The highlight of a journey around Lake Geneva, or en route to Zermatt, is the spectacular thirteenth-century Château de Chillon, one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Europe. Take the hourly train to Veytaux-Chillon, or it’s a 45-minute walk or a short ride on bus #1 east from Montreux station (every 10min). Your first glimpse of the castle, jutting into the water and framed by craggy mountains, is simply unforgettable. A pamphlet directs you to gloomy dungeons where François Bonivard, a Genevan priest, was imprisoned from 1530 to 1536; the story captured the imagination of Lord Byron, who wrote his poem The Prisoner of Chillon after sailing here with Shelley in 1816. Upstairs you’ll find grand halls, lavish bedchambers and dreamy lake views.

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