Hello everyone! As I mentioned in my previous post, I went from Vevey to Montreux and from Montreux to Rochers de Naye by the highest railway in the canton, the Montreux–Glion–Rochers-de-Naye railway.
If you haven’t heard of Montreux, I suggest you imagine it like Monaco. My friend Julia went there first and she told me that Montreux is the Monaco of Switzerland. When I got there, I felt, exactly! Lake Léman, the Royal Plaza Montreux & SPA, the hill, the garden, everything reminds me Monaco except that the water is not salty and you can see Freddie Mercury statue.
I went from Vevey Hotel de Ville to Montreux. As I said in my previous post, there is bus number 201 in Vevey which runs every 10 mins (Mon-Sat) and 10 to at most 20 mins (Sun) from Vevey to Montreux and Chillon castle. In general it’s very convenient to travel between among Lausanne, Vevey, Montreux and Chillion castle by bus or train or ship. I got off at Montreux Marché bus stop because this is the closest stop to Freddie Mercury statue.
Freddie Mercury statue, by sculptor Irena Sedlecka, was erected as a tribute to Mercury. It stands almost 3 meters high overlooking Lake Geneva and was unveiled on 25 November 1996 by Mercury’s father and Montserrat Caballé, with bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor also in attendance. Beginning in 2003, fans from around the world have gathered in Switzerland annually to pay tribute to the singer as part of the “Freddie Mercury Montreux Memorial Day” on the first weekend of September. The Bearpark And Esh Colliery Band played at the Freddie Mercury statue on 1 June 2010.
The next stop is to Montreux’s landmark mountain – Rochers de Naye. The rocks, “les rockers”, are 1,670 m above the surface of Lake Geneva and are as much part of the town’s identity as the Chillon castle, the colourful ower promenade and the Jazz Festival.
The Rochers de Naye, 2042 meters, are a mountain of the Swiss Alps, overlooking Lake Geneva near Montreux and Villeneuve, in the canton of Vaud.
The Rochers de Naye are easily accessible from Montreux, where the highest railway in the canton, the Montreux–Glion–Rochers-de-Naye, starts. From the summit station 1968 meters, only a short walk is necessary to reach the summit. In addition, it is also possible to access the summit by driving to Col de Jamanand then making the 2-3 hr hike to the peak.
The Rochers de Naye are also known for the Rochers de Naye Via Ferrata, considered to be extremely difficult, the Grottes de Naye (caves which are accessible via the trail between Col de Jaman and Rochers de Naye), and a few enclosures hosting marmots from around the world.
You can take a train from Montreux main train station directly to go up to Rochers de Naye or you can take a funicular car to go from Territet to Glion first and then change from Glion to Rochers de Naye. However, this time, due to the construction, I had to change to a bus to go from Glion Alpes to Caux, there are two buses and it’s limited to carry 60 passengers each other. However, the whole journey still takes around an hour, it’s just you can’t take one train and go up directly. Hopefully when you’re here, the construction will be finished and the journey will be more convenient. I chose to go from Territet to Glion first and then from Glion to the top. If you wanna have a good view of lake Geneva and the cities, I suggest you get off at Glion or Caux because the higher you go, the more is blocked by the mountains.
The train going from Montreux to Rochers de Naye is every hour so if you decide to stop somewhere you will have to wait for an hour to get on the next train. I wanted to try the funicular car so I went from Territet to Glion first. When you arrive at Territet Gare, cross the road and walk straight towards East and the funicular train station is in front of you.Fortunately, since the end of 2015, you can use GA and 1-day travelpass to go up to the top for free.
If you are interested in the accurate train schedules from Montreux to Rochers de Naye, please click here and choose the date and type in the starting point and destination and you’ll see.
Price for round-trip from Montreux to Rochers de Naye:
- Adults CHF 68.40
- Half-Fare travelcard & children 6-15.99 CHF 32.40
On your way you will see wonderful views of the mountains and you will understand why it’s called The Rocks of Naye.
When you’re at the top station, you have basically two routes, to your left or to your right. If you choose to take the left route, it leads you to the Alpine Garden and of course you can have a walk around one of the “rocks”. If you choose the right route, it leads you to the summit of Rochers de Naye, but you need to walk and climb a little bit (not difficult at all). If you wanna take both routes, then you’ll have to plan at least 2 hours there.
Oh, don’t forget to check a cave close to the toilet. It’s quite dark I have to say but don’t be afraid, nothing will jump out and hurt you. There lives more than ten types of marmots, (large squirrels in the genus Marmota. Some species live in mountainous areas, such as the Alps) the cave leads to the observation windows which shed light on the habits of these furry mountain rodents. I believe it’s pretty fun for children as well as adults. 😛
I chose the left route to go to the botanical garden because one of my dreams is to see the swiss national flower – Edelweiss.
I have seen Edelweiss in supermarkets and flower pots in someone’s garden. However, I want to see it actually growing in the soil among rocks, on top of the high mountains. Even if it’s in a botanical garden, the garden is 2000 meters high and in the alps, which is much closer to the wild.
Entry to the garden is free and there is an office at the entrance. An old man works there and he speaks German, French and English. I couldn’t find Edelweiss at the beginning so I asked him. He took me to all the kinds of Edelweiss and then I realized, there are not only Swiss Edelweiss, but also Chinese Edelweiss and Japanese Edelweiss, which I’ve never seen in China though I lived there fro more than 20 years…… Anyway, he’s super friendly and if you have any questions just ask him. He’s collecting tips but when I returned, the office was already closed. When you’re there, 2 Franks would be nice. 🙂
If you say you are not really interested in flowers or gardens, a walk on the edge is also thrilling enough. After you pass the garden you’ll see a small gate. Open it and walk along the path, you will see many more mountains behind the “rock” and the view is, breathtaking.
When you decide to leave from Rochers de Naye, remember remember remember! Ask for a departure (check in) ticket from the staff, otherwise they won’t let you board the train and you need to wait for another hour. (I’m not sure whether it’s because of the construction or it’s always the case, the limit of people is 60 so they are not gonna squeeze 100 people in.) Just to be safe, ask the staff about it. and don’t ruin your trip because of that (I almost did……).
This train takes you directly to Montreux main train station. (due to the construction, I changed to bus and then to train again…….)
I hope you will enjoy one of the landmarks of Montreux – Rochers de Naye. In my next post, I’ll introduce to you the other landmark, the most famous castle in Switzerland – Chillon Castle. See you next time. 🙂