Montreux on Lake Geneva has been inspiring writers and musicians for centuries with its stunning scenery and sunny climate. Often called the Swiss Riviera, the lakeside town and its neighbour, Vevey, are surrounded by mountains and forests with plenty of hiking trails. Adventurers seek out the floral fields of La Rambertia Alpine Garden, along with the vine covered rocks of the Gorges du Chauderon, while those looking to immerse themselves in local culture can attend the annual Montreux Jazz Festival, which is considered to be one of the world's best.
You can stay in a Montreux hostel right on the edge of Lake Geneva, overlooking its sparkling waters. Choose from mixed or female-only dorms or private double rooms. Hostels in Montreux have rooms with modern furnishings and are drenched in sunlight, creating a bright, welcoming environment. Find Montreux hostels with free breakfast buffets and dining rooms where you can eat your meals while swapping travel stories with your fellow backpackers.
The town’s flower-lined promenade is popular with locals at all times of the day, from morning runners to couples taking romantic evening strolls. The trail runs for 10km, along to the town of Vevey and, in the other direction, as far as Chillon Castle. Montreux’s Old Town creeps up the steep mountainside and is a maze of narrow alleyways where you can stumble across breathtaking views. Restaurants scattered along the waterfront make the most of this spectacular backdrop.
At a height of 2,042 metres, the summit of Rochers-de-Naye offers views across Lake Geneva and as far as the French Alps. Travel up by cog railway, before exploring the area’s hiking trails. Chillon Castle, on a small rocky island 2.7km along the lake from Montreux, is the most visited historic building in Switzerland. You can also get out onto the lake with a cruise, choosing either a steam-driven or modern boat to destinations such as Vevey, Nyon and Lausanne.
Montreux is 30km south-east of Lausanne and has a direct train service with Geneva (1 hour) and Lausanne (35 minutes) where you can transfer to Zurich (2.5 hours). The town is also a stop on the scenic GoldenPass train routes with connections to the Bernese Alps and Rochers-de-Naye. The closest airport is Geneva Airport (90km), which takes around 1.5 hours to reach by public transport. Zurich Airport (125km) also has good transport links and the journey takes around 2 hours.