Montreux can be a snooty place, full of money and not particularly exciting. It's spectacularly located, bathed in afternoon sunshine streaming across the lake and protected from chilly northerlies by a wall of giant mountains, but once you've had your fill of window-shopping and strolling beneath the palm trees, it can be a bit dull.
From the early nineteenth century, Montreux was one of the centres for pan-European – and particularly British – tourism to Switzerland, following on from the importance of the medieval Château de Chillon 3km away, as a controlling presence on the transalpine road. Up until the 1960s, the name Montreux referred to just one village in a loose affiliation of some 24 vineyard-communes spread around the neighbouring hills, including picturesque Clarens to the west, and Territet to the east. Both of these are now super-plush suburbs, their long and venerable visitors' books taking in the great and the good, crowned heads of Europe and Russia, and literary and artistic personages galore.
The main reasons to visit are to absorb the spectacular panorama of the Dents-du-Midi peaks across the lake, to visit the unmissable Château de Chillon and to catch the stellar annual Montreux Jazz Festival.