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To give you an idea of some of the spectacular places you can visit in this region, we will feature each month a photo of one of its many great locations.  Since we rely on recommendations, please send us your special photo taken, for example, on a memorable day out at a water park or from a remarkable viewpoint in the area.

Montreux, Switzerland

ferriswheelLocated at one extremity of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman), Montreux is known for its Jazz festival that takes place in May. Charlie Chaplin and Freddie Mercury (both have statues erected by the lakefront) as well as other famous people have lived and continue to live on the Vaud Riviera covering Vevey, Montreux, and surrounding areas. We thought it would be a good idea to present Montreux for the month of December, 2010, for their Christmas market is extremely well-known and loved.

There are many things you can enjoy in a day, even if you already live there! If you live further away you may drive, use the train, or take a cruise on the lake to your destination. Here are just a few ideas to get you going.


christmasmarket MONTREUX NOEL
25 November to 24 December, 2010
16th edition of Montreux Noël
1820 Montreux (VD)
021 965 24 12
One month of festivities at this very picturesque Christmas market honoring Russia this year. All along the lakefront you will find nearly 150 little chalets selling gifts and trinkets, including hot-spots for foods in several locations. Under the large structure in the center you will find foods galore with picnic tables. Further along there is a tent hosting an array of delicacies including fondue, sausages, churros, and more. Be sure to try my favorite waffle, Manneke Kris (chalet 11) or the giant tartiflette (chalet 58). Dress warmly as the whole thing is outdoors and at the lakefront. The Ferris Wheel is sure to thrill young and old! Take a picture of the Christmas Market and win a trip to Russia (see website for details)!

4-19 December, 2010 — For 3 weekends in a row, Chillon Castle will be the scene of Montreux Noël’s 4th Medieval Market and will once again take the castle back to the life of the XVth century. Take a step back in time and relive the history of the Middle Ages through the work of the craftsmen and women, the minstrels and troubadours, the archery and artillery demonstrations of the medieval guards, as well as living scenes of the times. The Compagnie Mandragore will be present on 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 December, 2010 with a living representation of the Castle and its history. Several demonstrations are done with period instruments and techniques, accompanied by the strains of medieval musical instruments and the performances of jugglers and fire-eaters. Take part in this colorful enactment, where you will be able to wander about the stalls and talk to the artists and craftspeople wearing their costumes of the Middle Ages.

PRICE: Fr. 15.-/adult, Fr. 6.-/child, Fr. 35.-/family ticket (2 adults + 2 children).

SCHEDULE: 10h-18h, the cashier closes at 17h.

DECEMBER 4 & 5, 2010: Knights and Life ate the Castle
With the "Compagnie de la Rose":

— Camp kitchens (reconstitution of a medieval kitchen for the troops) 

— Pike training (participation of the public welcome)

— Fencing (demonstration of XVth century sword-fighting)

— Artillery (demonstration of shooting with culverine muskets) (TBC)
— Presentation of arms in the XVth century

— Military procedures, guard duty and patrolling

— 8 specialists will give demonstrations
— Lute player – musician
— 2 musicians "Les Pieds Gauches"
— Storytelling Festival (2x per day) http://www.contemuse.ch
— Feasting at the castle (for the public) in collaboration with Auberge de la Croix Blanche, Posieux, François Galley.

DECEMBER 11 & 12, 2010: Craftspeople and Medieval Skills
15 craft demonstrations

— 5 workshops for the public: (registration + fee Fr. 8.-/person: directly to the Mandragore Company)

  • — Pottery: make an object from clay coils
  • — Candle-making: make a candle
  • — Leatherwork: make a leather purse
  • — Baking: make rolls and bake in the wood-burning oven
  • — Weaving: make an object with various natural materials

— Daily life at the castle (small garrison and patrols) with the "Compagnie de la Rose".
— Animals: donkey, sheep and chickens
— Lute player – musician
— Medieval music to be heard throughout
— Storytelling Festival (2x per day) http://www.contemuse.ch
— Feasting at the castle (for the public) in collaboration with Auberge de la Croix Blanche, Posieux, François Galley.

DECEMBER 18 & 19, 2010: Troubadours and Music 
8 or 10 craft demonstrations

— "Hauvoy" music group (fast-moving medieval music)
— Jugglers (juggling workshop for the public)

— "Les Pieds Gauches" dance troupe
— Daily life at the castle (small garrison and patrols) with the "Compagnie de la Rose".
— Animals: donkey, sheep and chickens
— Lute player – musician

— Medieval music to be heard throughout

— Storytelling Festival (2x per day) http://www.contemuse.ch
— Feasting at the castle (for the public) in collaboration with Auberge de la Croix Blanche, Posieux, François Galley.

