Château de Chillon (VD) | En
Updated: Jan 17
Château de Chillon is one of those places we have driven past often and said “we really must visit that place” but never managed it...until Sunday!
As usual we were up early so we set off just after 9am. The motorway journey around the lake is one of the most beautiful I have seen, taking in the vines of Lavaux and the seaside views of Montreux on the way.
There is a small amount of parking opposite the entrance to the castle and it gets full quickly in peak times so it seems a good idea to arrive early. The attendant told us they are hoping to be able to increase the parking in the future and I can see the need.
To reach the ticket office you cross an impressive covered wooden bridge which enables you to admire the beautiful view of the castle, lake and mountains.
We paid chf13 per adult for our tickets (entrance for the children was free) and were given a really useful guide to the castle listing the rooms by number and providing information about each one.
The courtyard where the visit starts is beautiful with lots of flowers and beams, and from that central point it’s a matter of following staircases, paths and walkways around the castle.
I don’t quite know what we were expecting but we found it a really brilliant outing full of atmosphere and we were all impatient to discover the next room or feast our eyes on the next incredible view. There was just the right amount of information on display in each of the rooms we entered so it was easy to read as we followed the tour. I find large boards with lots of information a bit daunting these days as we don’t have a hope of reading them with the children tugging on our sleeves.
The castle itself has been sympathetically maintained and the modern concessions to safety have been integrated well so it still retains a real charm and character and it was hard not to feel awed by the structure and artefacts. I found it amazing to think some of the intricate decorations in the rooms upstairs had been there since the 13th century and it was magical to see the clear water of the lake lapping at the walls directly below some of the windows.
Jude declared the castle “magnificent” and really enjoyed leading the way down small staircases and climbing up into towers. He’s very keen on knights at the moment and liked to picture where they ate and slept. He loved the cellars, and the prison area too really captured his imagination.
I saw on their website that it’s possible to host a childrens party in the castle which sounds brilliant - they organise a special scavenger hunt (I think even as an adult scavenger hunts are still one of my favourite things!) and a costumed character shows them around they castle before they enjoy cake and treats. Unfortunately for me, Jude has already informed me that he wants a pirate themed birthday party this year with a cake in the form of a life size T-Rex next to a volcano, but hopefully I can change his mind J.
Now, important to mention that there are stairs everywhere so a pushchair would be complicated as it would basically mean carrying it a lot. We opted to use the baby carriers and found we had to duck quite a lot to get through some of the low doorways with the extra height of the children (even me at 160cm!), some of the openings were rather narrow too so even if we had succeeded in lugging the double pushchair up all the stairs, we would never have passed it through most of the stone doorways.
In terms of facilities, there is a toilet near the reception area with wall mounted baby change mat and a gift shop.
Just outside there are some steps leading down to the lake which was a very popular spot for taking pictures. There is also a little outside cafe serving drinks and ice creams where you can sit and admire the view. I saw that they have guided and audio tours too as well as themed events during the year.
A really lovely outing which we all enjoyed !
Parking : Yes
Toilets : Yes
Baby Change Facilities : Yes
Accessibility : Not really suitable for pushchairs
Website : https://www.chillon.ch/fr/