|Vevey : arrival, orientation and information|
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Vevey’s train station, on the main line between Lausanne and Montreux, is 300m north of the lakeshore on a busy east–west main road: cross over and head towards the lake on the Rue de Lausanne, and within a minute or two you’ll come to the gigantic central square of Grande-Place, also known as Place du Marché, which fronts directly onto the lake. The Old Town alleys are clustered to the east. The town has three ferry-stops – Vevey-Plan is to the west, behind the Nestlé building; Vevey-Marché is metres from Place du Marché in the town centre; and Vevey-La Tour is east, close to La Tour-de-Peilz.
The tourist offices of Vevey and Montreux have joined forces, meaning that you can get exactly the same information from both on their whole stretch of coast, often dubbed the “Swiss Riviera”. Vevey’s office is in the pillared Grenette building, the old town granary, on Grande-Place (July–Sept Mon–Sat 8.30am–7pm, Sun 10am–7pm; Oct–June Mon–Fri 8.30am–noon & 1.30–6pm, Sat 8.30am–noon; 021/922 20 20, www.vevey.ch). They offer a two-hour guided walk around the town (April–Sept Wed–Fri 10am; Fr.10), starting from the train station, but you should check in advance about the availability of an English-speaking guide. Otherwise, the excellent brochure “On The Trail of Hemingway” pinpoints a welter of sites in the area with famous-name associations. The local museum passport covers entry to ten museums in Vevey and Montreux (including the Château de Chillon) for Fr.15. If you’re staying around Vevey or Montreux for any length of time, you should splash out on the 75-page magazine Tourist Info Pass (Fr.8), which is crammed with useful information about the whole region and discount offers. If you happen to be around in July, you might want to check out the International Festival of Comedy Films, held annually in memory of the town’s adopted son Charlie Chaplin.
One of the most pleasant long walks in the area is the Chemin Fleuri, or Flowered Path, covering the sumptuous 9km lakefront promenade between Vevey and Villeneuve (aside from a short stretch east of La Tour-de-Peilz, where private lakefront properties force you back into the town). The tourist office has a brochure describing the walk and its various highlights.
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