Vevey, Lake Geneva
If you’ve done the whole Euro-camping, glamping or hostel holiday in your 20s and are now returning to Europe with a toddler in tow, this charming Swiss village on the north shore of Lake Geneva will tick all of the boxes.
Who is it good for? Life in Vevey is largely spent outdoors and centres around the lake so take mini adventurers who are happy walking or are young enough to sit in the buggy.
Get the best views of the lake with a stroll along the continuous 5km walkway between Montreux and Villenueve. It’s worth noting that there’s an interruption between Montreux and La Tour-de-Peilz, but then you can walk another 5km to Corseaux. Continue along through the Lavaux vineyards – lovely quiet roads, that are really only used by the winemakers and are perfect for long walks with buggies.
Château Chillon is definitely worth a visit but parts of the upper ramparts are only accessible on foot, not with wheels. Toddlers will love walking over the sky-high boardwalks or exploring the chilly dungeons, before dipping their toes in the lake to cool off. On a really hot day, it’s a great place to enjoy some shade, and lake cruises are an option as well.
If you want to stay local after a long walk, the free play areas in Vevey at the Jardins du Rivage and next to the market place in Montreux are appealing, and older children can try the pedalos.
Where to eat
There are plenty of family-friendly places to eat, including Caveau des Vignerons in Montreux or Restaurant Les Trois Sifflets on Rue du Simplon, in Vevey. There are also pizzerias and cafés all along the lake.
As a treat, call in at the artisan chocolatier Confiserie Poyet SA on Rue du Theatre, in Vevey, or Zurcher Confiserie-Patisserie on Avenue du Casino, in Montreux – this is the home of Nestlé after all.
Though advertised as a budget hostel, Vevey Hotel & Guesthouse’s location and views, first-class service, and simple family-friendly facilities (including cots) will charm you.
Set in the heart of Vevey, this beautiful 19th-century mansion-style guesthouse is just 50 metres from the shore of Lake Geneva. It has family rooms – a number of which have lake views, – a large, clean kitchen area and a bar terrace that faces the lake. It is also well equipped with a laundry room, and its free Wi-Fi and public transport – VMCV buses and trains in the Vevey-Montreux area – add to the appeal. If you take a car, there is private parking available but you need to arrange this before you arrive.
Family rooms start from £30 per night. A self-service continental breakfast buffet is provided and is free for under-threes.
Travel time: Flights take 2 hours and 35 minutes from London; Vevey is 1 hour by train from Geneva Airport.
Best time to go: May to September offer the best weather, with the driest month being July.
Pictures by Christoph Sonderegger, and Shutterstock.com