If you’re planning to base yourself in the Swiss Riviera area during your vacation, then you might want to think about taking some day trips from Montreux, Switzerland.
Whilst there are plenty of fun things to do in Montreux itself, there are a range of appealing destinations nearby to visit, too. All of the destinations we cover below can be discovered by taking a day tour from the town on the shores of Lake Geneva.
The options for a Montreux day trip include a journey to the top of a glacier that’s 3,000 metres above sea level, visiting the terraced Lavaux vineyards, and exploring the cheese and chocolate making region around Gruyeres.
Other possibilities include admiring Aigle Castle or riding a cogwheel train to Rochers-de-Naye. You could also visit another Swiss town or city such as Geneva, Lausanne or even Zermatt.
Whatever you want to do, this guide to the 8 best day trips from Montreux outlines all the options.
Whether you choose to drive, take the train, join an organised tour, or even take a boat ride across Lake Geneva there’s a day trip that’s sure to appeal to you.
With so much to discover beyond Montreux and Vevey, the only problem will be deciding which day trips to take!
Read on so you can choose how to spend your time in this glorious part of Switzerland.
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Summary of day tours from Montreux covered in this guide
|Riviera Col du Pillon and Glacier 3000||> Check details and prices|
|Lavaux Vineyards||> Check details and prices|
|Gruyères||> Check details and prices|
|Aigle Castle||> Get more info here|
|Geneva||> Get more info here|
|Lausanne||> Get more info here|
|Zermatt||> Get more info here|
|Rochers-de-Naye||> Get more info here|
Riviera Col du Pillon and Glacier 3000 day trip from Montreux
Col du Pillon is located in the Alps Vaudoises region. This is a picturesque and archetypal Swiss village in the Les Diablerets (Little Devils) area. The well preserved, idyllic village is like something from a postcard.
That’s not all. While visiting – and photographing – this scenic Swiss village, you can also discover Glacier 3000. This takes its name from the height, as it’s around 3,000 metres above sea level.
The most breathtaking way to experience Glacier 3000 is to take on the challenge of the Peak Walk, a suspension bridge that connects a pair of snowy summits.
The elevated walkway, which stretches for over 100 metres and is only 80 centimetres wide, is the only suspension bridge in the world that connects two mountain peaks.
The bridge is open all year round, with the exception of weather-related closures due to inclement weather conditions, and for a short period in October/November for annual maintenance.
As you take the Peak Walk you can enjoy views of the Mont Blanc Massif, the Matterhorn, the Mönch, the Jungfrau and the Eiger.
If that’s not enough in terms of adrenaline-inducing activities, you can also sample sledding on the slopes.
In summer, there’s also the option of trying the highest toboggan run in Europe, the Alpine Coaster. Cross country skiing is also popular here in winter.
Alternatively, stay in pretty Les Diablerets and take a more relaxing wander along by the river.
How to get from Montreux to Riviera Col du Pillon and Glacier 3000
It takes around 40 minutes to drive to Col du Pillon from Montreux. From there you can take the cable car to the summit of Glacier 3000.
If you prefer, you can take the train from Montreux to Les Diablerets station. This takes about 50 minutes. After that, you’ll take a 15 minute bus ride to Col du Pillon, before transferring to the cable car to reach the peak.
The Swiss Travel Pass covers train and bus travel between Montreux and Col du Pillon.
by organised day tour
You can explore Col du Pillon, Les Diablerets and Glacier 3000 by taking an organised day tour. Tours include coach transport to Col de Pillon, and you can add on the cable car ride to Glacier 3000.
You can also take the Peak Walk at the summit if you like, and go ‘Gold’ to include the thrilling toboggan run and a food and wine tasting.
> Click here to check prices from Montreux
> Click here to check out the Gold Experience Glacier Adventure Tour
> Click here to check out a trip from Geneva to Montreux plus Glacier 3000
Lavaux Vineyards day trip from Montreux
One of the most popular day trips from Montreux by train or car is a tour of the Lavaux Vineyards. These terraces overlooking Lake Geneva have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007.
Here you can taste the produce of the vineyards, or simply enjoy sweeping views over the Valais Alps, Lake Geneva and Montreux.
