The sublime and varied landscapes in the canton of Vaud are well worth a stay in Switzerland. The nicest way to discover them is by tourist transport.
The canton of Vaud abounds with a variety of splendid panoramas. All of them are accessible within a day. Take the time to discover several of them during a weekend or a longer stay and experience the scope and variety of the Vaudois tourist offer.
Here is a selection of the most beautiful Vaudois panoramas that are accessible by tourist transport. Don’t worry about directions, just relax in your seat. Your only mission will be to admire the inspiring view.
Getting from the shores of Lake Geneva to a typical Swiss mountain landscape in less than an hour is magical and something that amazes children and adults alike. Departure is from Montreux station in a carriage of the MOB Goldenpass rack-rail train.
A 55-minute ascent through various landscapes featuring mountain pastures, authentic villages and sublime landscapes takes you to stunning Rochers-de-Naye (2,042 m above sea level). A breathtaking 360° degrees panorama from Lake Geneva to the Alps unfolds before you. But Rochers-de-Naye are more than that. There are several paths suitable for all levels, where you can take a walk with your family.
When it's time to eat, try one of the mountain restaurants. They all offer authentic meals with a beautiful view of Lake Geneva and the Vaudois Riviera as a bonus. Take your pick!
Back in Montreux, you can choose your next activity, either aboard a tourist train that takes you along the lakeside promenades or on a cruise on one of the CGN’s Belle-Epoque ships that takes you, for example, to Chillon Castle™. There are so many things you can do in the Vaudois Riviera!
Are you a history buff, nature fan or gourmet? How can you accommodate varying interests within a group of friends? There’s no need to compromise! The terraced vineyards of Lavaux UNESCO, one of Switzerland’s most beautiful landscapes, have something to suit all tastes.
From Vevey, take the Wine Train to Chexbres. This village high up on a hilltop is the ideal starting point for your getaway to the Lavaux vineyards. Hiking fans will choose to walk to Cully village by following the vineyard trails (approx. 3 miles). Others may prefer to have their smartphone guide them on a 7-mile wine-touristic walk.
To find out more about these century-old vineyard plots, you can also follow the passionate Lavaux Heritage guides. They will suggest several information- and activity-laden visits to this exceptional site.
You can also cross the vineyards on board small tourist trains called “Lavaux Express” and “Lavaux Panoramic”. If you prefer to get a different perspective, then board a “Belle Epoque” ship of the CGN. They take you on a cruise opposite the terraced vineyards between the beautiful villages of Lutry, Cully and St-Saphorin and the town of Vevey.
Whatever activity you choose, you cannot possibly visit Lavaux without tasting the fruit of the vintners’ work either directly at the estate or in one of the many wine cellars. Several tasting options are available on site.
Treat yourself to another beautiful panorama of the Swiss and French Alps instead of the best-known ones (Matterhorn, Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau and Mont-Blanc). There’s no need to be a climber, nor to trek for several days. Glacier 3000, the highest point of the canton of Vaud (2,971 m above sea level), can be easily reached by public transport from the major Swiss cities such as Lausanne, Geneva, Bern or Zurich. A good reason to attract young and not-so-young people in search of a boost of adrenaline.
Glacier 3000 specialises in thrills: there’s the “Peak Walk”, the world’s only suspension bridge that connects two summits, the “Alpine Coaster” summer sleds - speed and fun guaranteed - and the vertiginous “Rocher Jaune” via ferrata. Hardcore skiers can enjoy a very long winter here because snow is eternal on this summit!
After so many thrilling moments, it’s time to get sustenance! There are many restaurants to choose from. Discover the restaurant “Botta 3000” and its authentic gastronomy or walk to the “Refuge de l’espace”. Its exceptional setting and regional specialties will enchant you.
If you prefer to come back down, there’s the beautiful Lake Retaud, just a few minutes’ walk from Col du Pillon, the point of departure of the Glacier 3000 cable car. It offers the unique combination of snow and water activities during the same day. Relaxation and well-being in the mountains are on the programme. It would be a shame to miss it!
The resort of Leysin - Col des Mosses offers many natural sites and sumptuous panoramas. All of them are easily accessible thanks to a well-developed public transport network from the main transport routes. Leysin can quickly be reached from the town of Aigle where you can catch a charming mountain train. On its way up, it unveils unique and vertiginous vantage points during the comfortable twenty minute-ride.
When you get to Leysin, you will understand why it has acquired a reputation of wellness over the centuries. The fresh air is beneficial and stimulates hikers’ energy. Why not catch a cable car (La Berneuse) to pay a visit to the “Kuklos” restaurant? Virtually nothing beats the panorama offered by this revolving restaurant. Within an hour, behold a unique 360° view of Lake Geneva and the Alps!
The Kuklos is also the ideal starting point for all-level hiking tours thanks on signposted paths. The more sports-minded among you can practice downhill mountain biking on specially designed paths.
After spending a day in the fresh mountain air, the return to the plain is the perfect moment to (re)discover the medieval town of Aigle, its beautiful castle with the Museum of Vine and Wine, and its vineyards that invite you to taste its wines and terroir products.
Built on three hills and all on a slope, Lausanne - the Olympic Capital and the capital of the canton of Vaud - offers several surprising and stunning panoramas. Its greenery and ambitious environmental policy have contributed to Lausanne being called “Switzerland’s greenest city”. Discover the city in an original way and enjoy most of its bird’s-eye views on the “Balade des Panoramas” (Panorama Walk) available from the Lausanne Tourist Board.
The first part of this outing involves taking public transport to Parc de Sauvabelin. Its tower, little lake and animals are a must for all visiting families and locals alike. From this green spot above the city, the route leads you down to Lake Geneva with several inspiring stops in between.
Enjoy the beauty of Parc de l’Hermitage, which offers one of Lausanne’s most appealing museums. Climb the 160 steps leading to the top of the belfry of Lausanne cathedral. A spectacular view of the entire city, Lake Geneva and the Alps awaits you! Continue your descent and take the time to explore the must-see Olympic Museum before reaching Ouchy and its navigation area.
At the end of the walk at the port of Ouchy, you may want to prolong the enchantment. Take a cruise aboard the “Belle Epoque” ships of the CGN. They allow you to discover the Vaudois capital from a new but equally charming perspective.
Nestling in the foothills of the Jura chain, Yverdon-les-Bains is a good starting point for walks. Discover the magnificent panoramas of the Vaudois plateau, Lake Neuchâtel and the Alps. The first stop, Sainte-Croix, can be reached with the Travys railway line. The capital of the music box is also known as the balcony of the Vaudois Jura. This is where your walk starts. You can also choose a gourmet variant that is on offer from the local tourist board. The hike takes you to the Chasseron (1,607 m above sea level). A stunning panorama awaits you when you get to the top. Take your time, sit down and enjoy. This site is made for it…
If you're hungry after your hike, try the tasty, reginal dishes at Hôtel du Chasseron. Just right to get your energy back.
Back in St. Croix, an easier hike follows the river Arnon and takes you to the Covatannaz gorges featuring a sometimes-tumultuous stream. In hot weather, this is a cool, shaded spot.
After this immersion in nature, both children and adults will enjoy the varied and surprising landscapes and cultural sites of the Yverdon-les-Bains region. There’s the spa, but the many museums and guided tours of the town offer more possibilities to discover the Roman past of Yverdon-les-Bains.