Rail from Paris to Montreux, Switzerland

Old Mar 5th, 2006, 12:09 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 47
Rail from Paris to Montreux, Switzerland

Hello Fodorites! I am planning a trip in July with my husband and have booked hotels in Paris and Montreux, Switz. We will be getting a France/Switz Eurail pass and thought the best scenic route would be through Geneva and then on to Montreux so that we would have views of Lake Geneva as we approach Montreux. But, railsaver shows a connection through Vallorbe, and a rail map shows the route along the lake from Geneva to Montreux as not appearing to be too close to the lake. Does it make more sense to go through Vallorbe vs.Geneva as the views may not be what I expect, just to get to our destination quicker? I believe that it would save an hour or two to go through Vallorbe. Once we get to Montreux (for 3 nights) we will take some scenic trains and some boat rides. Any info anyone would have would be appreciated!
pks2000 is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 01:14 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,344
I'm not sure I follow exactly you other options, but can vouch for the train ride from Geneva (city or airport) out to Montreux... it is a little over one hour and goes right along the lake most of the way. It is spectacular scenery.

I've done it many many times bewteen the airport and my friends place in Montreux.
suze is online now  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 01:40 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,882
Hi pks2000,

I agree with suze above -- I've done the route between Geneva & Montreux many times, and it is spectacular. The train runs right at the lake's edge with rolling vineyards on the other side. Spectacular, really!

I don't think railsaver will have the best routes & connections. I urge you to rely on the Swiss rail site at www.rail.ch.

Also, do you know that the huge jazz fest is held in Montreux 30 June - 15 July (www.montreuxjazz.com)? If you're there then, it may be more crowded and noisy than usual --

Have fun!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 01:48 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,260
I think your best connection would be to take a TGV service either from Paris to Geneva, changing there for Montreux or Paris to Lausanne (again a TGV) and changing there.

Use the GermanRail website to check schedules; it is more complete than the one at Railsaver

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

Sit on the right side of the train (facing forward) from either Geneva or Lausanne for the best lake views. The route parallels the edge of the lake almost completely and all the way to Montreux.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 04:24 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 47
Thank you for your input. Swandav2000, you are one reason I decided to go to Montreux to begin with! (Do you work for the Chamber of Commerce there?!) I had checked into the jazz fest and we will just miss it, arriving the week after. I had looked into the Swiss rail site and was confused, especially when it asks to "refine my request" by choosing a particular station. What station in Paris goes to Switzerland? How many stations are in Montreux? When I put in Paris to Montreux via Geneva it shows that it will take a minimum of 11 hours...does that sound right? Since we only have a week total that would be two full days of travel on the train and I was under the impression that it would only take 6 hours or so total each way. Am I off base here? Thanks for your help!
pks2000 is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 05:10 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,137
It takes about 3 1/2 hours from Paris to Geneva on the TGV, and leaves out of the Gare de lyon. Pity you will miss the Jazz Festival. The names have been posted and it looks like it's going to be a wonderful festival this year!
Surfergirl is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 05:19 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 446
Paris Lyon is your departure station. Montreux only has one station.

To go via Geneva would be around five hours; to go via Vallorbe and Lausanne would save about 45 minutes; however there are more connections per day via Geneva.
Musicteacher is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 07:54 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 47
Thanks for the info. I will be purchasing my 1st class France/Switz Eurail pass before I leave the states. I will be traveling on Tues. & Fri. to and from Montreux. Do I need to make a reservation or can I do that at the station on the day we depart from Paris? Thanks everyone for your help.
pks2000 is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 09:02 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,344
Trains run all the time between Geneva and Montreux. Check the schedule because some are direct and some you would have to make a transfer in Lausanne.
suze is online now  
Old Mar 6th, 2006, 01:31 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,260
You will need a SEAT reservation if you take the TGV service from Paris, whether or not you are using a pass for the travel. You can get that reservation after you arrive in France where it will be cheaper to get but get one immediately after you arrive...you could probably wait until the day of travel but I wouldn't do so.

You will not need seat reservations between Geneva-Montreux or between Lausanne-Montreux.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2006, 03:59 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,882
Hi Again pks2000,

Wow! I'm a little scared that I've had such an impact on your vacation plans!! If you like it 1/4 as much as I do, it'll be a success. It's a lovely area!! Have you seen any photos? If not, I have a few albums at yahoo that I can send you to if you'd like.

Sorry I've seemed to ignore you -- I tend to shut down both computer & brain at about 5pm! With our great community of Fodorites, though, my absence didn't matter!

I don't have much to offer on top of the good discussions of the route you've received. I'm just really confused about the "refine my request" and choosing a station messages that you're getting from the SBB. I just typed in your route and had no message like that at all! I entered "09.00" as my departure time (as I usually do), and I ignored the drop-down menus for "All Types" (to specify the type of stop you want). Then I click on "Search Connection." I got the fairly standard results: 4h12 (change in Lausanne), 4h59 (change in Geneva), etc. All connections leave Paris from Gare de Lyon, as Surfergirl notes.

I'm really confused about your difficulty with SBB because another poster recently had trouble with it, and to me the SBB is the easiest, brain-dead easy, site to use. I wonder if the site has been having some cyber hic-cups lately??

