Fields of narcissus | Carnivorous plants | Astronomy trail
Easy walks (T1 & T2 ) | Scenic mountain train | Superb Lake Geneva views | Ski resort & snowshoeing
The low mountain of Les Pléiades above Vevey is easy to miss, being overshadowed by so many more spectacular peaks. But come springtime, the area is among the best of Switzerland’s flower fields. Thousands upon thousands of wild narcisses (white daffodils) burst into bloom, carpeting the pastures and wafting a heavenly scent on the air.
The nearby Marais des Tenasses offers a different spectacle. This peaty marsh is home to a variety of carnivorous plants, including the purple pitcher plant — which is even more striking when flowering.
Even if you miss the flower fields — or don’t feel like walking — the hills make for a lovely, family-friendly day out in the Lake Geneva region. Kids will enjoy cog mountain trains and the space-themed AstroPléiades playground (supported by Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier); adults will love the views; and all will relish a picnic, BBQ or chalet meal.
Three walks are described here: the loop “Narcissus trail” at Les Pléiades; the loop Marais des Tenasses trail with carnivorous plants; and the “Exoplanet trail” from Les Pléiades down to Blonay.
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When is the best time to see flower fields at Les Pléiades?
The narcissus daffodils above Montreux, Vevey and Blonay bloom from mid-April to mid-May — but note the peak flowering time varies with altitude and the weather each year. The Les Pléiades trail is one of six in the area with narcisses fields, and probably the best; check the handy “narcisses forecaster” website to see which trail has blooming flowers before you head out.
Please protect the narcissus!
The sheer number of flowers may make it seem as though narcissus are plentiful, but in fact this daffodil species is becoming increasingly endangered. You can do your part to protect these beautiful and iconic flowers — which are the symbol of the Vevey and Montreux region.
- Do not walk in the narcissus flower fields
- Do not disturb or take any bulbs
- Do not pick any flowers
Getting there & away
Les Pléiades is located above the eastern end of Lake Geneva, above Vevey and Montreux in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. The walks described here start at Les Pléiades train station, reached by the romantically named “Train des Etoiles” (train of the stars ) — a cog mountain train from Vevey via Blonay. If you come by car, park at the nearby Les Motalles car park or Lally car park and start from there.
What to bring
You don’t need any special equipment to do these walks in spring, summer or early autumn. You will need snowshoes or skis when there’s a lot of snow. Whatever the season, be prepared for sudden changes in weather, take enough to eat and drink, and don’t forget sun protection.
As mentioned above, you can park near Les Pléiades train station at the Les Motalles or Lally car parks. You can also park in Vevey if you wish to take the train from there, but note you will need to pay.
Astropléiades informative play area
Les Pléiades is an alternative name for the Seven Sisters constellation — so it’s only fitting to find space-themed fun here too. The Astropléiades play area at the train station features interactive panels and displays about our planet, our solar system, the Milky Way, and other stars. Free guided tours are offered every weekend in July and August for ages 7 up; no reservation is necessary.
A public BBQ area is available at the AstroPléiades playground and picnic tables are available on the Marais des Tenasses trail. If you picnic in the flower fields then be careful not to trample or otherwise damage the narcissus.
Alternatively, you can eat at one of several restaurants along or near the trails, or rent the Chalet-refuge des Pautex for a BBQ or picnic meal for a larger group of people. You can also sleep in dormitories at Restaurant le 1209.
►Restaurant de la Châ, on the Les Pléiades hike (French)
►Restaurant Les Pléiades near the Les Pléiades train station (English, French, German, Chinese, Korean)
►Restaurant le 1209 near the Parking Les Motalles (French)
►Chalet-refuge des Pautex on the Marais des Tenasses trail (French)
Dangers & annoyances
The trails described here are not dangerous. Nevertheless, guard against:
- Heat stroke/dehydration
Trail description and map – “Narcissus trail” Les Pléiades
Les Pléiades train station – Les Motalles – La Châ – Les Pléiades train station
Highest point: 1,397 m (La Châ)
Height gain: 250 m
Trail level: T1
Distance: 5.1 km
The Les Pléiades narcisses trail is wide and clearly marked. The main flower field is to the east of the train station and parking areas. You can do the loop in either direction; note that doing it clockwise means a gradual climb up and steep climb down, while doing it anticlockwise means a steeper climb up and gradual walk down. The section from the Parking Les Motalles to Prantin runs through Les Tenasses – the marsh with carnivorous plants.
Along the way you’ll have lovely views of the Jura, pre-Alps and Alps. The Rochers de Naye, Tour d’Aï and Tour Mayen rise above the fields with the Dents du Midi to the east; Le Grammont rises above Lake Geneva with Mont Blanc to the west; turn around to admire Mont Tendre, the Chasseron and other Jura peaks.
Trail description and map – Marais des Tenasses walk, Les Pléiades
Parking Les Motalles – Les Motalles – Chalet-refuge des Pautex – Parking Les Motalles
Highest point: 1,248 m
Height gain: 120 m
Trail level: T1
Distance: 2.8 km
The Marais des Tenasses loop walk is also called the Sentier d l’Ermite. The trail starts from the Parking Les Motalles and is clearly marked, with informative panels in French. The first part runs through the Tenasses marsh, often on board walks.
The trail turns into the forest about halfway through the marsh, looping past a picnic area and small pond to the Chalet-refuge des Pautex, then continuing through the forest back to the parking area.
You could extend the walk by continuing further along the trail through the marsh, then turning back for the forest loop. Alternatively, stroll through the marsh and return the same way, skipping the forest section.
Trail description and map – Exoplanet trail
Les Pléiades train station – Pré Cagnard – Lally – Blonay
The exoplanet trail (Sentier des exoplanètes in French; also called the Parcours Claude Nicollier after the Swiss astronaut) runs through the forest from Les Pléiades train station to Blonay. Ten displays along the way provide astronomical information in French and German. The first is at the train station. The beginning of the trail is steep and can be slippery (hence the T2 rating); from Pré Cagnard the trail is along roads and easy.
See “Other hiking options” below for an alternative trail down to Blonay.
Nearby mountain fun
Eating & sleeping
You’ll find many restaurants and sleeping options in Blonay, Vevey and Montreux — and indeed throughout the Lake Geneva region.
Other hiking options
A number of T1 trails crisscross the hills above Vevey; see SwissMobility. Five others also have narcissus flower fields, though not as many or as dense as along the Les Pléiades narcisses trail. See the “narcisses forecaster” website for trail information.
One nearby trail of note — and an alternative to the Exoplanet trail — is the long-distance “3 Alpine Panorama Trail“, which includes a section from Blonay to the Parking Les Motalles.
Skiing & snowshoeing
The small Les Pléiades ski resort has 5 lifts as well as snowshoe and cross-country (nordic) ski trails. The resort is covered by the Magic Pass.