Heading to Switzerland on your interrailing trip, and want to get a real taste of what this charming little country has to offer? Do NOT miss the Chocolate Train! This vintage beauty will show you all those Swiss essentials in one day: stunning mountains and lakeside views, combined with deliciously moreish chocolate and cheese tastings. What more could you want in a day trip?
Top Tip: When buying your GoldenPass ticket, you’ll get a reduced rate (saving €30pp) with your Interrail Pass, so be sure to fill your pass calendar in with ‘Montreux – Broc Chocolat’ before you board.
Starting your Chocolate Train journey in Montreux at 9am, you’ll meet your trip leaders on the platform and receive all the information you’ll need for the day, before getting an eyeful of the gorgeous 1915 Belle-Époque Pullman train you’re about to hop onto. Once on-board, you’ll be treated to all 1st class cushy seats, before sipping on some warming coffee or hot chocolate, chowing down on melty chocolate croissants, and gazing pensively at the breath-taking views. Passing the glittering Lake Geneva and its surrounding vineyard-clad hills, there’ll be plenty of photo ops to keep your Insta feed overflowing, not to mention the dreamy meadows dotted throughout the mountains. At an extra charge, take advantage of the trolley service to drink the scenery in with an ice-cold beer, or a chilled bottle of champagne if you’re feeling flush!
First stop: Maison du Gruyère. Remember all of the delectable cheese fondue that you’ll have undoubtedly scoffed by the time you take this train? Yep, this is where the cheese most likely came from. As soon as you step inside, you’ll receive complimentary samples of creamy, matured Gruyère cheese to try. Save them if you can resist temptation, but nothing could stop me from devouring the whole lot at the end! Learning about the cheese-making process from the museum’s sassy mascot-host, Cherry the cow, you’ll see it first-hand before hot-footing it to the shop to buy its tasty wares. If you have enough time on your trip, take an early lunch at the factory’s restaurant. With traditional Swiss dishes and twisted classics made with the cheese that’s made in-house, this might be the most authentic fondue you’ll ever eat!
Next up, take a short bus ride up from the factory to the quaintest village ever: Gruyères itself. As charming as it is medieval, this little town harks back to a time long-forgotten, with cobbled streets, quirky chalets, and a fairy-tale castle. If you have the stamina, head up to the 13th century Gruyères Castle and marvel at its impressive architecture, and the stunning art collection housed within its museum. If you’re more of a film buff than a historian, you might be just as surprised as I was to find the H.R. Giger Museum in this little corner of the world. Celebrating the genius behind the Alien films’ design and special effects, this museum holds the world’s largest collection of his artwork. After browsing Giger’s surreal and nightmarish pieces, finish the museum tour with a stiff drink to steel your nerves at the skeletally-decorated Giger Bar. This is the largest of the world’s only two Giger bars, where you can sip on regional fine wines and beers, along with the best mojito to have ever graced my lips. If you’re of a nervous disposition, just don’t look too closely at the creepy décor…. Still got spare time after all that? Be sure to pick up some artisanal Swiss goodies at the village’s local shops and boutiques. An authentic raclette, honey, and of course, cheese and chocolate should definitely be your souvenirs of choice!
This is what you came for. Lastly, you’ll bus it to the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory in Broc, where you’ll hear the story of how their chocolate has evolved over centuries, including a few cheeky historical tidbits! Next up, is a sensory experience of the ingredients they use, before watching their mesmerising machinery at work and learning how to taste chocolate like the professionals. Finally, you’re then free to fill up on as much of their free chocolate as you can, all prettily laid out on slabs for your enjoyment. I’ll be honest, your newfound professional tasting skills will go straight out of the window once these melt-in-the-mouth beauties pass your lips! Finish up by loading your pockets with yet more treats of the sweet variety, before heading back to Montreux all by 5.30pm.
The main take-away from this day trip? You’re going to need a heck of a lot of suitcase space for gifts. Oh, and don’t forget to opt for an elasticated waistband!
Fancy going on the Chocolate Train as part of your interrailing trip with us? We can order your tickets for you along with the rest of your train tickets, no problem! If you’ve not decided which of our routes to go on yet, this day trip goes hand-in-hand with any of our Swiss routes, and Geneva is the perfect starting point, so why not request this as part of a customised route here?
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