Moo-sic may be the only sound that comes to mind when you think of Switzerland. But if you are a jazz lover, then Switzerland would be strumming on your radar waves as one of the world’s top jazz destinations.
For 50 years, world-renowned artists descend on the shores of Lake Geneva for two weeks in summer to perform their craft for their international fans at the famous Montreux Jazz Festival. 16 days of non-stop concerts across as many free venues as ticketed events, jazz virtuosos, pop stars and legendary rock groups form the highly impressive line-up at this annual event.
The brainchild of Claude Nobs, its charismatic founder, the Montreux Jazz Festival aims to remain accessible to all fans. Immortalised on film, the concerts comprise a unique musical archive protected by UNESCO. This year, the event will take place from 28 June – 13 July.
Should you be heading over, your musical experience and stay would only be enhanced with an understanding of what makes Montreux great, and that has a lot to do with its landscape, heritage and prime location. Indeed, the great big body of water that is Lake Geneva is dotted by many places of interest for the cultured explorer.
Some of the highlights that’s easily accessible by boat, bus or train from Montreux include Chillon Castle, the most visited castle in Switzerland; the Lavaux terraces, the UNESCO protected vineyards; and Vevey, once home to Charlie Chaplin, but whose legacy lives on in the museum that now replaces his previous residence. A panoramic train ride on the GoldenPass Express will also take you to the resort village of Gstaad, the historic Chateaux D’Oex and all the way to Lucerne.