For years I have heard of this special place above the Montreux Riviera in Canton Vaud, Switzerland. Les Pléiades, where one can enjoy large fields of white Narcissus flowers during the spring months.
Little did I know, how incredibly beautiful the Les Pléiades Narcissus fields are. And why have we never been here before? Who knows!
It is clear that we will come back and discover all the different Narcissus Spring hikes in Montreux next year. Yes, there are quite a few of them!
You simply cannot miss this spectacle of nature must plan a visit to Les Pléiades Narcissus fields in the Montreux Riviera.
Therefore if you are dreaming of large fields covered in spring flowers and even better covered in with Narcissus then make sure you’re visiting Les Pléiades. It is here where your wish will come true in the Montreux Riviera in Canton Vaud Switzerland.
When to Hike the Les Pléiades Narcissus Trail in the Montreux Riviera?
The window of opportunity to experience the Narcissus fields in the Riviera in full blossom is small, normally from early May to late June. All depends on the Swiss weather. This year, 2021, the full blossom was a bit later due to a very cold spring in Switzerland.
In the flower fields, like around Glion, the first blooms take place at the beginning of May. The last flowers are visible end of May, or even the beginning of June, in higher altitude fields such as here in the article, on the Les Pléiades Narcissus Spring trail.
Where is the BEST Area to see the Narcissus in the Montreux Riviera?
It all depends on what you want. For sure the Les Pléiades Narcissus trail is the place where you can see millions and millions of Narcissus covering the ground. No wonder it is called the spring snow of the Montreux Riviera.
If you are happy to see a few thousand, (yes thousand) then you have plenty of opportunities and places throughout the Riviera. Even just driving up to Les Pléiades, we stopped at some random places and enjoyed the field all to ourselves. I loved this one (photo below) a lot because there were many other spring flowers within the Narcissus.
Photography TIP If you wish to get Lake Geneva, the sunset plus the Narcissus flowers then best to visit Les Avants. I have seen some amazing photos from this trail at sunset. It will be on my list for next year. Sunset photography of the Montreux Riviera Narcissus!
Please note we have not yet been to all of the official Narcissus trails in the Montreux Riviera, but you can find more information on the different trails shown on the map below, here.
How to get to Les Pléiades Narcissus Trail in the Montreux Riviera?
First and this is quite important, MAKE SURE if possible NOT TO VISIT AT THE WEEKEND!
If you can visit Les Pléiades Narcissus trail in the Montreux Riviera on a weekday, then do it. Should this not be possible, make it a super early morning adventure or a sunset one.
I have seen photos of weekend visits, and it looks awfully crowded. We went on a midweek afternoon, and although we did not have the place to ourselves, there was plenty of room to ensure we had photos without anybody in them. Also, it was easy to drive up to the parking along a narrow mountain road. I can imagine during a packed weekend that the drive up to the Les Mottalles parking lot in Blonay can be quite a challenge.
Our Travel Tips
If the weekend is the only time you have to marvel at the Narcissus fields at Les Pléiades, ride up with the mountain train from Vevey train station. A beautiful relaxed journey of a little over 30 min will bring you to the top of Les Pléiades. This is guaranteed stress free! And I can imagine quite a pretty ride up the Riviera mountain.
You can hike the whole circuit trail De Pratin from the Les Pléides station.
Arriving by Car
At Les Pléiades there is a car park, Les Motalles parking in Blonay. But be prepared that this place is filling up fast at peak times.
If this place is full, carry on uphill to Lally train station, where you will find a few more parking places, although not many. From here you can then walk up the footpath following the Cogwheel railway line. It is also called the Sentier des Planets trail.
Alternative Park & Ride
Should the parking situation really be bad at Les Motalles, try to park at Bloney station (further down the mountain) and take the train up to Les Pléiades from there. The train passes only every hour check the timetable here.
Arriving by Train
As mentioned in our Travel Tips above, the Mountain Train up to Les Pléiades also starts at Vevey Train station.
On the Les Pléiades Narcissus Trail
The Circuit trail “De Pratin”
On the photo above you can see how the whole area is set up. This may give you a bit more of an insight how the area looks like. We decided to walk the Pratin Circuit, anti clockwise.
The Narcissus hike started along a wooden walkway covering a swamp area. By the way there are many hikes and educational Nature trails starting from the car park up at Les Pléiades.
It is after the wooden pathway where we started to see the first white Narcissus fields.