Only around 1% of the wine produced in this area is exported, so sampling these wines while in Switzerland presents you with your best chance of trying them.
There are two main ways to visit the area. One of these is to take the vineyard train service, or Train des Vignes, that departs from Vevey hourly.
Vevey is only a few kilometres from Montreux, and you can walk there if you like via a lakeside path. Once you’ve taken the Train des Vignes to Puidoux-Chexbres, you can walk among the vines that are around 1,000 years old.
Alternatively, take the Lavaux Panoramic train from the village of Puidoux-Chexbres.
Whether you take a self-guided walk among the grapevines or take the tourist train, you can learn all about grape cultivation and wine making in this region.
You can also sample the wines at the cellar doors open to tourists – often known locally as ‘caves’.
You can of course travel to the Lavaux vineyards by car. But do bear in mind that the Swiss blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.05%. If you have under three years’ driving experience, the limit is only 0.01%.
The season for visiting the vineyards runs from May until September, so this isn’t a winter activity, although the views from the villages set amongst the vineyards are spectacular all year round.
How to get from Montreux to the Lavaux vineyards
If you do choose to drive, the trip between Montreux and the vineyard area takes about 20 minutes by road.
The Train des Vignes to Puidoux-Chexbres is a trip taking around half an hour from Vevey, which is just a few kilometres from Montreux. Services depart hourly between May and September. The fare is free if you hold a Swiss Travel Pass – get yours here.
by organised day tour
If you don’t want to drive, taking an organised day tour from Montreux to the Lavaux vineyards can be the best option.
A private tour with your own guide is a great way to make the most of the experience, so you can learn about the role of the Romans and sample the local Chasselas variety. You will also visit the Vinorama museum during this tour. > Click here to check prices
Gruyères day trip from Montreux
Taking a day tour from Montreux to Gruyères is also a popular option. This town is known all over the world for its cheese production and also features charming cobbled streets and a 13th century castle.
As well as visiting La Maison du Gruyère cheese dairy, you may also choose to call in at the Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory in nearby Broc.
In fact, between May and late September, you can take the Chocolate Train from Montreux to Gruyères. This is a full day trip including visits to both the Gruyère cheese production facility and the chocolate factory. It also includes some free time in Gruyères.
Alternatively, you can take a regular train between Montreux and Gruyères, and the journey takes about 90 minutes. Two changes are required.
A third option is an 80-minute trip on the GoldenPass Line and a regional train via Montbovon.
If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, you can get a discount on your Chocolate Train ticket, or travel for free on the GoldenPass Line and regional train.
You can also drive, or take a private tour to visit both Gruyères and the Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory in Broc.
Getting between Gruyères and the factory means a half hour walk plus a bus ride, taking a taxi or combining bus and train rides. Having your own private driver/guide is therefore much simpler.
How to get from Montreux to Gruyères
It takes around 40 minutes by car to travel to Gruyères from Montreux.
You can reach Gruyères from Montreux by taking the 45-minute Chocolate Train trip (May to September), or the GoldenPass Line to Montbovon and then a regional train to Gruyères. The latter takes about an hour-and-a-half.
A third option is to take regular regional trains, though you’ll need to change twice. This journey takes about 80 minutes.
Swiss Travel Pass holders can travel for free on the GoldenPass Line and regional trains. A supplement applies for the Chocolate Train excursion.
by organised day tour
A private day tour can be tailored to suit you and involves no transport hassles. This Montreux to Gruyères day tour includes all transport, plus visits to the Chocolate Factory in Broc and the village of Gruyères.
You’ll also enjoy cheese tastings at La Maison du Gruyère, and explore the medieval town of Gruyeres. Click here to check prices.
If you are travelling to Gruyères from other destinations in Switzerland, private tours are still a possibility. Find out more here.
Aigle Castle day trip from Montreux
Attractive Château d’Aigle is set among Swiss vineyards on a hillside overlooking Lake Geneva.
It has been the home of the Vine and Wine Museum since the mid 1970s, and offers interactive exhibits and wine label displays.
There’s also a restaurant by the castle with vineyard views from the terrace.
