Lake Geneva – 4 Reasons to Visit this Wonderful Vista
Glistening, crystal-clear Lake Geneva, or Lac Léman as it is called locally, breathes life into the villages, towns, and cities that dot its borders. The impact of this crescent-shaped lake on the surrounding area cannot be overstated as a source of entertainment, culture, health, cuisine, and even wine.
It is one of the greatest lakes in western Europe and is located within the border between Switzerland and France. It’s an amazing place to visit and here are a couple of reasons why you should make Lake Geneva a part of your Swiss experience.
The Medieval Architecture
On the French side of the lake, you’ll discover Yvoire, one of the world’s most beautiful medieval cities. Yvoire dates back to 1306 when the powerful Château d’Yvoire was in charge of defending trade routes across the Alps. It is easily accessible by boat which makes for a nice, enjoyable little trip across the lake.
Today, the castle still stands watch over what has been voted one of France’s 100 most attractive cities. Visit in the spring or summer, and not only for the weather; the town is well-known for its flower-lined cobblestone lanes and beautiful gardens.
Head to Montreux for another trip back in time, where the famous Chillon Castle juts out till it appears to float on the lake. Take a guided tour to see life as it was for the Dukes of Savoy in the 11th century. After the tour, head to the little, quiet beach next to the castle for a fantastic picnic location.
Don’t feel terrible if you don’t know anything about Swiss wine, that’s how it’s meant to be since Switzerland notoriously exports just approximately 1% of its wine, ensuring that the greatest bottles stay in the country. The UNESCO World Heritage terraced vineyards of Lavaux are one of the largest, and most breathtakingly beautiful, wine areas in Switzerland. Mostly white grapes, including Switzerland’s renowned chasselas, are planted in terraced rows that reach from the lake’s banks to the high slopes above.
Take a walk through the vineyards from Lutry to Saint Saphorin and all the towns in between, pausing to drink a glass of crisp chasselas along the way.
The Purest Water on Earth
The spring water brand Évian is well-known across the world, but nothing beats drinking it straight from the source, the town that lends the bottled version its name. Évian-les-Bains is a lovely coastal town in its own right, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and, of course, spas to warrant a visit.
After the construction of the first mineral baths in 1824, Évian quickly became a popular destination for European spa vacations. The Cachat spring catapulted Évian to international prominence, owing largely to its curative powers. For example, the Baron of La Rochette stated that soaking in its waters healed him of a strange disease. You don’t even have to buy it, all you need to do is simply fill up your own bottles at one of the town’s fountains.
Since the 1960s, Lake Geneva has hosted some of the world’s most major music events, including the Montreux Jazz Festival, which has been home to some of the biggest names in jazz, blues, soul and rock.
Another famous summer event is Paléo, one of Europe’s largest open-air festivals held in Nyon every July. Keep an eye out for a magnificent fireworks show over the lake at the end of the six-day festival. If large, crowded festivals aren’t your style, then you might want to try the smaller, more intimate festivals which are hosted in neighbouring lakeside towns such as Hermance and Cully.