Oct 3, 2019 - 11:11 PM
A few months ago someone posted a question about narcissus in bloom. That thread is closed, so here is some more information for anyone interested.
We recently returned from a trip to Switzerland (see my separate trip report). Even though there were no narcissi blooming in September, we took the Narcissus Hiking Trail in Les Avants (there are several other narcissus hiking trails). This is a 7 km loop trail if you include the funicular as part of the loop. You can also walk up, but it looked pretty steep to me. This website is excellent and describes several narcissus trails: www.narcisses.ch Available in French or German, but my phone is set to translate to English. Click on Parcours Balises or Markierte Wanderwege for a list of trails. There are maps and very detailed hiking instructions.
If you stay in the Montreux area you will be given a Montreux Riviera Card which covers a lot of rail/tram travel. We took the Golden Pass train from Montreux to Les Avants (this is the same train that goes on to Zweisimmen), then the Sonloup Funicular up to the trail. Even though the train is free with the MRC and Swiss Pass, you still have to get tickets in the Golden Pass office, not from a kiosk or SBB office, just at the other end of the hallway. They can also sell you the funicular ticket at 50% off with MRC or whatever rail pass you have. Since it’s a loop trail, you only have to pay for the funicular up trip.
When you get off the train in Les Avants, wait for the train to leave. You will then see the sign for the Sonloup Funicular across the tracks. I don’t know if it runs on a schedule or when someone gets in, but it left within 15 minutes. At the top, there will be a sign for the trail (left as you face up the hill, to the right as you face down). It’s a beautiful hike mostly flat through forest along a ridge. There is a major lookout about half way (after a bit of a steep hike up at that point), then you start going down – there are a good many steps, plus decline down through fields. All easy to follow even if there is some lack of signage. You end up on the road near the train station. 7 km long, It took us about 3 hours - we are slow hikers and stopped for picnic lunch. In September hardly anything was open (I think there is a restaurant at the top during season). There is a map on the side or back of the train station if you want to check it before going up the funicular. It must be beautiful with flowers blooming in the meadows, but was still enjoyable without narcissi.