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Chamonix to Lausanne?

Completing the the MyWay Tour in Chamonix, interested in spending 3 full days in Lausanne. Any suggestions regarding transportation, accommodations, sites to experience? I notice smaller lake towns nearby. Recommend those towns, instead? Looking for slow-pace, relaxing vibe.

Posted by
6879 posts

This is the best route from Chamonix to the Lausanne area: "Mont Blanc Express" train to Martigny (quick change of trains at Vallorcine on the way), then from Martigny to Lausanne.
Rather than Lausanne, I suggest staying in smaller towns to the east: Montreux, Vevey, Cully (Auberge du Raisin)... Lausanne is an attractive city but I prefer the small-town charm of those other options, and you mention wanting a "slow pace".
Give us a budget, and we could even recommend hotels.

As for things to experience, I have in mind:

  • Chillon Castle
  • the old town of Vevey
  • seeing the Lavaux vineyards, especially from the lake: hop on a lake steamer from Ouchy (Lausanne) to Vevey or vice-versa. You can walk through them, too, but it is STEEP.
  • Rochers de Naye railway with amazing lake views at the top.
  • Some Charlie Chaplin-related sights in Vevey (never seen those, no interest for me)
  • Old Lausanne, above the station, is both pretty and lively; some people could also be interested in the Olympic museum down in Ouchy
  • Caillier chocolate factory in Broc, to combine with the nearby village of Gruyères (a bit touristy, though)
  • Golden Pass railway to Zweisimmen and back

It's far more than what you can do in three days, of course.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you for your detailed response with so many wonderful ideas. We're also considering Annecy. What are your thoughts?
Accommodations would be greatly appreciated in both areas if you are familiar. Our budget is around $300.

Posted by
6879 posts

With three full days, I would choose Lausanne.
Annecy is beautiful but to me, it's a perfect 48-hour visit. It's not that large.

As for accommodation, I can't really help there. I went to Baron Tavernier hotel in Chexbres, which I really liked - it has amazing views above the Lavaux vineyards, but is best with a car (there is a train station and a bus service, but it is on a small branch line). I also went to Hotel Masson in Veytaux, walking distance to Chillon Castle, but felt that it had too many flaws vs. the price.
$300 is a good budget for those parts so you should find something suitable without too much trouble.

Posted by
20 posts

Lausanne or Montreux will offer you more things to do and visit, just like it was already pointed out by other travellers here. I live in this area and confirm that all the attractions listed are amazing and worth visiting. I am confident you'll find something to fit with your budget either in Lausanne, Vevey or Montreux if you decide to spend those 3 days on the Swiss Riviera. In Vevey there are aparthotels as well, in Montreux quaint hotels or BBs like Tralala Hotel. Please feel free to reach out to me for further details if you want to plan your 3 days here. I would love to help.

Posted by
9 posts

@balso we are traveling from Chamonix to Montreux. Would the Mont Blanc express train work for that too? Or is there a better way to travel between the 2.

@ana I would love suggestions of places to stay and do at Montreaux.

Thanks in advance for your help! We will be there mid July

Posted by
6879 posts

@balso we are traveling from Chamonix to Montreux. Would the Mont Blanc express train work for that too? Or is there a better way to travel between the 2.

Yes, it is the same route. Montreux is 20 minutes before Lausanne, roughly. Maybe 30.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks. When I go to the mont blanc express web page, it doesn’t show anything from Chamonix to Montreux. Where else can I look?

Posted by
20 posts

@harmsjd If you check SBB app / website, as mentioned, you'll get all trains connecting Chamonix to Montreux.

I can make a very long list of things to see/ do in Montreux and the little villages scattered through the hills facing Lake Geneva, however would be useful to know how much time do you have and what kind of things you'd be interested in.

Just a short list of things coming to my mind in an instant:
- Vieille Ville (Old Town of Montreux), the lake promenade with magnificent view of the Alps and the lake, Chateau de Chillon (the most visited castle in Switzerland, built by the French on the lake water), Queen's studio at the Casino
- Vevey (10 mins by train from Montreux) - medieval quaint village, where Charlie Chaplin lived his last 3 decades; a funicular ride to Mt Pelerin from Vevey funi takes you through the UNESCO Lavaux wineyards up tp 800 metres where a stunning panoramic view of the mountains and the lake waits for you
- St Saphorin - most scenic Swiss village located in the heart of Lavaux region, iconic image of the Swiss Riviera vineyards
- Lausanne (30 mins by train from Montreux)
- CGN steamboats cruise on the lake from Montreux to Lausanne

And I could continue with several paragraphs of suggestions. Feel free to message me in private if you want a more customized plan of things to do/see. I live close to Montreux and do this for a living (I worked with Rick Steves while he was in Bucharest, to film his show about Romania, and moved here because of my husband's job). Hope no admin rules were broken and if so, I wasn't with intention.

Posted by
483 posts

Hope no admin rules were broken and if so, I wasn't with intention.

I guess the rules are only broken if you are going to ask for payment for the customized plan that you are offering - as per your description of yourself as a private tour guide in the area (in bio). I think it is great to have someone who lives in Vaud contributing here, but of course not if it is for the purpose of growing your business. 😊 Likely you just enjoy sharing your experiences, as the rest of us do.

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you, @myswisslife. You're right, I just love to help others and help them have great vacations abroad by sharing my knowledge about the area.