Overlooking Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps, Mont-Pèlerin is a picturesque mountain near Vevey and Montreux. The mountain is part of the Swiss Prealps and is situated at an altitude of 1,080 meters above sea level. With its pristine natural beauty and outdoor activities, Mont-Pèlerin is a great destination for anyone visiting the Montreux Riviera and Switzerland. If you would like to know more about it, this article will discuss Mont-Pèlerin and the 7 best things to do there.
A popular destination for tourists and locals alike, this mountain is located in the canton of Vaud. You can reach it by funicular.
Mont-Pèlerin is known for its stunning views of Lake Geneva and the surrounding mountains. It is home to several easy hiking trails, which offer visitors a chance to enjoy the region’s natural beauty.
Mont Pèlerin is a ridge that rises above the northeastern part of Lake Geneva close to the Chardonne vineyards. It is part of the Montreux Riviera region and is easy to reach from Vevey, Montreux, and Lausanne. The area surrounding Mont Pèlerin is characterized by vineyards and rolling hills. In the distance, you can see parts of Haute-Savoie in France and Saint-Gingolph in Switzerland.
While going up the funicular to Mont Pèlerin from Vevey, you will get a glimpse of this UNESCO World Heritage Site via Chardonne. These are the Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces.
If you hike up to the peak of Mont-Pèlerin, the view of the Savoy Alps and Lac Leman is even more excellent. You will see Moléson, Rochers de Naye, and Diablerets, among others.
Mont Pèlerin has a temperate climate, with mild summers as well as cold winters. The average temperature in the summer months is around 20°C, while in the winter months, it can drop to below zero.
The mountain receives a good amount of rainfall and sunshine throughout the year, which is conducive to the arable land. Wine can be grown in parts of the region because of the climate and sunshine.
7 Best Things to Do in Mont-Pèlerin
Mont-Pèlerin region is now a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty and panoramic views of Lake Geneva. The mountain offers hiking and biking opportunities, as well as excursions to Vevey and Montreux nearby.
1. Explore the Scenic Lavaux Vineyards
The charming village of Chardonne can be reached by funicular easily from Mont-Pèlerin. Chardonne boasts a unique distinction as a UNESCO World Heritage site, specifically recognized for its remarkable Lavaux vineyard terraces. Throughout the year, this picturesque destination warmly welcomes both avid walkers and wine enthusiasts, as well as curious souls seeking to explore its vineyards.
Whether one seeks a leisurely stroll along its enchanting paths or a deeper dive into the world of wines, Chardonne is open year-round. The communal vines of Chardonne consist of the following:
- 27,019 m2 of Chasselas
- 1,440 m2 of Gamay
- 1,454 m2 of Merlot
As listed above, Chardonne proudly showcases its specialty, the renowned Chasselas wine. This grape thrives abundantly within this idyllic setting. The region around Chardonne is blessed with gently sloping hills and favorable climatic conditions, thus largely perfect for wine growing.
Wine enthusiasts can delight in the flavors of Chasselas while relishing the breathtaking vistas that unfold before them in Chardonne.
2. Cruise the Waters of Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva is a large freshwater lake located near Mont-Pèlerin. The lake offers several activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. I highly recommend taking a cruise on the lake and enjoying the stunning views of Mont-Pèlerin and the vineyards of Chardonne.
Alternatively, you can also rent a boat and explore the lake on your own. There are also pedal boats that you can rent in case you want to do a fun and safe activity near the lakeshore.
3. Discover Beautiful Towns Nearby (Montreux, Vevey, Lausanne)
Aside from visiting Mont-Pèlerin, you may also choose to visit several towns and villages nearby such as Montreux, Vevey, Lausanne, and Geneva. Here, you can discover a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafés.
The nearest town is Vevey, a charming town with winding streets, historic buildings, quaint shops, and a beautiful market square. Venturing further is the spa town of Montreux, known for its lakeside promenade and serene atmosphere.
If you have more time, you can choose to visit the city of Lausanne. A vibrant city brimming with tons of restaurants and museums, plus a medieval old town and a fun promenade, Lausanne is also worth a visit.
4. Explore the Scenic Trails around Mont-Pèlerin
One of the most popular activities in Mont-Pèlerin is hiking. Embarking on a hiking adventure in Mont-Pèlerin promises a delightful experience, as the mountain’s terrain is characterized by a gently rolling landscape rather than steep and rugged slopes. This topography ensures that hiking here is generally accessible and enjoyable for most outdoor enthusiasts.
There are several hiking trails from Mont-Pèlerin, each offering a unique journey through the picturesque landscapes of this captivating region. Here are a few hiking trails and their approximate durations:
|Mont-Pèlerin Station to Chardonne||25 minutes|
|Mont-Pèlerin Station to Mont-Pèlerin||1 hour|
|Mont-Pèlerin Station to Mont Chesau||1 hour 35 minutes|
|Mont-Pèlerin Station to Palézieux-Gare||2 hours 30 minutes|
|Mont-Pèlerin Station to Les Barussels||1 hour 10 minutes|
|Mont-Pèlerin Station to Attalens||1 hour 40 minutes|
|Mont-Pèlerin Station to Chatel-St-Denis||3 hours 15 minutes|
|Mont-Pèlerin Station to Corseaux||25 minutes|
|Mont-Pèlerin Station to Vevey||1 hour|
|Daffodil Trail Le Mont-Pèlerin||2 hours 30 minutes|
Hiking Time Calculator
Plan your hikes with ease using our Hiking Time Calculator. Calculate estimated hiking times based on distance, altitude, terrain, and average speed.
