A playground for the rich? Montreux looks like a high-end resort town, and why not? It faces beautiful Lake Geneva and has a lovely waterfront promenade stretching many kilometres to impress.
With such beautiful weather by the lake, I took my chances to go up Les Rochers-de-Naye, a 2042m mountain hovering behind the city. A cog railway goes up some 1600m of ascent in less than an hour. The Swiss Travel Pass allows free travel most of the way up but you need to buy a supplement to reach the highest station.
The ascent is quite steep and with a right window seat, the views of Montreux and the Lake Geneva coastline are incredible.
This was my first dose of experiencing the interesting and ever-changing mountain weather in Switzerland. While it was blue skies and sunny by the coast, an annoying cloud cover lingered around the top of the mountain.
Meanwhile, these critters were making the best of a foggy day up top.
Satisfied but a bit disappointed, I headed back for my favourite window seat as the train pulled up from downhill.
Back on the sunny seashore, I took the bus from the waterfront to Chillon Castle. It is possible to walk and enjoy the promenade all the way from Montreux, but I was running out of time in the late afternoon so this would need to be on wheels. I would return to Chillon on a subsequent rainy day to explore the indoors.
Chillon once had a monopoly over the Alps trade route for some 400 years as merchants needed to pass through this area and get taxed. The Medieval fortress was first mentioned in writing in the 12th century.
With a Swiss Travel Pass, entry is free. A pamphlet shows how to get around the various rooms and sights in the sprawling complex. The first stop is downstairs in the cellar, where they produced its own unique wine that can be bought in the shop.
St. George's Chapel was counts' private chapel but was turned into a granary and powder house after the Reformation. It reverted into a place of worship for prisoners in the 19th century.
Although Chillon is between Montreux and Villeneuve further down the coast, it is easily accessible by train, bus, and ferry. I happened to come across a docking ferry and made the lovely cruise back to Montreux. With the Swiss Travel Pass, this journey was free.