Via Francigena

From Vevey to Aigle, a stage between celebrities, festivals, music and two splendid castles: Chatillon and Aigle.

The stage

27 km walk which, once again, presents two distinct landscapes.

Above all, this trait amazes with its beauty and refinement. Indeed the magnificent shores of the Lake Geneva which accompany us even today during the first part of the journey up to Villeneuve, have been chosen throughout history by famous people. In particular Montreaux which can be easily reached on foot after walking 9 km from Vevey via a beautiful village of La Tour de PeilzVictor Hugo, Lev Tolstoj, Fedor Dostojevskij, Gustave Courbet, Hugo Pratt, Francis Scott Fitzgerald lived and stayed here throughout time. It is impossible to remain indifferent to the beauty of this passage, perfectly set between the lake and the Alps.
Another celebrity, the great Freddy Mercury, leader of Queen band, was also enchanted by these places. “If you want peace of soul, come to Montreaux”, he wrote. Here Queen recorded 7 albums. Queen’s album “Made in Heaven” was released in 1995, four years after Freddie’s death. Its cover portrays the singer in his famous pose with his fist to the sky, overlooking the beautiful blue-tinged lake together with other members of the band behind him. We are right here in Montreux. Fans will not miss a visit to a small museum founded in Queen former recording studio (located inside the Barrière Casino, free entry). We spent an hour there and came out satisfied.

Montreux is now also known as the international venue for the Jazz Festival which takes place every July. In that period, it is not easy to find available places to sleep!

We continue the journey with a less sultry climate today and meet one of the highlights of the day. Chillon Castle. Beautiful! This place is really picturesque with the castle overlooking the lake. Strategically located, it has three round towers and a well-structured fortification system. It is located right on the path of the Via Francigena and is definitely a must for a visit.

With humility and pilgrim spirit we proceed at a slow pace to arrive in Villeneuve, another beautiful tourist resort at the lake (there are so many pretty places along this stretch of the route!). It’s time for a break, with a light lunch and energy recovery.

At the exit of Villeneuve, the passage changes. First of all, the lake is now left behind. Continue to follow the yellow arrows and pass Roche and Yvorne to finally arrive in Aigle. Don’t miss the XII century castle in Aigle which houses a museum of vineyards and wine. Visit a room dedicated to the Italian artist Hugo Pratt and a collection of wine labels created by him since 1974.
Conclusion: even tonight it is mandatory to enjoy a glass of local wine, as we are surrounded by beautiful vineyards.

Upon arrival, meeting with Cyrielle Roussy from Aigle Tourist Office and a warm welcome at B&B Eden by Maria Ausserladscheider who has been welcoming travellers for more than 10 years in her beautiful house. A cosy place with a great swimming pool – perfect to stay fresh during hot summer days!

Finally, it is the Swiss National Day.
With Elena we are in the right place, at the right time. Viva Switzerland and Viva la Via Francigena!