Montreux is definitely one of the best Swiss riviera and known as the pearl of the Swiss riviera. Many tourists visit this city. It is gorgeous and wonderful. Every summer (July) it celebrates Montreux Jazz Festival, one of the most famous festival in Switzerland. Norah Jones performed there in 2010 edition, Sting in 2011, Amy Macdonald and Alanis Morissette in 2012. If you are planning to visit Montreux Jazz Festival 2013 then you should not miss this fascinating beautiful walking tour in Montreux. In this self guided tour, you will walk from Montreux (or Montreux Jazz Festival) to Chillon Castle (Château Chillon is Switzerland’s most visited historic monument!) and then you can come back to Montreux either walking or on one of the steam boats (Consider buying ticket for this option).
All along this Montreux self guided walking tour, you will enjoy walking by Léman Lake (Lac Léman, and also called Geneva Lake) with the reflection of the Swiss Alps mountains. If you go there in early July you will experience the Montreux Jazz Festival as many concerts are free! When you come to Montreux by train (whether it is from Lausanne or the other direction), you will have a dazzling view over the lake and the Swiss Alps. Actually you will even feel like the train is crossing the lake as it is so close to the water. Fabulous!
I recommend to start this Montreux self guided walking tour 2 hours before sunset time (and at least 3 hours if you are planning to enter Chillon Castle, you may also check opening hours in this case). In this way you can take photos of the same scene with two different lighting condition. First part, with full daylight. Second part at sunset time, (actually you can notice very well this difference in my photos). This trail is totally flat and paved.
Once you arrive in Montreux, go down to Lac Léman direction (you will see a stairs which will take you to the Lake), once you are there and in front of the Lake there is a long trail, just follow it and heading east (the Léman Lake will be on your right and Montreux city on your left). This trail will take you to the Castle of Chilllon (Chateau Chillon), You will be walking for around 45 minutes – 1 hour depending on how frequently you take pictures. Even that it seems to be long, in reality you will not get bored at all during this walk as you will be fascinated by the beauty of the Lake with the Swiss Alps mountains behind and flowers everywhere (as you can see in my pictures). You will notice many luxurious restaurants on your way to the castle (also fast food like Mac Donald’s). Many costly and expensive hotels are also there with their swimming pools and classy gardens. You will also walk by Montreux Casino (for gambling) and tennis courts. You will notice that each tree has a sign that tells where it comes from (which country). The snowy mountains at the end of the lake are called Les Dents du Midi.
At the end of the trail you will start to see the Chillon Castle. Don’t miss your chance to take one of the best photos there: Léman Lake, Swiss Alps, Green Space, the Chillon Castle and the snowy “Dents du Midi” Mountains behind it (as you can see in my photos). This mixture of mountains, Léman Lake, Chillon Castle, Flowers, Green Spaces, Jazz Festival (in summer) made Montreux one of the most famous and beautiful Riviera of Switzerland. At some point you will also see some palms that gives a californian style to the place. Once you reach the Chillon Castle, you can go inside (consider buying ticket for that). Near the Castle there is the Steam Boat where they can get you back to Montreux where you started, you should check the schedule if you are interested (consider buying a ticket), I didn’t take that boat, but I was in another long sunset cruise that started from Lausanne Ouchy and went to Chillon Castle, and I have to say that it was very beautiful as you can see Montreux and the Chillon Castle from another angle. It is up to you to decide whether to take the boat or walk back to Montreux. (ps: Walking at sunset time is different)
At the end, I think this free self guided walking tour is worth to do it many times, actually I already did it three times and each time you see something different from the previous one as the mountains in photos change with the lighting, seasons and weather conditions. May be, I should try to go there at Christmas time and check “Le marché de Noël” !
PS: I didn’t take any photos for Montreux Jazz Festival. During this festival, you will find food everywhere and plenty of free and paid concerts (I will try to take photos in Montreux Jazz festival 2013)