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Montreux stopover between Zermatt and Geneva

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Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:29 PM
  #1
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Montreux stopover between Zermatt and Geneva

I was planning to go from Zermatt to Geneva, where I will board my return flight after a week in Switzerland.

I will be on the 4th day of a 4-day Swiss Pass so I was thinking of visiting the castle (Chateau de Chillon) in Montreux.

When I search the time tables on sbb.ch, I see that Zermatt-Geneva Airport and Zermatt-Montreux both go through Visp.

Is it safe to assume that if I just board the train for Geneva, it will go through Visp and stop in Montreux before heading towards Geneva and Geneva Airport?

Or should I make sure and plot out time tables for first going to Montreux and then after my visit, a Montreux-Geneva Airport route?

Also, are there facilities for leaving the luggage at the Montreux train station? If not, this is probably moot (or I may just go to Geneva and check into my hotel first and then go back to Montreux).

Frommers said the best approach is to do a 2-mile walk along the lake to get to the Chateau, rather than take a trolley. So carting luggage doesn't seem viable.

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Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:43 PM
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I can answer the train part of the question. Visp is the town on the floor of the valley where one turns south to Zermatt and Saas Fee. The two valleys come together at a place called Stalden.

The only rail line around that goes from Brig to Geneva goes along the Rhone to the lake. Trains from Visp and/or Brig headed for Geneva go through Montreux.

If you will go to www.sbb.ch and look up the details of the schedule, you see every stop on the route.

The stops are frequent at places like Leuk, Sion, Sierre, Martigny, Montreux, Lausanne, Geneve and the Geneve Airport.

Chateau de Chillon is one I cannot help you with in terms of walking from your hotel. The setting is beautiful, however.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:48 PM
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Not sure when you're going, but there's a boat that goes along Lake Geneva with stops at Montreux and Chateau de Chillon. (Boat may only be seasonal: Spring - early Fall.) Just make sure of the time schedules (listed at the place on the lake where you would buy your tickets.) The Swiss Pass, I believe, gives you a discount for this ride. It's a great way of going between these two and many other stops along the shoreline of lake Geneva. The view from the lake to the land is wonderful (as is the Chateau).
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 02:51 PM
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Hi scrb---I was going to suggest you visit Chateau du Chillon if you encountered bad weather in Zermatt, but this is better. It's well worth a stop. As bob_brown pointed out, any train that stops in Visp will also stop in Montreux.

Your plan to walk to the Chateau is a good one; there is a nice promenade and it is a pleasant walk along all the waterfront hotels and mansions. The Montreux Bahnhof is large and I can't imagine that it would not have either lockers or a "left luggage" storage area. Somewhere on the SBB website is a guide to the various stations and facilities, but I can't find it. Maybe someone else?
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:21 PM
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>Is it safe to assume that if I just board the train for Geneva, it will go through Visp and stop in Montreux before heading towards Geneva and Geneva Airport?

Yes. There are excepions though - don't take the Cisalpino trains as they stop in far less places. I am not sure they stop in Visp anyway.
All regular IC and IR trains will do so.

>Or should I make sure and plot out time tables for first going to Montreux and then after my visit, a Montreux-Geneva Airport route?

You can do so if you wish - but I don't see any point in this. The whole idea behind the Swiss schedule system is that you don't need to study schedules. They simply repeat themselves exactly every 30 or 60 minutes.

>Also, are there facilities for leaving the luggage at the Montreux train station?

Almost any small to middle sized station has lockers - just have enough coins for them.

>Frommers said the best approach is to do a 2-mile walk along the lake to get to the Chateau, rather than take a trolley. So carting luggage doesn't seem viable.

No, it is just a suggestion to get an optimal impression. There is a trolleybus which stops right above the castle, and there is a station where the local trains from Montreux to Lausanne stop - right beside the castle.
The best approach is IMO by boat.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:28 PM
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And whatever you do, I suggest you NOT have lunch at the restaurant across from the entrance to the Chateau. It was the only bad meal we've had in six weeks' of travel in Switzerland.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 03:55 PM
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Well this would be for a week from this Friday, so I gather there would not be boats running.

If I understood everyone, there are boats from Geneva to Montreux and maybe somewhere between the Montreux rail station and Chillon?