You can visit Santa, who comes directly from faraway Lapland to his house at the Rochers de Naye, discover an authentic Christmas Village in Caux.
Les Rochers-de-Naye (VD)
0900 245 245 (Fr. 1.-/min.)
Rochers-de-Naye is situated above Montreux and is one of the most picturesque places in the area. It is 2,045m and you will have breath-taking views of Lake Geneva and the Alps.
• A magical trip by cog train round-trip Montreux - Les Rochers-de-Naye
• Entry to Father Christmas’ House
• Free face-painting for children
• Games corner for children up to age 10
• Treasure hunt
Price Fr. 32.-/adult, Fr. 19.-/age 6-16, under 5 free. There is a restaurant and hotel (or yurts) available if you want to stay longer.  

Looking for a Christmas present to add to your wish list? Why not try one of the numerous spa treatments offered in Montreux? All spas offer great ideas for men and women!

— Fairmont Le Montreux Palace
Grand Rue 100
1820 Montreux (VD)
021 962 17 00
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Try their themed TRAVEL RECOVERY MASSAGE, a 60-minute delight. Designed with the weary traveller in mind, this medium pressure massage uses essential oils selected to regulate sleep, hydrate skin, relieve tension headaches and restore energy depleted through travel and working on the road. The focus is on the areas affected by frequent travel: legs, neck, back, shoulders, feet and hands. Many other wonderful treatments available.

— Givenchy Spa
Le Mirador Kempinski
1801 Mont-Pèlerin
021 925 17 70 (spa)
021 925 11 11 (hotel)
Offering a day spa package or individual treatments as well as use of the pool, gym, and sauna. Why not have a look at their spa menu? This one caught my eye: Herbal wrap. The body is wrapped in towels impregnated with a solution of eleven aromatic herbs chosen for their relaxing, astringent, stimulating and regenerating properties. The wrap is followed by an energy-boosting dry oil body rub for a great feeling of well-being and relaxation. 50 minutes.

— Royal Plaza Montreux
Dr Burgener Spa
Grand Rue 97
1820 Montreux
021 962 50 50 hotel
021 962 50 00 reservations
A yummy way to unwind after legging your way through the 160 stands of the Montreux Christmas market is with the Delicious Honey Care treatment consisting of a moment in the hammam, a body scrub with honey, then a massage with 5 Precious Oils — all taking 90 minutes to do! They also have a sumptuous Escale for two deal where you and your partner can spend a relaxing moment. For Her: Jacuzzi , body scrub with black soap from Morocco, body wrap with Ghassoul. For Him: Jacuzzi, marine mud application from the Dead Sea, relaxing back massage.

We will just list a few of the numerous museums so you will still have a reason to visit Montreux even after the Christmas market has gone! Some of these are in neighboring towns as they are so close.

— Alimentarium
Quai Perdonnet
1800 Vevey
021 924 41 11
Park on the main square, Place du Marché or in Panarama Parking, and walk along the lakefront, direction Montreux.
This food museum is divided into 4 sections: Cooking, Eating, Purchasing, and Digesting.
Note: Upon reservation, workshops are organized in the afternoons. Birthdays can also be organized here for age 6-12 in French.

The permanent exhibition in French, German, and English is open Tuesday to Sunday 10h-18h. Price: Fr. 12.-/adult, Fr. 8.-/students and seniors, children under 16 free. Audio guides Fr. 6.-.

Château de Chillon— Château de Chillon
Av. de Chillon 21
1820 Veytaux-Montreux
021 966 89 10
Audio guides available in several languages: Fr.  6.- (90 minutes). Open daily April to September 9h-18h, October to March 9h-17h, November to February 10h-16h. Price: Fr.  12.-/adult, Fr.  6.-/age 6-16, under 6 free.

— Musee Suisse du Jeu
Swiss Game Museum
Château de la Tour-de-Peilz
11, rue du Château
1814 La Tour-de-Peilz
021 977 23 00
Discover games from all countries and all times. Visitors can learn and play games, browse through books on games and visit the shop. Open Tuesday to Sunday 11h-17h30, closed Mondays except holidays. Price: Fr.  8.-/adult, Fr.  4.-/students and seniors, Fr.  2.-/children age 6-16. Note: Handicap access on request.

— Swiss Camera Museum
Grande Place
1800 Vevey
021 925 34 80
Entry price: Fr. 8.-/adult, children age 16 and under free. Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 11h-17h30 (except Easter Monday, Whit-sun / Pentecost, and any other public holidays falling on a Monday). Check website for workshops during the year and special exhibits.