One of Europe’s largest lakes, Lake Geneva is surrounded by verdant woodland, World Heritage vineyards, and chateaux that look like they sprang from the pages of a fairy tale; it’s no wonder that visitors like Lord Byron and Audrey Hepburn have been charmed by the lake’s Alpine beauty over the years. Picture-perfect all year round, the arrival of warm weather heralds the start of the summer season, full of activities and events from watersports to the famous Fêtes de Genève. And from its idyllic position, right on the shores of the lake, there’s nowhere better to enjoy the summertime fun than the elegant Hotel d’Angleterre. So here are some of the best things to do around Lake Geneva this summer during your stay.
Fêtes de Genève
Like this and every summer, one of the unmissable things to do around Lake Geneva is the world famous Fêtes de Genève. Attracting millions of visitors to the area every year, this month-long extravaganza of music, food and festivities is completely free to attend. The 2015 schedule, running from 16th July – 9th August, is packed: expect concerts and rides, plenty of food stalls to tickle your taste buds, and, of course, the incredible fireworks display at the end of the festival.
A Day Trip To Morges
A short drive from the hotel will bring you to the picturesque lakeside town of Morges. Operating a strict no-cars policy, this esoteric old town is perfect for exploring on a summer’s day. Go on a Wednesday or Saturday to visit the local market, or pick any day of the week and stroll along the lakeside walkway to enjoy the great view before taking a trip to the 13th Century Morges Castle (it has four museums tucked inside).
Montreux Jazz festival
Held every July, the Montreux Jazz Festival is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world. This year’s programme features up and coming performers, workshops, and free events, as well as performances from some huge names in the music world such as Mary J. Blige, Lionel Ritchie and Lenny Kravitz. The festival even has childcare facilities should you be looking for things to do around Lake Geneva with the kids in tow.
Ever picked up a bottle of Evian and wondered where it gets its name? Well, wonder no longer. The beautiful lakeside spa town of Evian-les-Bains is a beautiful spot and only an hour’s drive along the lake from the hotel. There’s something for everyone here: you can swim in the famous water, play golf, explore the twice-weekly market (Tuesday and Friday mornings), try the local cheese and wine and take in some art at the cultural centre, the Palais Lumière.
One for the more sophisticated oenophiles, and definitely one of the best things to do around Lake Geneva, the area has a wealth of beautiful, internationally renowned vineyards on offer, many within half an hour of the hotel. Wine enthusiasts can happily while away an afternoon with a visit to a local vineyard, exploring and sampling its vintages. And for those who are happy to go a bit further afield, the UNESCO World Heritage listed vineyard terraces of Lavaux can be found on the Northern shores of the lake. And, to avoid the obvious arguments about who should be the designated driver, opt for the faster option and take the train.
One of the best and most bracing ways to enjoy your summer on the lake is by seeing Lake Geneva up close on a boat tour. But if you’re a dab hand with nautical vessels (of a slightly smaller variety), you can take to the water in a pedal boat and explore the lake independently – just don’t forget your suncream.
Once you’ve sipped, swam and sung your way through the summer’s day, head back the magical lakeside environs of the Hotel d’Angleterre, perhaps enjoying a drink and some live entertainment with friends at the Leopard Bar on your way.
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