One of the most picturesque regions in Europe, Lake Geneva stretches across the borders of Switzerland and France. Nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Alps and draped with vineyards and farmlands, the lake’s villages are dotted with spas, resorts, boutiques and chocolate shops. The European tourist cities of Geneva, Lausanne and Montreux all share the shores of Lake Geneva.
Things to do in Lake Geneva
Spend some time in the city of Geneva, nestled on the western shore, which exudes lakeside sophistication with its designer boutiques, Swiss chocolatiers and unique counter-culture. You’ll find many reasons to stay outside, whether hiking forested trails, water skiing on the lake or snowboarding at the surrounding mountains during winter.
The French-speaking Swiss Riviera curves along the east and north, beginning with Lausanne. Take some time to visit the Cathedrale de Notre Dame and Place de la Palud, a 9th-century market square in Lausanne’s Old Town. You can see the fine arts collection at Musee Cantonal des Beaux Arts and the Olympics tribute at Musée Olympique.
You’ll know when you hit Montreux by the spectacular Château de Chillon, a 13th-century fortress reached from the waterfront by Chemin Fleuri, a floral promenade meandering for four kilometres to the labyrinth of courtyards surrounding the fortress.
The areas of Montreux and Vevey harbour vineyards, wineries and cheesemakers, with plenty of chances to sip, sample and shop. The Musée de Montreux is a good place to explore the region’s history, showcasing Roman-era artefacts and period furniture.
Getting around Lake Geneva
Ferries and paddle steamers traverse Lake Geneva, offering a relaxing way to visit the small Swiss villages. The high-speed rail line runs through Geneva and Lausanne, with buses and taxis available for exploring the entire lake area. Rental cars are available if you want to travel to cities nearby.