Spend the day bathing in the scenery on a day trip from lakeside Montreux to the high Alps and back. A series of trains takes you from the terraced vineyards along the shore of Lake Geneva, up through the green Swiss countryside and then to Glacier 3000, a mountain peak offering sweeping Alpine views. Come down the mountain to the resort town of Gstaad to relax, dine or shop, then travel back to Montreux on a panoramic train.
The vistas begin when you board the first train from Montreux to Aigle, and culminate in a gondola ride to the summit that offers 360-degree views of the ice-capped Alps. The Peak Walk, a bridge suspended 3,000 m (9,842 ft) between two peaks, is a literal highlight. You can also take a walk along a glacier’s surface and find various activities at the site.
Finish your day in luxe Gstaad, then return to Montreux at your leisure.
Begin your self-guided Alpine adventure with a quick, ten-minute train ride from Montreux to Aigle, then switch to a smaller train to Les Diablerets, which winds through the vineyards and gradually into more mountainous territory lined with dense pine forest. As you ascend, you can watch the landscape change from Mediterranean-style vineyards, to pastureland, to pine forests and finally to the base of the snowy mountains.
Once in Les Diablerets, you’ll connect to a bus to take you further up to Col du Pillon, the mountain pass where a large gondola will carry you to Cabane. Ride another gondola the rest of the way to the top of Scex Rouge, also known as Glacier 3000. Whatever the time of year, snowy peaks and the white tongue of the glacier will spread out around you as you climb.
At the top, the Peak Walk awaits: a suspended bridge that links two mountain peaks at 3,000 m (9,842 ft), letting you seemingly stand in mid-air. There is also a self-service restaurant at the summit, with a large sun terrace if you wish to simply take in the views from there.
The Ice Express chairlift can take you down to the glacier itself. A well-marked hiking trail leads across the glacier to Refuge L’Espace, a small restaurant serving local dishes, with a terrace offering a view down to the valley below. You can also try numerous other activities, including dog-sledding, a snow bus and the Alpine Coaster, a toboggan run for the warmer months.
When you’ve had your fill of the glacier, you can take the gondola back down and board the bus to continue to Gstaad, an understated mountain village long used as a hideaway by royals, diplomats and Hollywood luminaries. Stroll the luxe shops, enjoy a drink on a sunny terrace or just take in the wooden Swiss chalets with their geranium-laden flower boxes.
The Golden Line Panoramic route from Gstaad takes you directly back to Montreux, and provides a reversal of the vistas from earlier in the day. You’ll wind back down through farming villages, past grazing cows and across the vineyards to the glimmering lake below.