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Summer in the Alps: 24 hours in Montreaux

Travel Inspiration

Tucked away in the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland, Montreaux is set dreamily along Lake Geneva. This lakeside resort has been a haunt of writers, artists and musicians including Lord Byron and the Shelleys since the 19th-century. Nowadays, it's still a tranquil getaway luring visitors with a beautiful lakeshore peppered with 19th-century hotels, a 13-th century fortress, lakeside markets and several cultural festivals, including Freddie Mercury's Montreux Memorial Day Festival and The Montreux Jazz Festival. By Trisha Andres

Go on a day trip from Nendaz, a 50-minute train ride via Sion. To get you started, we've handpicked top three things to do in this glorious town:

1. Chateau of Chillon

This water castle is located on a rock on the banks of Lake Geneva. It was the residence and toll station of the Counts of Savoy for nearly four centuries. Its haunting beauty has led painters William Turner and Gustave to capture its silhouette on canvas and writers Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Alexandre Dumas and Mary Shelley to render it in print.

Explore this oval-shaped fortress's maze of courtyards, towers, subterranean vaults, artwork and a bedroom dating back to the time of Bernese rule. Then wander down to the medieval frescos in the Chapelle St Georges and the ghostly Gothic dungeons.

How to get there: Walk from Montreux to Chillon (45 minutes), or take trolley bus 1. CGN boats and steamers call at Château de Chillon from Montreux (15 minutes).


2. Clinique La Prairie Spa

Set on the edge of Lake Geneva, this award-winning medical spa was established in 1931 based on Professor Paul Niehans' findings on cell therapy. Using a holistic approach, the spa aims to help patients live - and feel - better by treating the whole body rather than focusing on a specific body part.

Each of the 60 rooms in this high-tech wellbeing retreat has views over the lake or the Alps. There are designated areas, including an incredible anti-aging centre, a sleep centre, a mental wellness centre and a weight management centre. À la carte treatments are also on offer from French manicures to facial treatments.

Following check-in, your stay begins with a bespoke medical check-up with one of the spa's doctors who will determine your course of treatment through a series of laboratory tests, a chest x-ray and electrocardiogram.


3. Queen, the Studio Experience

Queen recorded seven albums including the final album Made in Heaven in this thoughtfully preserved studio, which they owned between 1979 and 1996. Paraphernalia such as handwritten lyric notes and memorabilia from the band's archives give this studio museum a personal touch.

The control room, fixtures and sound equipment remain unchanged; the only feature that has been modified is the original Neve desk which has been replaced with a reproduction of the original. Visitors can re-mix some of the Queen classics and sign the wall outside the studio's doors, making the experience an interactive affair. Other musicians who have used the recording studio include the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Iggy Pop.

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