What I personally loved about the 1st fields was that there were other spring flowers mixed in with the Narcissus which gave it a colorful picture perfect scene.
But only when passing after the trees in the above photo, did the REAL Narcissus Trail Les Pléiades in the Montreux Riviera reveal itself.
Goodness me, NEVER I have seen so many Narcissus in one single field. The pictures do not do justice! You HAVE TO GO and see it for yourselves to believe how many there are.
And the Fragrance in the air…. Heaven. Not too powerful, just perfect. See for yourselfers and enjoy the few following photos.
The Path up to the Top of Les Pléiades
Once you have passed along the bottom of this large field the trail starts to climb. Many people talk about a “steep climb”, honestly it is nothing out of the ordinary. But having said this we live in the mountains and EVERY hike or walk involves somewhere an uphill, even the way to the school bus.
Take it easy, and anyway you will make soooooo many stops for pictures that it is quickly done.
Maybe even plan your picnic amongst all these Narcissus. There are places where you can sit right next to the field, we even spotted large rocks sticking out which make it a perfect place for lunch.
Near the top of the steeper trail is Restaurant de la Chà, this would also be a nice alternative to a picnic.
The path is now more or less flat again and brings you over to the top of Les Pléiades where the train station is.
Of course, there are some more Narcissus fields, but nothing like you have just witnessed. Although you do get a glimpse of Lake Geneva on this last stretch of the Les Pléiades trail.
But still, even if you are taking the train first and start your hike from the top, you MUST make the full circuit. The large and unbelievable pretty scenery is not visible from the train station nor the parking. Don’t skip it, as it is so worth the hike.
The Astro Pléiades Circuit
Arriving at the summit above the train station you find an open area with an AstroPléiades Parcours by Claude Nicollier who was the first astronaut from Switzerland.
Below on the map you will see how best to walk the different posts.
Picnic tables and BBQ stations can also be found. And if you’re not a big fan of eating out of a backpack the Les Pléiades restaurant awaits with breathtaking views over Lake Geneva (also called Lac Leman).
Important to Respect the Flowers when on any of the Narcissus Trails
Please do respect the flowers,
when hiking on any of the Narcissus trails in the Montreux Riviera. There are trails within the fields which let you go close for your perfect family photo.
There is no need to make your own way and traverse the fields.
Clever photography whilst sitting in these walkways and catching the right angle with your lens will make your photos beautiful. Don’t sit in the middle of a field and damage several flowers.
NO PICKING IS ALLOWED
At first you may think “there are so many, if I take some nobody will realise”. But now imagine if every visitor thinks the same and picks a bunch of these wild Narcissus?!
Within no time the fields would decrease in their size for sure.
And until you are home the Narcissus will most likely be dead anyway. So PLEASE leave them there and just take as many photos as you like.
STAY ON THE PATH!
The endangered wild narcissus, read this article
And here you can find lots more information on the Narcissus at the Riviera (French only) .
Hiking Map for Les Pléiades Narcissus Trail – Montreux
Location:: Parking lot at Les Motalles in 1807 Blonay, Montreux Riviera, Switzerland
Length:: 5.1 km in a loop
Level:: easy hike some short steeper sections. T1
Ascent:: 228m / Descent:: 228m
Highest point:: 1397m at the Train Station
Good to know
- The Narcissus Flowers usually blooming late May to early June on the Les Pléiades trail
- The trail is not pushchaire friendly
- 3 Restaurants on the trail, one is right at the parking
- Public Toiletts at the Les Motalles Parking
- If you visit after rain fall the trail might be quite slippery and muddy at the steeper section. Wear appropriate shoes.
You may also like these articles in the Region
- Les Terrasses de Lavaux – beautiful autumn hike along the Lavaux Vineyards ( trail for any seasons)
- Château d’Oex – Pont Turrian and along to Cascade du Ramacle Also possible to BIKE
- Ormont-Dessous, Les Mosses – A family Hike to Lac Lioson – Lioson Lake
- The Refuge de Solalex – Family Winter Walk & Overnight at Refuge
- Villars-Gryon – Les Diableret-The Perfect Family Winter Resort
I hope that the information provided here when you are planning to hike the Narcissus Trails in Les Pléiades – Montreux Riveira will prove itself useful.
If I have left anything out, please ask your questions in the comments below and share your experience, so that other readers can join in the conversation and benefit from your queries and stories as well
Never forget to explore
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