Lake Geneva is honestly one of the most spectacular regions in Switzerland, and we’re not only saying that because we live here. Just the sight of the Lavaux vineyards that dive into the turquoise-colored waters of Europe’s largest lake, with the snow-capped French mountain peaks in front of you alone is worth the journey. We never cease to be in awe of its beauty, and we’re willing to bet that you won’t either.
Here are ten reasons why you should visit Lake Geneva next time you’re in Switzerland:
1. It’s Always Wine O’Clock Here
Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, you’ll find the UNESCO-protected Lavaux vineyards, the country’s largest contiguous wine region spanning over 800 hectares. You’re probably asking yourself, “Switzerland makes wine?” Yes, yes we do, since the Roman times to be precise… and some pretty good ones too! It is indeed a little known fact, since only 1-2% of the 148 million bottles that are produced every year are exported worldwide. So make sure you try a bottle of our local cépages at a restaurant or meet one of our passionate winemakers for a visit of their vineyards, followed by a tasting (of course).
Even if wine is not your thing, it’s still very much worth visiting this region just to enjoy the views that are some of the most incredible you’ll ever see, especially on a sunny day. You can either soak them in with a walk through the vine trails or from one of our panoramic restaurants, like Le Deck in Chexbres.
2. Where Nature and Cities Coexist
Here in Lake Geneva, our nature and our cities beautifully co-exist. You could be luxury shopping in the streets of Geneva and be biking in the pristine countryside just 15 minutes later. Likewise, you could be visiting Lausanne’s world-famous museums and be amidst the vines in 20 minutes. With the alps just a quick drive away, you’ve got everything you need right on your doorstep.
3. A Cultural Paradise
So there’s the wine for the wine-lovers, the nature for the nature lovers and the cities for… well, for the city lovers. But what about if you’re looking to submerse yourself in Switzerland’s culture? Good news: we’ve got that for you too. There are a number of iconic museums dedicated to a range of interests, from the Charlie Chaplin World in Vevey to the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, without bypassing CERN in Geneva and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. What’s more, you don’t need even need to cross the border to experience some impressive chateaux’s: a visit to the iconic Chateau de Chillon on the shores of the lake is an absolute must.
4. Step Into Swiss Traditions
Speaking of culture, Lake Geneva is also home to a remarkable number of traditions know-hows. Meet a truffle-hunter, visit a Scherrenschnitte artist in her atelier, learn how to make chocolate with a professional chocolatier or make your own Swiss watch to take home alongside a watch-maker. Or perhaps you just want satisfy your inner foodie with a private Swiss cooking experience to be able to take a taste of Switzerland back home with you. Whatever your interests, we’ve got you covered.
5. Calling All Foodies
Food. Let’s stay there for a second. Lake Geneva is home to a number of high-quality restaurants, from local mom and pop restaurants serving local specialties to Michelin-starred chefs offering international cuisine. The dining scene is incredibly diverse, and you’re bound to find what you’re looking for.
Here are some of our favorite places:
- The Chalet des Enfants, a family-owned restaurant serving locally-sourced specialties and the best fondues in a bucolic setting in Lausanne’s countryside
- Le Contretemps on the shores of Lake Geneva, just outside of Montreux. We love it for its menu which may be small, but is made up of only the very best local ingredients.
- Le Rive in Nyon – a family-owned restaurant on the shores of Lake Geneva in the small town of Nyon, which always guarantees good food, good service and great views.
- Izumi, on the rooftop of the Four Seasons Hotel in Geneva, serving Asian cuisine and delicious Sushi, topped off with an incredible view
6. Rain or Shine
With reasons 1-5, you can imagine that Lake Geneva is an incredible destination rain or shine, summer or winter. In the summer, you’ll almost feel like you’re at the Mediterranean because everything is very lake oriented: take a dip from one of our “beaches”, sail along its shores, go water-skiing or let the winds float your sailboat. It’s the Dolce Vita at its finest!
But the winter also offers its magic: you’re just a quick drive away from some of the most reputable ski resorts where you can go skiing, sledding, snow-shoeing, dog-sledding, snow-boarding… It’s the Swiss winter wonderland you’ve always dreamed of.
7. Day Trip Galore
For travellers who don’t want to hop from one hotel to the next or who have limited time in Switzerland, we often suggest Lake Geneva as the perfect base to explore more of what our country has to offer. From here, you have a number of diverse and noteworthy day trips within easy reach, such as the capital city of Bern, the medieval village of Gruyères with its idyllic alps, the famous Glacier 3000 with its peak-to-peak suspension bridge, as well as the region of Neuchatel for those eager to visit a watch manufacture. And then of course, you have the towns and villages located around Lake Geneva itself, from the bigger hubs of Geneva, Lausanne and Montreux to the smaller villages of Nyon and Vevey.
8. Vive la France!
…But our daytrips also reach across the borders, for those who want to fit in another European destination during your holidays! The beautiful town of Annecy is just 30 minutes from Geneva, while the medieval village of Yvoire (known as being one of France’s most beautiful) is just a quick boat ride away. Famous resorts such as Chamonix and Megève are also within easy reach. And if you’re up for a little more driving, the beautiful city of Lyon (the gastronomic capital of France) is just 90 minutes from Geneva. You can find more tips on day trips to our European neighbours by clicking here.
9. Mark Your Calendar
If you’re still not convinced all of this is enough to keep you busy for weeks (if not months) on end, then make sure you travel during one of the famous annual events that call Lake Geneva their home. The choice is yours: Montreux Jazz Festival, the Paleo Festival in Nyon, the Geneva Car Show, the Montreux Christmas Market. All that and more await… which will it be?
10. Ready for Take-Off
Oh and one last thing. And this, to be honest, is a really convenient one: Lake Geneva has its very own international airport, located in Geneva. So you can easily land here and go straight to your hotel, without having to change plans or travel for hours.
So, when do we have the pleasure of welcoming you? Contact us at email@example.com or by clicking here and we’ll show you this region we know and love like most locals have never seen it. A bientot!
About Chantal & Max Switzerland Travel Design
Time is indisputably one of our most valuable assets and your life is too short to give it away searching the daunting internet without any guarantee of what you’ll find. That’s why we’re here to save peace of mind by giving you insider access to the heart of Switzerland with a custom “off the beaten track” tour you’ll never forget. Our services include bespoke itinerary design, uniquely-crafted insider experiences and guided private tours. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our homepage for more information.