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Geneva base and Montreux + Chocolate train

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Hong Kong
posts: 23
reviews: 2
Geneva base and Montreux + Chocolate train

Hi all,

If we stay in Geneva 2 nights just and plan to go for Montreux + chocolate train in one day after a short tour within Geneva, is it something achievable? We just wanted to avoid moving around every night as we have a 6 y-o child.

We'd like to see the Chateau de Chillion and we are interested in chocolate train (though not very much convinced yet as our stay in Swiss is only 7 days including Alps time)...

How long would it take from Geneva to Montreux? Would you recommend to move our base after 1 night if we would move then onto alps side anyway?

What time does the chocolate train leave? If it is a whole day, I might want to skip...

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland, Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
posts: 12,577
reviews: 26
1. Re: Geneva base and Montreux + Chocolate train

Hi jkwendy,

Well, I think it would be a little tough to do from Geneva.

The Chocolate Train leaves Montreux at 09.07, and the trip from Geneva to Montreux takes about an hour. You would have to leave Geneva at 07.45 to arrive in Montreux at 08.42, or leave at 07.56 to arrive in Montreux at 09.04.

And, yes, it is an all-day event. You get back to Montreux around 17.38. Here's a link to its website

www.goldenpass.ch/CMS/default.asp?ID=414

and you can download a pdf brochure with all the details.

Chillon is open until 19.00, but it closes the doors for entry at 18.00. You could possibly just make it to Chillon before the doors closed, but I think you might be pretty tired after all day of touring with your child.

I would just relax and spend a nice, long day enjoying Montreux. I would take the train to Montreux and walk to the castle (45 minutes) along the flowered lakeside promenade. Bring some snacks and sit on a bench and people-watch or just soak up the beautiful views. After seeing Chillon, take the ferry to Vevey and see that town, and have lunch there. Then take the train back to Geneva.

Anyway, have fun as you plan!

s

Hong Kong
posts: 23
reviews: 2
2. Re: Geneva base and Montreux + Chocolate train

Thank you so much. It is very useful.

So just a quick trip to Montreux ourselves would be more relaxing! =)

We'll try to find somewhere else we can 'experience' swss chocolate!

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland, Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
posts: 12,577
reviews: 26
3. Re: Geneva base and Montreux + Chocolate train

Hi again,

If all you want to do is see the chocolate factory, you can easily do that on your own, and it won't take all day.

Just take the train from Geneva to Broc-Fabrique (takes about 2h with 2 changes) and see the Cailler factory. Here's the site for that factory:

cailler.ch/en/Chocolaterie/Information.aspx

If you wanted, you could also stop by Gruyeres to see the cheese demonstration as well as the village and its castle, but then you're getting back into a full day away.

s

Edited: 2:55 am, August 02, 2012
London
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 8,331
reviews: 104
4. Re: Geneva base and Montreux + Chocolate train

If you did fancy the chocolate factory (via normal public transport), there's a nice woodland walk you can do on the way by getting off the narrow gauge train at a request stop. The walk has carved wooden animals and is a nice way of breaking up the day. Let me know if this interests you.

Edited: 5:28 am, August 02, 2012
Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 19,373
reviews: 126
5. Re: Geneva base and Montreux + Chocolate train

The chocolate factory is absolutely marvellous for small children (and adults too!) My two grandchildren are still talking abut their visit there in June and would like to go back soon. I have also taken them to Chillon and the history and splendours of the castle went a bit over their heads. Their greatest interest there were the medieval toilets!! So I would second all opinions re going to the chocolate factory.

For Geneva, see this:

tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g188057-c127289/Gen…

With only two nights you might even want to consider basing yourselvs in Montreux instead of Geneva. And if you are here in the summer and early autumn the "Marmotte Paradise" at the Rochers de Naye is amazing for children - the marmottes are adorable! So that would be something else to do in Montreux as well. The cheese Factory at Gruyères was also a hit with my two!

Canandaigua
posts: 711
reviews: 122
6. Re: Geneva base and Montreux + Chocolate train

Hmmm lots of good advise, my 2 cents:

The basement of the Manor department store in Geneva near the train station has every kind of chocolate for purchase.And I mean EVERY.

My young tots really enjoyed the intercity trains that have a kiddie playground car on them. Scenery, not so much.

They also loved playgrounds. There is a really nice one on the Lake in Montreux, and it is right near you take a boat ride to Chillon, which they enjoyed.

