate stop for Lucerne and its lovely lake.

If your trip is long enough to divide into three generous stops (4 nights each)(That probably won't sound generous to many, but for some of us that's as generous as the budget and time-away will allow), I'll recommend again that you consider a visit to Lakes Lugano and Maggiore-- such a contrast to the French Switzerland and the Berner Oberland lakes. Lugano's lake villages of Gandria and Morcote are lovely; we stayed on Lago Maggiore which is quieter and different from Lake Lugano even though they are very close; Ascona is pretty, but accessible only by boat and bus. We stayed in the tiny village of Gerra-Gambarogno. Our hotel was the two-star Albergo Panorama; it earns four stars from me). At night the lake and the mountains and the sky turned blue-violet, and the lights of Ascona and Brissago twinkled on the opposite shore. Wow. Admittedly, getting around by train is not as easy-as-pie in that part of Switzerland, but for me the effort was worth it.

Another consideration is the airports you'll fly into and out of. I'm mentioning this because (others may be able to verify this) you might be able to stay on Lac Leman until the very day of your departure if you fly out of the Geneva airport. I can't remember if anyone has urged you to use the SBB web site to check train schedules and possibilities. It is a great trip-planning tool.

Good luck with your planning. Isn't the anticipation fun? jw
 
Aug 6th, 2001, 01:19 PM
  #12  
Claudia
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We stayed at Hotel Helvetie in Montreux. The room was big and the place was unpretentious but elegant. The rate was reasonable.

We didn't find Montreux too exciting and heard that Lausanne was more interesting...
 

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