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Travel WorldNews Destinations Lake Geneva - sapphire sea in the heart of the Alps - Part II

Lake Geneva - sapphire sea in the heart of the Alps - Part II

Chillon Castle, Montreux, Switzerland, Sunset

Vevey, Pearl Lake Léman

Vevey is today one of the most important cities of the Swiss Riviera, attracting tourists from around the world. First popularized by Rousseau, Vevey began attracting aristocrats throughout Europe, and his reputation grew with time. Over time many authors have praised this splendid city for the unique atmosphere and the spectacular view they offer of the lake and the surrounding wine region. Authors such as Dostoevsky, Hemingway, Graham Greene Henryk Sienkiewicz and the promenades were inspired by the resort.

In Vevey, is situated, the world's largest food companies, Nestlé, which was founded in 1867 by Henri Nestlé, after it has developed "milk powder", food, dedicated to babies whose mothers could not feed them . His reputation has gained momentum in that year when, thanks to his invention, the baby, of a sick mother managed to survive. The company had a huge success and in 1874 sold it for one million Swiss francs, a fabulous sum at that time. In addition to Nestlé headquarters, you can visit Alimentarium, one of the largest museums dedicated to human consumption.

Charlie Chaplin celebrity whose name is the strongest link of Vevey, he spent 25 years in this city, which is reflected in the statues and the the market that bears his name. Among the famous names you'll find immortalized in Vevey, include, Mihai Eminescu! It is a statue dedicated to him, describing him the national poet of Romania, as "The Last Romantic."

Vevey, should patiently enjoyed by relaxed promenade along the lake, stopping by cafes where artists from around the world have found inspiration for their works, giving the landscape while providing relaxation and inspiration that travelers seeking a stop here perhaps after traveling thousands of miles.

In Vevey you may take Train des Etoiles, a rack railway which takes you to Les Pleiades theme park. The route takes 40 minutes, during which you will climb about 1,000 feet. Idyllic landscape you will enjoy during your ascent will leave you breathless, the route passing through the villages, in addition to the famous vineyards of the region, giving you great views of Lake Léman. Once arrived at their destination in a clear day you can see Mont Blanc massif.

Les Pleiades theme park is located at 1360 meters altitude and is the perfect place in which to visit with children. They will have the opportunity to understand many natural phenomena, thanks to ingenious outdoor exhibits located on a mountain plateau that offers incredible views of Lake Léman. Exploring the open air museum, you can discover and understand the phenomena that occur in space millions of light years away from each other. Using our planet as a reference point, the trail sections on discoveries through astronomical observations of the solar system and the fixed stars, it culminates in the discovery of distant galaxies and the extra galaxies. In winter, the ski area is a destination chosen by families for its gentle slopes.

Also in Vevey, you can take Train des Vignes, a train traveling 10 minutes distance to Puidoux via Chexbres.

From Chexbres, a city nicknamed "the balcony above Lake Geneva", the view over the lake, the Alps, and the vineyards on the banks, breathtaking. The most pleasant option is a walk back to Vevey. The route will take you through four kilometers groomed vineyards, the Lavaux region.

On June 28, 2007, the region was included in UNESCO world heritage. Due to centuries of cultivation of the soil, the landscape came to be composed of terraced vineyards and villages typical that made Lavaux to be considered universal interest. Although there is evidence that the region is grown vines in Roman times, today terraces dating from the eleventh century, when Benedictine and the Cistercian monasteries mastered the area. Lavaux is evidence of fruitful interaction among people and the environment for centuries, to optimize the exploitation of the production of valuable wines have always held a significant role in the economy.

Montreux, Swiss Riviera pearl

Once you've enjoyed the stylish Vevey, you will discover just 3 km from the main resort on the shores of Lake Léman, Montreux.

Each year, the first two weeks of July, in Montreux takes place one of the most important musical events in the world: Montreux Jazz Festival. Created in 1967, the festival has expanded and began to include many other genres, so today is the second music festival in the world, after taking place in Montreal. In 2011 participated artists representing all genres, from Carlos Santana, Sting, Paul Simon, Jean-Luc Ponty to Mogwai, Guano Apes, James Blake, Arcade Fire or Deep Purple.

Beyond the many cultural events, Montreux satisfy all desires: access to Lake Léman, a friendly climate and a rich flora, but a mild winter, provided by the mountains surrounding the city. In April and May, the meadows around the resort of Montreux are covered by white daffodils, a phenomenon called "snow in May". The most famous fan of daffodils was Ernest Hemingway, but the area between 1897 and 1957 there were festivals dedicated to daffodils, with processions full of flowers, which signified the end of tourist season. The most beautiful daffodils lovers dedicated path, starting from the village Les Avants. Several other routes start from the Pleiades, Glion, Caux and the Mont-Pelerin.

The famous song "Smoke On The Water", of the band Deep Purple, was inspired by a real event happened in Montreux: When building the famous casino in town, built in 1883, caught fire during a concert by Frank Zappa in 1971, when a fan lit a smoke. Another symbol of rock is immortalized in Montreux: Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, is represented in a statue, located on the lakeshore.

If you are passionate about chocolate, should not miss the Chocolate Train, Montreux to Gruyères linking, which is made famous Cailler chocolate (François-Louis Cailler, was the first producer of chocolate in Switzerland). Using wagons "Pullman Belle Epoque," which dates from 1915 and offers luxury conditions similar to those offered to passengers of the those days, chocolate train will take you on a spectacular journey through the land of chocolate.

Also from Montreux, you can take a train rack, which comes in less than one hour at Rochers-de-Naye, where the view over the lake and the Alps will leave you speechless. Along the way you meet diverse vegetation, from palm to rare edelweiss. Starting from Rochers-de-Naye, you can explore paradise marmots, Alpine Garden and you can sleep in one of the seven white Mongolian yurt located on top of the mountain, at an altitude of 2042 meters. Very close to yurt live species of marmots, worldwide, and have a chance to study them in their habitat. The Alpine Garden, you can see 1,000 alpine plant species, including two varieties of edelweiss and many endemic species cultivated with great effort to such altitude.

Chillon Castle

Last destination of your trip along Lake Léman is one of the most spectacular. Chillon Castle, located on the lake, is one of the most beautiful buildings in Switzerland, is the most visited historical monument in the country.

Popularized by Lord Byron in his poem, The Prisoner of Chillon, the city erected in the thirteenth century still impresses by its structure, is one of the best preserved medieval fortresses throughout Europe.

Spectacular decor, of the rooms of the castle, cellar where they were tortured hundreds of enemies of the dynasty of Savoy and ingenious defense of the castle structure (consisting of 5 layers) are of Chillon, an excellent end point for the journey across Lake Geneva.

Whether you are attracted by the excellent wines produced on the shores of Lake Léman, the countless villages and medieval towns preserved or simply magnificent scenery offered by the Alps, the lake and vineyards in the area, the region surrounding the largest expanse of water the Alps, it will surely leave unforgettable memories and a desire to return.