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Come To Montreux For The Jazz, But See The Rest Of Switzerland, Too

The Montreux Jazz Festival just wrapped up in Switzerland. The diverse lineup included Gregory Porter, Chick Corea, along with Iggy Pop, Jack White, and others.

But music is everywhere at Montreux during the festival – in the performance venues, along the streets, and on the shores of Lake Geneva.

KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley was in Montreux during the last weekend of the festival, and he says it’s worth a trip.

“You can still see the snow on the high peaks of the Alps, and the sun is setting here,” Brumley said. “There are palms and beautiful gardens, thousands of people are out and about, and there are hundreds of little kiosks.”

Brumley says the summer months are a great time to explore the region.

“There are great hikes around the vineyards in this region,” he said. “There’s also a tremendous amount of things to do along the lakeshore.”

You can swim, kayak, paddleboard, and bounce around Lake Geneva on a ferry.

“If you hop on one of those you can just bounce around the lake, and go from village to village,” he said. “That was a lot of fun.”

Switzerland, depending on the region, speaks French, German, “and then over on the eastern part of Switzerland you have Lake Lugano and the Italian speaking region,” Brumley said. “You even have this small group of people who speak Romansh.”

Romansh is spoken only in the Swiss canton of Grisons. It’s one of the country’s official languages.

If You Go

Brumley recommends booking your hotel early. Montreux, like many places in Switzerland, leans expensive, but Airbnb and hotel alternatives can save you some money. Give yourself about a week to explore the surrounding area. If Montreux is full, a good alternative is staying in Lausanne, a 20-minute train ride away.


"Going Places" is 88.5's weekly exploration of travel. Our travel expert, Matthew Brumley, is co-founder of Earthbound Expeditions on Bainbridge Island, which provides small group travel to clients including KNKX. Never miss an episode again. Subscribe to Going Places with iTunesGoogle Play or Stitcher.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.