Top Places to Visit in Canton de Vaud, Switzerland
By Modupe Sonuyi
This winter has no end in sight! Spring might be right around the corner but Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. So why not break out one last time and make the most of this wondrous snowy season? Need any helpful hints? Look no further than Canton De Vaud, Switzerland. This destination will have you savoring winter until the very last second!
First stop? The Olympic capital city of Lausanne. With French, Swiss and German influences living happily ever after in this enchanting city, it’s pretty easy to see how this melting pot attracts curious travelers from all over the world. You’ll get a healthy dose of sensory overload as the majestic Swiss Alps, Lake Geneva and the French coastline come together to create a magnificent backdrop to Lausanne.
What’s a melting pot without an endless array of culinary delights? One of the most surprising finds from our visit to Lausanne was the mixture the delectable options littered throughout the city. So much to eat, so little time. Try the best ‘hot chocolate’ in town at Le Barbare. Definitely unlike any hot chocolate we’ve ever tasted! Or you can try mouthwatering cuisines at the newly opened Brasserie De Montebenon. When you’re fully content, head to Flon—the district that never sleeps—to dance the night away and burn off the calories you just consumed!
During the winter tourism season, you can explore the city’s main attractions without the hustle and bustle traffic of the summer months. Walking around the city’s center and taking in the beautiful landscape left us in awe. You’ll find helpful interactive maps throughout the city, ready to point you in the right direction. Or, you can download the extremely helpful City Guide app, which works offline, to help you navigate the streets of Lausanne. Be sure to visit the newly renovated Le Musee Olympique in Ouchy. Just a short train ride away, this museum simultaneously shares the true spirit of the Olympic Games and offers a wonderful playground for adults and kids, alike.
Next up on the Canton De Vaud winter travel guide is Montreux. Exploring this ridiculously charming lakeside town was a real highlight from our trip. Known for the Montruex Jazz Music Festival, Montreux comes alive (so we’ve heard) when this world famous festival slides into town and fills the riviera air with spirited rifts and soulful beats. Everyone from Miles Davis to BB King to Prince has graced the stages of the Montreux Jazz Music Festival. Needless to say, we are already saving up our pennies to make it back for this event!
While walking along the Montreux Riviera, you’ll find unfiltered and unobstructed views of the Swiss Alps and Lake Geneva. With views like these, it’s pretty easy to see how rock legend, Freddie Mercury, came to call Montreux home. As you continue to trek along the Riviera, you’ll encounter the Chateau de Chillon. This must-see attraction is an architectural show stopper that has been inspiring artists and writers for hundreds of years.
Day tripping from Montreux is easy and worth it! Day trips to Epesses and Vevey are fun ways to learn more about the culture of Canton De Vaud. One great stand alone reason to visit Vevey? Milk chocolate was invented here! No wonder the Swiss do chocolate-everything so well. Additionally, tucked away in the rolling hills of Epesses is the home of the Chasselas grape. Here, you’ll find 12th generation wine producer, Patrick Fonjallaz, bottling some of the most elegant and playful white wines from this award winning region. You’ll also find him jokingly boasting that after one sip, most prefer the taste of these delicate wines over that of water. I’ll let you be the judge.
The last stop, but certainly not least, on our Canton De Vaud winter tour was Leysin. This perfect sliver of the Swiss Alps is a superb way to experience the Alps without breaking the bank or getting run over on the slopes by Olympic level skiers. The immaculate panoramic views of Lake Geneva and surrounding peaks very easily transport you to cloud 9, and you’ll likely have a hard time coming down.
Let’s face it, not everyone is going to enjoy swishing down the gleaming slopes of the Swiss Alps. We don’t know who these people are but let’s just pretend, shall we? That is exactly why man created Apres Ski. After a long hard day of physical activity in Leysin, you’ll find a number of restaurants that specialize in helping you unwind with great eats and aperitifs. And if you’re still feeling restless (or you’re one of the few who don’t enjoy the slopes), head over to the tobogganing park or ice skating rink to enjoy more great winter activities.
Have you packed your bags yet? I hope so. Don’t miss out on your chance enjoy those last drops of winter while its still here. Get out and visit Canton De Vaud, Switzerland!
*Experience sponsored by Tourism Office of Canton De Vaud
When not delivering laughing gas to her patients, Modupe is a full-time dreamer, adventurer and abuser of exclamation points! Intrigued by the wonders and whimsies of the world, she is constantly plotting her next opportunity to grab a camera and explore the beauty, life and culture of unfamiliar lands. She loves sharing her travel experiences with others, in hopes of inspiring just one person to get up and get lost!