Life as sweet as chocolate in Switzerland

Kristy Muir at the Freddie Mercury Memorial in Montreux.
Kristy Muir at the Freddie Mercury Memorial in Montreux.

CHOCOLATE, chocolate and more chocolate.

Switzerland is the only country you can eat kilos of this delicious treat and not feel guilty.

The majority of my chocolate-eating days were in the Lake Geneva district, which is home to more quaint and quirky townships than you can imagine.

Each with its own rich and diverse history and culture as well as cheese, wine and, of course, chocolate.

Having travelled extensively through Switzerland, nowhere is more enticing than two spots only a hop, skip and a jump away from each other.

Montreux and Vevey may be popular Swiss destinations, but they are nowhere near as touristy as Lucerne, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich.

I stayed at the Best Western Eurotel Riviera right on the water in Montreux, and dined at Le Matara, the restaurant of the hotel.

Nothing beats a well-prepared lake catch of the day, and Matara is one of the best choices; not only for its great food but also because it has an outdoor terrace that overlooks the beautiful Lake Geneva.

Sitting on the terrace you can people-watch, as tourists and locals walk along the paved foreshore. If you look across the lake, the land opposite Montreux is an entirely different country, France, which is hard for even the most experienced traveller to get their head around.

I visited Switzerland in the autumn and even though the majority of the time I had gorgeous, warm weather, I was lucky enough to see my first snow ever, on top of the Alps.

Everywhere I visit I try to stay in the most central part of the city, and my time in Montreux was no exception.

It was only a short walk from my hotel to the best sights, including the extraordinary, oval-shaped castle, Château de Chillon

Chillon Castle is an architectural jewel in the most beautiful setting imaginable, on the shores of Lake Geneva, right at the foot of the Alps.

Chateau de Chillon in Montreux
Chateau de Chillon in Montreux Kristy Muir

This monument, with more than 1000 years of history, has inspired artists and writers, from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Victor Hugo and Lord Byron, from Delacroix to Courbet.

While Montreux may not have sights as iconic as the Eiffel Tower, there is still a lot to do, but it is more about exploring the city's history, meeting the people and finding out what it means to live in this glorious spot.

On the must-see list is Musée de Montreux, which recounts the history of the town, with displays ranging from a handful of Roman finds and coins through to period furniture, bathtubs and street signs.

The steep streets surrounding and uphill from the museum are the core of the original Old Town and are definitely worth a wander.

Just slightly north-west of Montreux and a peaceful and short boat trip away is the charming village of Vevey.

It is best known for having the second largest marketplace still active in Europe, and is home to Nestle's international Food and Beverage Group headquarters.

Vevey is one of the "Pearls of the Swiss Riviera", known for its mild climate, the vineyards, and paddlewheel steamers on the lake.

Its most famous inhabitant was probably comedian, Charlie Chaplin, who spent the last 25 years of his life there. A monument dedicated to him stands on the lakeshore.

Overlooking the lake are hundreds of market stalls that serve up the freshest local produce, beautiful cheeses and wines, freshly baked goods and all kinds of chocolate.

There is definitely no short supply of chocolate anywhere in Switzerland. The Swiss believe it is great on its own, with a coffee, wine, whisky and on any conceivable occasion.

While Aussie children enjoy Vegemite on toast, a Swiss kid's favourite afternoon snack has always been bread and chocolate.

Swiss chocolatiers have created delights such as truffles, pralines, cakes and mousses.

So if you are heading to Switzerland pack light, so you can bring home some delicious goodies.

>>More Travel Stories


Montreux on Lake Geneva
Montreux on Lake Geneva



  • There are about 8 million people in Switzerland.
  • Switzerland has an area of 41,285 square kilometres
  • Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates of all industrialized countries.
  • The climate is moderate with no excessive heat, cold or humidity.
  • Switzerland has four unevenly distributed languages and a wealth of dialects
  • German is by far the most widely spoken language (65.6%) in Switzerland; 19 of the country's 26 cantons are predominantly (Swiss) German-speaking.
  • The majority of people living in Switzerland are Christian


Switzerland has four unevenly distributed languages and a wealth of dialects.

  • German (65.6 %)
  • French (22.8 %)
  • Italian (8.4 %)
  • Rhaeto-Rumantsch (0.6 %)
  • Other languages (5.6 %)

Exciting new digital future for the South Burnett Times

Exciting new digital future for the South Burnett Times

Our new website platform will lead to faster load times, quicker coverage of...

FULL LIST: Kingaroy Magistrates Court appearances today

Premium Content FULL LIST: Kingaroy Magistrates Court appearances today

Here is a list of matters listed at Kingaroy Magistrates Court on Monday.

Wagners’ $175m project precinct on verge of collapse

Premium Content Wagners’ $175m project precinct on verge of collapse

The future a 1000-bed quarantine facility is also uncertain