There’s no shortage of wonderful ways to spend your time in Geneva itself – the Patek Philippe Museum, the UN, St Pierre’s Cathedral and the Carouge district of the city with its Mediterranean atmosphere and wealth of smart stores, cafes and restaurants. However, if you fancy venturing a little further afield these are our top five recommendations for delightful excursions.
Take a cruise from Geneva to Yvoire
Board a vintage paddle steamer and cross the crystal clear waters of Lac Leman to Yvoire, a picturesque medieval village, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in all France. Heavily fortified, with ramparts, moats, turrets and narrow winding streets bedecked with flowers, it makes for an unforgettably romantic experience.
Take a cruise to Lausanne
If you have the whole day you can take the boat to Yvoire, spend a few hours enjoying this gorgeous medieval village, then cruise on to Lausanne. The second largest city on the lake, Lausanne nestles amidst vineyard covered hills with panoramic views towards the snow covered mountains.
Visit beautiful Annecy
This picture perfect old town, sitting comfortably between the turquoise waters of its lake and soaring snow-capped mountains, is utterly breathtaking. Criss-crossed by a maze of waterways it is affectionately known as “The Little Venice of France”.
The cobbled streets of Annecy boast pretty pastel daubed houses garlanded with geraniums, there’s a castle that looks like it has stepped straight from the pages of a fairy story and you’ll find no shortage of cafes and restaurants in which to while away a few very pleasant hours. The town also hosts a number of different markets where you can buy local delicacies and browse for antiques.
See the spectacular view from Mont – Salève
La Salève, just a few minutes from the centre of Geneva, is a must-see attraction. You can take the cable car to the top of this 1,380 metre peak and look out across the city, the lake, the Alps and the Jura Mountains. There’s a café for refreshments and it is heaven for hikers with trails heading off in every direction. It’s also a popular centre for mountain bikers, rock climbers and paragliders, while in the winter it attracts those eager to enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Discover the delights of the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces
Stretching for about 30 km along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva, from the Chateau de Chillon to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne in the Vaud region, these vineyards cover the lower slopes of the mountainside between the villages and the lake. Although there is some evidence that vines were grown in the area in Roman times, the present vine terraces can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area. The terraces are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are easy to explore thanks to a network of hiking trails known as the Swiss Wine Route.