Montreux

Montreux is located in the west of Switzerland, situated at the foot of the Alps, so it enjoys a rather mild climate all year long, although it does tend to rain rather frequently throughout the year, approximately one in three days.

Chateau de Chillon in Montreux Switzerland

Chateau de Chillon in Montreux Switzerland

Summer

In the summer months, Montreux is balmy and warm, with some humidity, considering the town is located on Lake Geneva. Summer is also the rainiest season in Montreux, so while it still only rains an average of 10-13 days a month throughout the summer, the amount of rainfall is considerably higher than in other seasons.

The mean average temperature in Montreux during the summer months goes from an overnight low of 13°C to a high of 24°C.

In summer, the highlight of the Montreux scene is definitely the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival which has been held each July for the past 55 years. While enjoying the sounds of the festival, check out the Freddy Mercury Memorial Statue, who was a long-time resident of the Swiss town. A short car ride out of town will take you to the beautiful Chateau de Chillon, a stunning castle with more than 1,000 years of history. This area of the Alps is famous for its’ grapes, so if wining and dining is your hobby, do not miss a chance to take a wine tour of the Swiss Riviera, particularly the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces which are one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites! If you are traveling with your children or if you are an animal lover yourself, spend an afternoon at the Marmots Paradise near Rochers de Naye, a wildlife reserve and nature-oriented theme park.

Autumn

As Autumn rolls to the foot of the Alps, Montreux becomes a bit chilly, particularly in October and November, but the rain lets up slightly and the weather is still good in early Autumn for some brisk sight seeing.

The mean average temperature in Montreux during the autumnal months is an overnight low of 8°C up to a high of 15°C.

If you travel to Montreux in the autumn, although you may have missed the Jazz Festival in July, you can see the Musical de Montreux in September, a celebration of classical musical which has become a destination holiday for European lovers of orchestral music. If you are a lover of all things Queen, the Freddy Mercury Memorial weekend is also held on the first weekend of September.  If the slight chill of autumn ushers you towards indoor activities, then spend an afternoon wandering the galleries of the Musee du vieux Montreux, which tells the history of Montreux and the origins of much of Swiss culture. If the weather is decent, explore Vieille-Ville de Montreux, the “Old Town”, full of antiquated buildings, fascinating shops, and the rich history of old Switzerland.

Winter

Like most alpine climates, Montreux turns cold in the winter months and the rain of the other seasons occasionally turns to snow. Heavy snowfall is unusual, but being at the foot of a mountain does mean that unexpected weather is always a possibility.

The mean average temperature in Montreux in the winter season is an overnight low of 0°C up to a chilly 5°C during the day.

The winter season can be a wonderful time to visit the Alps, particularly if you don’t mind braving some windy, alpine air and some snowflakes covering the quaint town. Many visitors looking for a “Belle Epoque” kind of experience choose to take an old-fashioned train ride on the Golden Pass Line. The train can take you to Gstaad, one of the most famous and exclusive ski resorts in that part of Switzerland. If skiing isn’t your thing, but trains are, than take a Swiss Chocolate Train to explore the nearby areas and see some of the local castles, like Chateau de Gruyere. In Montreux itself, the tourist season is certainly not at a peak, but that doesn’t stop people from warming themselves with some drinks and dice at the elegant and historic Montreux Casino, which burned down in 1971 and famously inspired the song “Smoke on the Water”.

Chateau De Gruyere

Chateau De Gruyere

Spring

Springtime in the Swiss Alps is an absolute treasure and is one of the most popular times to visit Montreux. The weather is brisk, but edges towards warm in the late spring, with the typical rainfall of an alpine climate, every few days or so.

The mean average temperature in Montreux’s spring season is an overnight low of 6°C climbing to a comfortable 13°C during the day.

If you plan to visit Montreux during the spring, there are plenty of things to do and see. In April, the Golden Award of Montreux is celebrated, which is the first international competition of the season that awards creative excellence.  Spring is also a wonderful time to visit the Alpengarten La Rambertia if you are a lover of the outdoors, where you can hike the scenic trails and discover some fascinating species of alpine plants. For more outdoors activities, stroll on the Lakeside Promenade Fleuri, a manicured path around the edges of Lake Geneva, offering wonderful sights and photo opportunities of Montreux from a distance. If the weather is leaning towards the warm side, take a day trip to Rochers-de Naye. The views on the short train ride to get there are worth the trip, not to mention the breathtaking sights once you take the hike up to the view point on the mountain. There is often a lot of snow in early spring, but don’t let that discourage you!

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