The old town in Geneva has a really fun playground right on top of the hill with a nice view and the longest park bench in the world.(or so they say). It is also right near the cathedrale, where a motivated 6 year old can climb to the top and see the view, and right down the hill on the other side(and the main shopping street, Avenue Rhone) is a Franz-Karl-Weber Toy store, also always popular.

Feeding the swans on the quay in Geneva or Montreux was another highly rated activity, and they liked seeing the Jet d'Eau, with its thunderous outpouring of water.The Geneva Art Museum has lots of knights and armour, if your child is male...

So myself with 2 days would stay one day in Geneva for the above activities(Oh and Manor has a HUGE self-service restaurant not too expensive and great for kids on another floor) and take an Intercity to Montreux and enjoy the lakefront and Chillon. No Chocolate train, too many tourists.

Edited: 3:59 pm, August 02, 2012
Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 19,373
reviews: 126
7. Re: Geneva base and Montreux + Chocolate train

Now there is something I have to take issue with! When you come to this country to visit, what are you? A tourist! And when I go to another part of my country to sightsee, what am I - a tourist! So why, for heavens sake, would there not be tourists on the chocolate train? And what is wrong with that? tourists are people who are curious and who spend a lot of money to discover new things. Good company in fact. I really object to people who say "too touristy", "too many tourists" when they themselves are hardly indigenous to the region!!

As for chocolates - there are two kinds, basically: Industrial (large productions like Frey, Cailler, etc etc) and Artisanale which are made by hundreds of local bakeries and chocolateries (sorry I do not know any word to replace this in English!! A shop that makes its own chocolate and does nothing else...) in this country. Much of the Industrial chocolate, especially Lindt and Cailler, is very good but none of it even comes close to the artisanale chocolate. And if you have never tried the latter there are several extremely good places in Geneva to start: Auer for one. (rue du Rive, 4). In the Valais the best I have found is Raffin in Monthey and now in Martigny. In Interlaken, Schuh. And in Bern there are so many I really can't list them all but when you wander down the marktgasse/Zytglockgasse/Gerichtikeitgasse you will see them all... Zürich and Basel have Sprüngli and they do a LOT of other things than chocolate (macaroons or Luxemburgli for one).

Finally re playgrounds - there is a very nice little playground at the Chocolate Factory. But it is used by tourists' children which I suppose puts it off limits to some...

Canandaigua
posts: 711
reviews: 122
8. Re: Geneva base and Montreux + Chocolate train

Here we go again....

Just my opinion, not an attack.

I have personally experienced much of what you describe, and perhaps I visited on busier days, but being surrounded by too many people, all snapping many photos and crowding around the sights so your small child cannot see, is what I mean by " too touristy"

While I have not been lucky enough to be born in Switzerland, I have lived in Geneva twice for 4 months, and both times had children ages 1 to 12 with me. I have also spent about 2 months in the Bernese Oberland,and another month I other Alpine areas,usually with my young and growing family, and have over the course of those visits, spent time in most of the Swiss cantons visiting museums, historical sights, hiking,enjoying outdoor activities, and learning about Swiss culture.We never had a car, and travelled exclusively on public transport.

Because of this, I feel able to give advise on traveling in Switzerland. Of course you know more about it than I do, but it doesn't mean I am wrong or not qualified to my opinion. Of course you have right to disagree, but I don't think the constant corrections of my opinions is necessary or polite.

Edited: 10:07 am, August 03, 2012
Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 19,373
reviews: 126
9. Re: Geneva base and Montreux + Chocolate train

You make many good points and your contributions are - for those - valuable. And I totally agree you are free to provide whatever advice based on your experiences here you can... and should! All I am saying is - do not knock tourists. you are a tourist. I am, as I said, a tourist when I leave my own region, which doesn't even include my whole canton!! Nothing wrong with tourists. And if you travel when schools are not in session, there will be more tourists.

And I am not constantly "correcting" your opinions. Please note that many times I have in fact agreed with you. But your experience here is, as you say, limited. And impressions can, sometimes, be inaccurate - especially if one does not understand the local language... But also please understand that comments from people like you, tourists in our country, are extremely useful, if they are accurate, to other tourists. because you have seen and done something and figured it out!! So well done you!

10. Re: Geneva base and Montreux + Chocolate train

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