OK, it sounds worthwhile to shoot for it. It's almost a 3-hour trip from Zermatt to Montreux and then about another 75-80 minutes on to Geneva Airport so definitely the best way it to stop on the way over, take a chance there's somewhere to stow the luggage.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 05:59 PM
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Hi again -

Found this information on the myswitzerland site. (I put "Lake Geneva transportation" in the search engine on that site) and got information. Go to : http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/offe...oat-21654.html

I found out that the boats on Lake Geneva (or as they call it - Lac Leman) do run during the winter also, just less frequently.

Let me know how you make out.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 06:43 PM
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I have some suggestions/comments:

1. EVERY train going from Zermatt/Visp to Geneva makes a stop in Montreux. Montreux is a major rail stop for west Switzerland. Go to rail.ch for schedules. From Zermatt, it looks like you only haev a choice of a train every hour on the half hour.

2. If you can organize yourself, I would send your luggage ahead as unaccompanied baggage from Zermatt to Geneva. You will not have to then deal with it in Montreux. If you give it to the station luggage office in Zermatt before 9 am, it will arrive in Geneva by 6 pm. You can then collect it at the Geneva train station and take it to your hotel. The service is called “Fast Luggage”, it costs about US$15 a piece, and guarantees delivery in 8 hours, take a look at http://mct.sbb.ch/mct/en/reisemarkt/...isegepaeck.htm, or go to rai.ch and click on “Services” and then “More at the Counter” and then “Luggage” and then “Fast Luggage” . (If you miss the deadline for Fast Luggage you can of course also send your luggage ahead by using the regular baggage service, the only problem is that they don't guarantee delivery by a certain time other than to say it won't take longer than 36 hours; and I don’t think you want to risk this with a flight out the next day.)

3. If you can’t or don’t want to use Fast Luggage to send your luggage ahead, there are luggage lockers AND a manned luggage room in Montreux station, so you have your choice of where you can leave your luggage. There are lockers at the track level. The manned luggage room is on the ground level street entrance of the station. For the manned luggage room, look for a blue sign with a white suitcase painted on. For the lockers, look for a blue sign with a white suitcase and a key painted on it.

4. To go to the castle, you can take a train right to the castle, it’s about a 5 minute walk from there. The train station for the Castle is Veytaux-Chillon. However, to get to that station, you have to change in Montreux anyway. So, if the weather is bad and you don’t want to walk the 2 miles, get off the train in Montreux, deal with you luggage in Montreux if necessary and then either train or walk to the castle. Ferries are not running in Jan to the best of my knowledge.

5. Have you considered staying overnight in Montreux or one of the other lovely towns along the lake? It’s a short train ride to the airport from most of those towns.

6. FYI, if you aren’t flying a US airline, many airlines allow you to check-in the night before your flight, so you could go from Montreux right to Geneva airport and check-in for your flight on Friday night. This would include checking-in your skis and luggage. This would save you a lot of time in the morning, when lines can be long. Check with your airline if this is possible. Even if you don’t do this, I would suggest that at a minimum you store your skis and big bags at Geneva train station or Geneva airport train station overnight rather than lugging them to your Geneva hotel for just one night. Both have manned luggage rooms and lockers.

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Jan 22nd, 2007, 06:59 PM
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Thanks Kenav. Searched around and found the following:

http://www.cgn.ch/pdf/Prix_2007_1.pd...50943f7c11140c

http://www.cgn.ch/Horaires/pdf/hivers.pdf

Looks like Geneva to Montreux would be close to 60 CHF (assuming the Swiss Pass doesn't get any discount).

But I can't figure out the timetables. The search doesn't return any hits and the PDF of the horaires doesn't show a time table all the way from Geneva to Montreux or Chillon.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Can't really tell you how to find the right information on the the timetables.
But - it might help you if you called the Swiss tourism agency. (There's one in NYC. Don't know the phone number.)

Also - maybe take the train to Montreux and then boat from there to Chateau and then boat back to Montreux.