Anyway, if you want to reserve your TGV seats, I would do it earlier than departure day from Paris. You can do this from any train station in the city, so just swing by one on one of your sight-seeing days.

Where are you staying in Montreux? What do you plan to do? I encourage you to plan at least one ferry ride, maybe from Montreux to Chillon or from Chillon to Rivaz or . . .so many choices!! Ferry schedules are at www.cgn.ch.

I'll be happy to take a vicarious trip if I can help with anything!

Have fun!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Old Mar 6th, 2006, 04:07 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,260
On another note...if you want REALLY spectacular views of Lac Leman and you are going to be in Montreux anyway, you might consider the trip up to Rochers de Naye from Montreux. The trip up is wonderful in and of itself and the views from the top are incomparable. Be warned, however, that those views can be completely obscured by clouds/fog etc.

The train leaves from the MOB station which is connected to , and behind, the main SBB station in Montreux. You can get a dis counted fare with some, but not all, rail passes.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2006, 08:02 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 47
Thanks again for the great info. We will be staying at Eden du Lac, booked online, partly because it is next to the Casino for some fun at night! We want to take day trips, definitely to Chillon by boat and Rochers de Naye sounds interesting...how long is that trip? I know that the views from the trains can be obscured by bad weather so we will play it by ear. We love boating so we'll decide which trips to take when we get there. Has anyone had dinner at Auberge du Raison? We will be celebrating our 20th anniv. so thought this might be a good place for that. If so, would we take a taxi there or bus?? Swandav, I'd love to see photos. Do you have a website? I've seen those on the Montreux site but many repeats. Thanks for all the help!
pks2000 is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2006, 09:10 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,882
Hi Again,

Sorry no website -- but I have two albums at yahoo.com; here are the links:

Montreux, Saanen, & Zurich, May 2004
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/swanda.../ph//my_photos

Villeneuve Sep 05
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/swanda...ebd1&.tok=

No, don't take a taxi to the Auberge de Raisin. It's in the village of Cully (www.cully.ch), part of the Lavaux. It's about 16 or 21 minutes by direct train (0 changes), so a taxi would cost, well, maybe millions of dollars (Swiss taxis are REALLY expensive). Take the train there and then, if at ALL possible, take the ferry back to Montreux, relaxing with a last glass of wine and enjoying the night air and the hills slipping by.

Oooh, how jealous am I!!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Old Mar 6th, 2006, 09:36 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2
Hello pks,
For a nice day trip outside Montreux, look into Leysin.
http://www.leysin.ch/
It's a small ski village with beautiful vistas, about an hour by train and funicular from Montreux. Take the train east from Montreux along the lake to Aigle, and pick up the streetcar/funicular across the parking lot. I seem to remember it runs about 1x/hr. I lived there while I was a nanny 8 years ago. There are great hiking trails that lead off all over town, and if you don't wear yourself out too much that day, you can also take a beautiful hike down the mountain to your train instead of the funicular. Takes about an hour and a half to walk to Aigle. Try a splurge lunch at the Kuklos turning restaurant
http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/navp...ays-28809.html
but only if the weather is clear. The food is good but you're paying for the view. Enjoy your trip!
amythep is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2006, 09:42 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,260
here's a link for the MOB timetable:

http://www.mob.ch/GPS/voyages/horaires.asp
Intrepid1 is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2006, 11:30 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,344
The Casino in Montreux has a fantastic outdoor pool you can buy day passes to. It's beautiful and tucked in just off the quai (lakeside). You can buy a ticket just to swim or rent towels, lounge pads, chairs, etc. Nice showers. Seemed more a place for vacationing Europen families or locals for a special day (didn't hear english spoken there much).
suze is online now  
Old Mar 6th, 2006, 12:10 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,641
If you have train questions, BETS rail info line lets you speak to veteran Swiss rail travelers - in my experience with them they know everything (800-441-9413) - they also don't charge Raileurope's mailing fees for passes though work thru RailEurope. The Golden Pass rail route from Montreux to Spiez starts by climbing up up the vineyard-carpeted slopes from Lake Geneva - snaking back and forth - if going to Interlaken area this is a very scenic route, though not as quick as the mainline route via Berne. But take it just up to the top out of Montreux is fantastic - can walk back down to the lake on paths thru the vineyards.
PalQ is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2006, 01:05 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 47
What great info and suggestions from everyone! Swandav, the photos were wonderful, what kind of camera do you have? I am looking for a decent digital that will be small enough to fit in a pocket to bring on our trip.

One more rail question: Since I am going to get the France/Switz 4 day pass, I assume it will be good Tues, Wed, Thurs and Friday, our time to and from Montreux. I had read somewhere that if you change countries, it counts as two days' travel. Does anyone know about that? I hope that was referring to a regular Railpass and not the two country pass. Comments please.
pks2000 is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2006, 01:08 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,260
WRONG!!!! If it is a four-day pass it is a four-day pass..crossing borders doesn't take away any more days than it takes to get across the border.

Is this a four-day consecutive pass or four days in any one timeframe?
Intrepid1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO