Lake Geneva Riviera Tour

We decided to take the boat today from Montreux to Saint Gingolph for lunch, then continue onward to Vevey before heading back to Montreux. This loop can be done by riding one boat and is described by CGN, Lake Geneva’s boat operator, as the Riviera Tour.


We walked around a small portion of the waterfront in Montreux while waiting for the boat to arrive this morning. The various sculptures that line the path are all very interesting!

There is definitely a variety of structures in Montreux, though perhaps nothing that one would describe as modern in appearance. And vineyards in seemingly random open spaces.

While waiting for the boat at the dock, we noticed this small butterfly that dwarfed the flower it was sitting upon.

This looks a bit like a PowerPoint but it is not! We noticed this sign listing the historic boats of the CGN fleet. We’ve seen the La Suisse and Italie but have only been on the Italie. Some of the boats still use steam power but others like the Italie have been converted to diesel electric power.

Montreux to Saint Gingolph

There’s our boat! Which one will it be? The Italie which is the only one we’ve noticed on this route?

Yep, it is the Italie!

A family of swans, two adults and two immatures, swam by as we waited for the boat to leave.

When we were atop Rochers de Naye, we noticed that we could see part of the boat while it was at the dock. So, we should be able to see the peak of Rochers de Naye. And indeed, we found it! It is at the right!

One of the many historic hotels that line Montreux’s lakefront.

There are two prominent structures that sit in the mountains above Montreux. One is the Glion Institute of Higher Education, a hospitality college.

The other structure, higher up, is the Caux Palace. It is a conference center that can be rented and has a train station for the cog train line that goes up to Rochers de Naye. We actually took the same train up and down when we visited as a very large group on some sort of educational trip.

More of Montreux, we walked by here two days ago.

On that same day, we couldn’t find the funicular from the boat. We only saw it while we were walking along the waterfront. Today, we found it!

We didn’t realize we were approaching Château de Chillon until we were almost past it. It was too close to photograph properly with a telephoto lens but we took many photos from the boat two days ago.

Not sure what this building is but it looks nice!

Mountains tower above the landscape to the south.

Château de Chillon from an appropriate distance for a telephoto lens!

The next stop for the boat after Château de Chillon was Villeneuve. While on the Château de Chillon audio tour last Friday, we learned that Villeneuve was founded because the chateau didn’t offer enough room for things like tax collection.

We noticed this metal sculpture by the waterfront. It appears to be of swallows.

The pier at Villeneuve. Just a simple structure with some nice flowers and trees that are changing colors. There are vineyards at the base of the mountains in the background.

Just beyond Villeneuve is Île de Peilz. This is a tiny island with a huge tree growing on it! Per its Wikipedia article, the full history of the island is unknown but the current tree was planted in 1851.

The next stop was Le Bouveret, on the Valais side of the border between cantons with Vaud.

From this point, Montreux is pretty far away in the distance, though individual buildings can still be identified.

We could also still find Rochers de Naye.

We noticed this UK flag next to an odd circular structure on the ramp down to a boat dock.

Finally, we could see Saint Gingolph getting closer.

There were a few interesting buildings on the waterfront. They were built on the side of a hill and had very tall foundations.

We found the train station! This is the end of the line for this train as it does not cross into France here.

Saint Gingolph

After disembarking, we walked towards France. We took a look back at the Italie as it left for Vevey.

We could still see Montreux in the distance. Buildings are still identifiable with our telephoto lens at maximum length.

This river is the border with France!

We kept on walking on the French side of Saint Gingolph.

We saw this monument for Jean Moulin who was a leader in the French Resistance during World War II. Unfortunately he did not survive, he was caught and ultimately killed by the Nazis.

There was a nice tree lined path just beyond the monument.

The lake water was exceptionally clear. We’ve noticed this everywhere along the shore of Lac Leman. Here, we noticed many little fish.

Looking back towards Montreux.

We headed up some stairs to what can be best described as main street. A nice view of a little plaza by the lake down below.

We returned to the border, this time higher up and a inland a bit from where we crossed earlier.

We went to find the restaurant that we planned to eat at on the French side of the border. Unfortunately, it seemed to be closed. We ended up eating at a waterfront restaurant on the Swiss side next to the pier.

Saint Gingolph to Vevey

We returned to the pier to wait for the boat for the trip to Vevey. It comes back every two hours. Once again, the Italie.

The sun was at a better angle for photography as we headed north. Once again, we saw Montreux in the distance with Rochers de Naye towering above. It is the highest peak visible in this photo.

Vevey, on the north shore of Lake Geneva, sprawled before us. On the very left, in a gray modern building, is the corporate headquarters for Nestle. Unfortunately, while we saw that Nestle had some buildings in Vevey, we missed that it was their HQ until later on. We would have went to visit their store!

As we got closer to the pier, we noticed another boat. La Suisse was already there. We slowly approached while we waited for it to depart as the pier only supports one boat at a time.

We noticed many people waiting to get on the Italie as we got closer!


We walked along the lakefront at Vevey. To the west, we noticed all the vineyards lining the hills. We’ve seen them before from the train.

A heron on a floating platform.

We walked across a river that was discharging glacial silt into the lake.

Like Montreux, Vevey also had sculptures on the waterfront.

This building had some nice vines on the wall that were changing color for the fall.

We walked by a sculpture honoring Ukrainian writer Nicholas Gogol. Its not clear the details of his connection to Switzerland. Wikipedia mentions he traveled here.

There is a fork in the lake.

We also saw this sculpture of Charlie Chaplin. He lived in Vevey for the last 25 years of his life.

Vevey to Montreux

Finally, it was time to return to Montreux. We had walked to the second pier in Vevey at La Tour-de-Peilz. We saw the Italie headed towards the main pier where we disembarked earlier.

Time for one last trip today on the Italie!

Sometimes, we’ve come across more modern structures attached to something that looks older, like this turret.

We noticed some sailboats in the distance. As we got closer, we noticed that the sailboats were absolutely tiny. The sails were only about the height of two people. It appeared to be some activity for children. There was a man on an inflatable boat that was towing the six little sailboats. Each sailboat had one child. They appeared to be doing some sort of activity where the children were mimicking the adult’s movements.

There were many people on the boat enjoying the ride.

Finally, back to where we started from! The total time spent was about two hours on the boat and four hours on land.

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