Good luck. Switzerland is beautiful. Sorry I can't help you further.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 08:37 PM
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Actually, since last year, there is no longer no-change service all the way between Montreux and Geneva, there is only shorter localized service limited to the east and west ends of the lake, which means one or more changes are required to get from Montreux to Geneva, which makes a long trip even longer. In winter it does not appear you could make a trip between Montreux and Geneva at all, as the Montreux service only goes to Morges (a lovely town, however with a great old town and a wonderful restaurant; you could take a train from here to Geneva, assuming you sent your luggage ahead or wanted to bring it on board with you). However, in winter the local service looks pretty limited (I was surprised to see it at all, as I thought they only did wine and fondue cruises.) In the other months, it would take one or more changes to get to Geneva.

The good news is that it does seem you could go to Chillon from Montruex if you wanted, albeit it’s a very short cruise. There only seems to be one afternoon ferry that departs Chillon at 2:25 pm, it gets to Montreux 15 minutes later. (I personally don’t think you could take the boat out to Chillon as there appears to be only one ferry that departs Montreux at 12:25 and arrives in Chillon at 12:48. This would give you about 1.5 hours to see the castle, which IMO is not really enough time; but in winter when the castle will be pretty cold, maybe you could. The return schedule is on page 6 of the schedule.)

I will say that ferries in the winter are quite cold, and you really won’t be wanting to sit outdoors in February, so if you really want to do this I would just take the short trip from Montreux to Chillon. But DO go back in the summer, when sitting outdoors at the back of a ferry cold beer in hand is a sublime Swiss experience IMO.

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Jan 22nd, 2007, 08:46 PM
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The boats don't run directly between Chillon and Geneva in the winter. And that trip would take most of a day anyway. If you look at the first page of the CGN website there are lines that show where the boats stop and if you click on one of them you can print out a PDF file of the schedule.
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 08:48 PM
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Thanks Cicerone, kenav.

I'm flying out on AF so I will look into the early check-in. My flight out is at 7:30 AM Saturday. You think it will be crowded?

However, I already booked and paid for a room in Geneva so staying overnight in Montreux isn't an option.

Now, the train from Montreux to Veytaux-Chillon, that isn't the same as the trolley (Frommers refers to a short trolley.)?

Yeah looks like boat is out, which is fine. Some other time perhaps.

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Jan 22nd, 2007, 09:05 PM
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There is both a bus/trolley and a train and they both stop a Chillon although the train is very infrequent. Maybe once an hour and you could walk along the lake to the Chateau from your hotel by then!
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Jan 22nd, 2007, 09:17 PM
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Actually, from Montreux to Veytaux-Chillon, trains run on the hour and half hour (it is actually on the hour and then at 33 minutes past the hour). Trains leaving on hour require a change in Villeneuve, so I would opt for the train leaving on the half hour if you can. Trip takes about 30 minutes. You can also just get out in Villeneuve and walk from there, its about 5 minutes as well. (Villeneuve is actually past Chillon, so you are backtracking if you take the train which requires the change.) Round trip second class fare is CH5.60, first class is CH9.60.

Trains run very frequently from Montreux to Geneva, literally about every 10-15 minutes. Many require no changes. Fare is CH27 one-way for second class and CH45 for first.

I would check on the trolley, I am not sure that it runs in the winter. Ask at the Montreux train station.
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Jan 23rd, 2007, 02:50 AM
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>I would check on the trolley, I am not sure that it runs in the winter. Ask at the Montreux train station.

Why does everybody here thinks the "trolley" (actually a trolleybus, a modern electric bus with overhead wires) is some kind of tourist service??? It is the backbone of the local transport at the Vevey-Montreux axis. It is like saying "I don't know whether NY subway runs in winter".
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Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:27 AM
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So would I be able to find this trolley right outside the train station?

It takes 30 minutes to take the train from Montreux to near Chillon?

How long is the trolley ride? If it's instead of a 2-mile walk, it shouldn't be long right?
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Jan 23rd, 2007, 11:54 AM
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Hi scrb,

No, the bus is down by the lake. As you exit the train station, cross the street and then walk down the stairs to the lake. Stand at the lake side and wait for bus #1 to go to Chillon.

You can get the train schedules at www.rail.ch (not for city busses in Montreux though).

s
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Jan 23rd, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Hi scrb,

No, the bus is down by the lake. As you exit the train station, cross the street and then walk down the stairs to the lake. Stand at the lake side and wait for bus #1 to go to Chillon. It takes about 10 minutes.


s
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