Aigle Castle is open daily, except for Mondays and 1 January and 25 December. During July and August, it is open every day of the week.
How to get from Montreux to Aigle Castle
The journey from Montreux to Aigle Castle by car takes about 20 minutes.
It takes only 10 minutes to travel from Montreux to Aigle. There are at least two trains per hour. You can walk from Aigle station to Aigle Castle in around 15 minutes.
Geneva day trip from Montreux
Another popular day excursion from Montreux is to the bustling city of Geneva which is situated at the opposite end of Lake Geneva.
Amongst the top places of interest to include in your day trip to Geneva from Montreux are the Flower Clock, the Reformation Wall, the Jet d’Eau and the headquarters of UNESCO.
How to get from Montreux to Geneva
It takes around an hour-and-a-quarter to travel by road from Montreux to Geneva.
The simplest way to travel between Montreux and Geneva is by train. There are at least two services per hour, and this journey takes just over an hour. The fare is free is you hold a Swiss Travel Pass.
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Lausanne day trip from Montreux
Lausanne is also located on the shores of Lake Geneva, and is also a popular place to visit. It’s the fourth largest city in Switzerland.
A day here will give you enough time to see the main sights, such as the Old Town, cathedral, Olympic museum, Port d’Ouchy and the promenade.
As well as by train or car, it’s possible to travel from Montreux and Vevey to Lausanne by boat.
How to get from Montreux to Lausanne
The drive from Montreux to Lausanne takes around half an hour.
You can travel between Montreux and Lausanne by train in around 25 minutes. There are departures at least every 30 minutes and fares are free if you hold a Swiss Travel Pass.
A third option is to take a boat trip between Montreux and Lausanne. This relaxing journey takes around an hour and 40 minutes, and it’s a lovely way to see what lies between the two destinations.
Zermatt day trip from Montreux
You could also take a Montreux to Zermatt day trip, though it’s a little further away.
Zermatt offers lots of outdoor activities such as hiking trails, and also has a stunning setting at the foot of the Matterhorn.
Whilst in Zermatt, be sure to take a cable car ride, or hop onto the Gornergrat Bahn railway for the best views of the iconic mountain peak.
The alpine village also offers plenty of options to dine out, explore the village, visit the Matterhorn Museum, go walking or enjoy winter sports.
How to get from Montreux to Zermatt
It takes around an hour and 50 minutes to drive from Montreux to Zermatt.
There is no direct train between Montreux and Zermatt, so you’ll need to change. The entire trip will take about two-and-a-half hours.
Swiss Travel Pass holders can travel for free between Montreux and Zermatt.
on a private tour
To enjoy the convenience of having someone else do the driving and making the arrangements, why not consider booking a private tour.
Your day trip itinerary can be tailored to your requirements and you’ll have the added bonus of a knowledgeable private driver guide. > Find out more here.
Rochers-de-Naye day trip from Montreux
Rochers-de-Naye is more than 2,000 metres above sea level, and the panoramic views over the Swiss Alps, Lake Geneva and the Jura mountains from here are something special.
You can take a five-hour hike from Montreux to reach the rocky balcony, or hop onto the local cogwheel train in Montreux. This scenic ride takes around an hour to reach the summit.
Once you’re there, look out for local flora and fauna including about 1,000 plant species and marmots.
In winter you can visit Father Christmas or go skiing, or dine at the restaurant for spectacular views.
How to get from Montreux to Rochers-de-Naye
The Montreux to Les Rochers-de-Naye cogwheel train operates daily, and offers hourly services. Holders of a Swiss Travel Pass get 50% off the regular fare. Buy your Swiss Travel Pass here.
Day Trips from Montreux, Switzerland – Final Thoughts
Spend time exploring the area around Montreux and you can experience the very best that Switzerland has to offer.
With activities including winter sports, mountain excursions, city visits or tasting cheese, wine and chocolate – all set against a stunning Swiss backdrop – there’s a Montreux day trip to suit everyone.
Enjoy your visit!
🇨🇭Like to know more about the Swiss Riviera? You can read all our Montreux travel guides here including our pick of the best hotels in Montreux.