A tour of Lake Geneva is a good idea for a car holiday destination. The lake can be reached at its fastest in just a few hours, but it can be used for a whole week, as there is plenty to see from the wine slopes to the mountains and medieval towns.
Tour the beautiful downtown and old town
Exploring Geneva is a good place to start by exploring the city center and the old town. Stroll along the boardwalk and admire the lake scenery, sit down for coffee and shop around the luxury streets of the clock blocks for window shopping. The most famous of Geneva’s city center landmarks is the Jet d’Eau fountain, which blows to a height of 140 meters. The area around Rue du Rhône is full of fashion shops selling expensive goods and watch stores at exorbitant prices. The center of the Swiss watch industry, Vallée de Joux, is located in the countryside near Geneva, making the city the location of many watchmakers.
If you want green recreation to balance the center of the stone houses, head to the botanical garden. It is ideal for a day walk or picnic all year round. The botanical garden also has a fine glass cactus house and a tropical greenhouse where the trees bear fruit even in winter. There is free access to both the garden and the greenhouses.
Geneva surprises as a shopping city
Despite its high price level, Geneva surprises as a shopping city. The supply is good and of high quality, and the Swiss way of trading does not involve any kind of coercion. The best places to shop can be found on the fine streets of the city center for those looking for luxury goods and at Balexert and Metro Shopping Cornavin for those looking for more ordinary shopping. From Geneva, it is also easy to go on a shopping trip to the French side at the cheaper ends. The selection of the neighboring town of Annemasse is plentiful and the journey there is short.
Cruise on Lake Geneva
A cruise on Lake Geneva is a cozy way to spend a day in the beautiful mountain scenery of the Alps. The enormous size of the lake is only really perceived when the ship is moving. The city of Geneva is located right at the western end of the lake and the city departs for both cruises and cruise ships on many different routes. The boat trip can be combined with a day trip to Lausanne, Nyon or the French Yvoire. Of these, Yvoire is perhaps the most interesting and idyllic. Its small medieval center has retained its historic look and the summer day is comfortable admiring the landscape, wandering the shops and enjoying the offerings of the terraces.
Outdoors in the Alps or the Jura Mountains
Geneva itself is located on the plains, but the nearest mountains are only a short drive away. The Alps rise on one side of the city and the Jura Mountains on the other. Chamonix and Mont-Blanc, for example, are only about an hour away. The nearest mountain and a popular outdoor destination for the townspeople is Mount Salève, where many Geneva residents head to the hustle and bustle of the city on weekends and evenings. On the French side, about twenty kilometers from the center, the mountain rises to an altitude of 1,379 meters. You can get up either by hiking or by the easiest route from the cable car from Etrembières, which runs from April to October.
Visit the wine regions
The northern part of Lake Geneva is a historic wine-growing area that produces, for example, very good white wines. In the Nyon region, on the slopes rising in the direction of the Jura Mountains, lies the La Côte wine region, which includes a series of small villages that are great for walking or cycling. The heart of La Côte is the villages of Begnins, Luins and Vinzel.
Another wine region of Lake Geneva, east of Lusux between Lausanne and Montreux, has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status due to its fine scenery and millennial history. Already the Romans cultivated wine on the steep slopes of Lavaux. You can explore the Lavaux area in the villages of Lutry and Cully, for example.
THE BEST OF GENEVA
The small village of Luins is located in the La Cote wine region on Lake Geneva.
Experience these in Geneva
- Walking the promenades
- Botanical Garden
- Cruise on Lake Geneva
- CERN visit
- UN visit
- Take a day trip to any nearby mountain
The most beautiful beach towns on Lake Geneva
Taste at least these in Geneva
- Chasselas wine
- Cheese fondue
- Filets de Perche, Lake Geneva perch fillets
- Tomme Vaudoise cheese
- Vacher’s Mont d’Or cheese