5. Hike up to Plein Ciel Tower
If you want an invigorating hiking journey, you can conquer the trail leading to Plein Ciel, an iconic telecommunications tower that proudly stands as one of the tallest in Europe. Constructed between 1972 and 1974, this tower boasts a lofty platform situated around 64 meters above the ground.
For those eager to ascend to Plein Ciel’s summit, it is worth noting that the lift is generally open to the public between the Easter season and October.
This window of opportunity ensures that visitors can revel in the breathtaking vistas that consist of Lake Geneva and the surrounding Alps, capturing awe-inspiring views of the surrounding landscapes and beyond.
Ascending through the natural surroundings, the hike to Plein Ciel offers a rewarding experience, taking approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach the summit.
6. Cycle around Mont-Pèlerin
Biking around Mont-Pèlerin is both a scenic and an invigorating experience. There are two prominent routes around Mont-Pèlerin:
- Tour du Mont Pèlerin (bike route 478)
- Route des Lacs (bike route 9)
Tour du Mont Pèlerin (Bike Route 478)
From Mont-Pèlerin, cyclists can go to Palézieux, located 10 kilometers away, as well as the enchanting villages of Granges and Chexbres, each a mere 6 kilometers from the starting point.
With vineyards and views of the mountains, the area near Lake Geneva and Chexbres is very picturesque.
Route des Lacs (Bike Route 9)
For those seeking a longer biking excursion, you can follow Route des lacs (bike route 9) from Mont-Pèlerin. From here, you can head over to the towns of Bulle and Châtel-St-Denis.
- Bulle, the gateway to La Gruyère, has a historic center, a vibrant cultural scene, and numerous events.
- Chatel-St-Denis, the center of Les Paccots, is a popular hiking and skiing area, especially around Corbetta and Niremont.
6. Wine Tasting in the Region
Mont-Pèlerin is the perfect destination for wine lovers. You may decide to find a guided tour of the vineyards or visit Lavaux Vinorama. A culinary haven, this area also has numerous restaurants, cafes, and wine cellars.
One such example is Lavaux Vinorama where you will see a good selection of wines, from the numerous Chasselas, to the elegant reds, and specialty whites. You may decide to taste the wine or maybe even bring home a bottle for your personal cellars.
There is also a projection room that provides an immersive journey through Une Année vigneronne (A Winemaker’s Year) in Lavaux. It is available in several languages. So if you want to discover wine-tasting in the region, you can head over to Lavaux Vinorama.
So whether you are seeking a gourmet experience or a casual meal with a fantastic view, there are many choices in the Lavaux region that showcase the region’s wines alongside well-prepared dishes.
How to Get to Mont-Pèlerin
Mont-Pèlerin is located in Switzerland, and getting there is relatively easy. Mont-Pèlerin is a small mountain located in the Swiss canton of Vaud, overlooking Lake Geneva. The nearest airport is Geneva Airport, which is about an hour’s drive away.
From the airport, visitors can take a train to Vevey, which is the nearest train station to Mont Pèlerin. From Vevey, visitors can take the funicular from Vevey to reach Mont-Pèlerin.
Here’s how to get to Mont-Pèlerin:
- Take the train to Vevey
- From Vevey, take one of the buses to Vevey, funiculaire (Vevey-Funi). The following buses will bring you to the funicular:
- Bus 201 to Vevey, funiculaire
- Bus 212 to Richtung Fenil-sur-Corsier, vieille rte
- Bus 213 to Richtung Châtel-St-Denis, gare
3. The funicular will take you up to Mont-Pèlerin in 11 minutes.
As Mont-Pèlerin is a small resort village, most of the attractions are located within walking or hiking distance. However, visitors can still take advantage of the public transportation system to explore the surrounding areas. You can also use a bicycle to explore the area.
Do not worry about the local transportation system. It is very reliable and efficient, making it easy for you to explore the area without having to rent a car.
Hotels around Mont-Pèlerin
Le Mirador Resort & Spa is an excellent hotel in Mont-Pèlerin that offers excellent amenities and comfortable accommodations. Otherwise, hotel choices are more plentiful in Vevey nearby than in Mont-Pèlerin. Below are some of our recommended hotels around Mont-Pèlerin and Vevey:
Final Thoughts: Mont Pèlerin
Mont-Pèlerin offers a captivating experience for visitors, blending picturesque landscapes and outdoor activities. This charming region boasts the scenic Lavaux Vineyards, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its beauty and wine production. With Lake Geneva nearby, visitors can also embark on leisurely cruises to soak in the breathtaking views.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Mont-Pèlerin provides a network of scenic trails that offer opportunities for exploration and hiking, including an ascent to Plein Ciel Tower, where panoramic vistas await. Cycling enthusiasts can enjoy the Tour du Mont Pèlerin and Route des Lacs, offering thrilling biking adventures. Wine enthusiasts can savor the local flavors through wine-tasting experiences.
For those seeking tranquility and serenity, Mont-Pèlerin stands as an idyllic destination, offering peaceful landscapes, a wealth of rejuvenating activities, and a welcoming ambiance. Amidst the serene beauty and unhurried pace, this destination near Vevey and Montreux invites visitors to embrace a tranquil retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
- Baumgartner, Roland und Roman Weissen. Aussichtspunkte am Genfersee: Mont-Pèlerin, Les Pléiades und Sonloup. 250 Berg- und Seilbahnen Schweiz, Weber Verlag, 2015.
- Commune de Chardonne. Accessed on 23 June 2023. https://www.chardonne.ch/.
- Lavaux Vinorama. Accessed on 23 June 2023. https://lavaux-vinorama.ch/en/accueil/.
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.