Known for its 12th century Chillon castle, once home to the Counts of Savoy, popularized by Lord Byron’s “Prisoner of Chillon” and famous for its annual Jazz festival, this lovely Riviera town of Montreux set at the foot of the Alps still fascinate visitors from around the world. The long list of celebrities and famous world figures who used to come to Montreux include Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Nabokov, Mercury as well as the ill fated Empress Elizabeth of Austria. Montreux hasn’t changed much since my last visit some years back and the walk along the lake is still as lovely as I remembered. You can start the walk from Clarens next to the boat pier and head towards Montreux following the flowery paths along the lake shore.
Montreux is not only a great place to explore the surrounding areas but also where the famous Golden Pass train leaves to the the many iconic landmarks of the region. One of the main attraction is the journey to Interlaken. Operated by the Golden pass, the Montreux Oberland Bernois railway one of the oldest electric railways in the country takes you to Interlaken in one of their most unique panoramic train. It all began in 1901 when the first train left for Les Avants. In later years the train line continued to Montbovon then to Chateau d’Oex followed by Gstaad and final destination to Zweisimmen in 1905. From the Simmen Valley passengers may take the local BLS train to Spiez and Interlaken. Many luxury trains were made during the golden era of train travel and so the Golden Mountain Pullman Express was built in 1931 by the famous Compagnie Internationale des Wagons Lits founder of the Orient Express. These were beautifully designed trains but when it did not generate enough popularity due to the economic crisis at the time it was soon abandoned. But since 2005 these historic Belle Epoque style trains operated by the Golden Pass were up and running again along the historic tracks and used as the regular tourist “Chocolate Train” that leaves Montreux to Gruyères and the “Cheese train” that takes visitors to the cheese land of Chateau d’Oex.
At platform N° 5 in Montreux station taking the 9.44am Golden Pass Panoramic train to Interlaken.
To get to Interlaken from Montreux the Golden Pass train journey is certainly a must for those who wants to experience a unique ride through the beautiful Swiss landscape while enjoying a live cinematic scenic view. Two types of trains takes you for an unforgettable journey into the Swiss mountain scape, the Golden Pass Classic and the Golden Pass Panoramic. For this memorable journey I took the Golden Pass Panoramic and was seated within its glass domed VIP coach with an impressive overall view of the passing landscape. Here it is the Golden Pass Panoramic arriving at Montreux station …
View of the Golden Pass Panoramic train to Interlaken
The Golden Pass Panoramic train with scenic views
View of the VIP coach of the Panoramic train passing through some charming villages heading towards Chateau d’Oex.
The lovely ride to Interlaken passes through Montbovon and Chateau d’Oex before leaving the French speaking region of canton Vaud to enter the German speaking canton of Berne to Saanen, Gstaad and Saanenmöser …
Before it finally descends to Simmen valley and reaches Zweisimmen – connecting station to the local BLS train heading for Interlaken Ost.
After passing through more beautiful mountain scenery, the train reaches lake Thun where I finally arrived in the lovely town of Interlaken located at the foot of Switzerland most delightful Alps …
Rail Center GoldenPass
Tel: +41 840 245 245
Opening hours: 8am till 6pm