Lake Geneva region
On the one hand, it is the glitziest region of Switzerland, glazed by the waters of the main local attraction, Lake Geneva. Here, as on the cover of a magazine about luxurious life, there are all its attributes: yachts, palm trees and magnificent palaces-villas, and above all this wealth towers snow-covered, as if diamond crumbs, mountain peaks. On the other hand, there is no room for pompousness and pompousness. In fact, if you look under the very glamorous cover, you will find a quite democratic region of amazing diversity.
The canton of Vaud (Lake Geneva Region) is located in the southwestern part of Switzerland, where the French language is spoken, between Lake Geneva and Lake Neuchâtel. This region is made for vacationing. Thanks to the proximity of the airport of Geneva and a well-developed network of public transport it is easy and convenient to get here.
The region boasts a wide variety of accommodation, from five-star luxury palace hotels to cosy apartments with friendly hosts.
Switzerland is a very diverse place, with everything from the Alpine highlands to the lakeside picturesque villages and old cities like elegant Montreux or Lausanne, the capital of the canton of Vaud.
The most distinctive feature of Lake Geneva region is its lifestyle. Festivals, concerts, sporting events, countless possibilities for outdoor activities, traditional cuisine, gourmet dishes and excellent wines, living traditions – these are only some of the attractions for tourists visiting this land of discovery.
The Year of Dance in Lausanne
How many cities in the world the size of the capital of the canton of Vaud can happily coexist with over 20 dance companies and several hundred dance schools of different styles? Dance from A (“Arabesque”, one of the basic poses in classical ballet) to Z (“Yablochko”, sailor’s dance) – look out for events within the Year of Dance, every tourist should be there!
The Bürl Collection at the Hermitage Foundation Lausanne
Around 50 selected masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism from the Bürl Collection will be presented to the public from 7 April to 29 October 2017 at the Hermitage Foundation Lausanne. These include paintings such as Claude Monet’s “Field of Poppies Near the Veuve,” Paul Cézanne’s “Boy in the Red Vest,” and Vincent van Gogh’s “Sower at Sunset. Admire works from the Bührle collection in the cozy atmosphere of a majestic 19th-century residence.
Villa Le Lacs is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and welcomes guests
Villa Le Lac is an architectural manifesto containing the main ideas of the program developed by Le Corbusier in the 1920s for the architect’s famous “white villas.” On July 17, 2016, this modernist masterpiece became the architect’s first project in Switzerland to be awarded UNESCO international heritage status. The Villa will be open from March 4, 2017 on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5 pm.
One of the largest freshwater museums opens in Lausanne
The Aquatis Museum, dedicated to freshwater and endangered animals, is preparing to open in Lausanne. It will be the largest of its kind in Europe and one of the largest museums of its kind in the world. The exhibition will show visitors 50 aquariums, an overview of 40 freshwater inhabitants and an interactive platform. The total area of the exhibition will be an impressive 6,000 square meters! The opening is scheduled for June 2017.
For lovers of the outdoors: an immersive nature experience on the Montreux Riviera
The Chauderon Gorge, just a few steps from the center of Montreux, offers visitors a complete change of scenery with steep cliffs, magical waterfalls and a riot of vegetation. The Grangettes Nature Reserve, the last protected wilderness on the shores of Lake Geneva, is a delight with its lush flora. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the hiking trails – such as the Dent de Jaman with its incredibly beautiful panoramic views.
App for exploring the vineyards of Vaud
A new smartphone app, Vaud:Guide, allows guests to discover magnificent estates and exceptional places in the canton of Vaud. Thanks to the routes described in detail in the app, guests will find the estates and get to know the winemakers and their wonderful products, simply by following the directions on the smartphone step by step. You can walk at any time of the year and at your own pace.
An itinerary for wine lovers: from the museum to the wine cellar
Vineyards are the pride of the Egl and Yvorn regions. For an insight into the culture and traditions of this beautiful region a walk along the “Vine Trail” is a must. It winds through the vineyards around the majestic castle Egl and on to Ollon and Bex. After a short walk through the vineyards, tourists will be interested in a guided tour of the Museum of Viticulture and Wine in the medieval castle of Egl. The next stop is in the cellar at the winery of the Emery family. Alan Emery, a fifth-generation winemaker, will be happy to show off his cellars near Egl Castle and invite guests to taste his family business’ products.
The Valrose Hotel 3* has reopened in Rougemont
The Valrose Hotel in Rougemont has been welcoming guests again since mid-December 2016. The complex itself was built back in 1904. Today, this historic 3* superior hotel includes: 12 rooms ranging in size from 20 to 30 square meters with bathrooms. The 70-seat restaurant consists of two halls and an adjacent café as well as a terrace with seating for 50 people and offers its guests traditional regional cuisine based on local products such as Etivaz cheese (Etiva).
The new hostel in Nyon is a great place for young tourists, students and families
A new option for quality accommodation for budget travelers, which can be a great alternative to traditional hotel offers! The hostel offers 128 beds in 27 bedrooms and rooms and 4 rooms for families and people with restricted mobility. The hostel has common areas and breakfast is included.
New Aquatic Complex in Villars
A new aquatic complex with swimming pools and spa opened in spring 2017 in Villar. Swimming and water activities include an indoor swimming pool, indoor and outdoor entertainment pools, an outdoor summer water slide and a heated all-season pool inside the complex. The spa complex has two hammams and two saunas, one with a panoramic view of the Alps.
Lake Geneva is one of the most beautiful places not only in Switzerland, but also in Europe. More than a dozen famous poets and singers of the past have been inspired by its waters. It is on the shores of Lake Geneva, in the small town of Montreux, where the world-famous jazz festival is held every year. However everyone should visit this place regardless of musical preferences.
History of the origin and description of Lake Geneva
Since ancient times, the lake has attracted people from all over central and western Europe with its extraordinary climate and purity of its waters. Originally, the Romans called this body of water “Lake Leman”, but after the collapse of the Roman Empire, the name of the reservoir changed its sound many times. The French even skipped the word “lake” and simply called the reservoir Leman, shortening the name to a minimum.
Only in the 16th century the Swiss began to call the lake Lake Geneva, while in France (which owns a little less than half of the lake’s surface) the name “Lake Leman” is still used. Lake Geneva is the second largest freshwater reservoir in Europe, second only to Lake Balaton in Hungary. Its waters are considered some of the cleanest on the continent, but it was not always so.
In 1860, the level of pollution in the reservoir was so high that people were forbidden to swim in it, because it could be dangerous to life. Fortunately, people managed to stop the pollution, and 20 years later the lake regained the title of the cleanest body of water in Central Europe. The governments of both countries passed several bills to prevent the pollution of the lake.
Despite the fact that the surface of the lake is almost equally divided between France and Switzerland, more than 50% of the lake belongs to the latter. In Switzerland the lake is located on the territory of four regional structures, due to what it is called the “lake of four forest cantons”. Each of these cantons has at least one resort town.
The lake is of great historical importance to both the French and the Swiss. A number of historical sites are located on its shores, such as Chillon Castle, built in the XI century. Also on the French coast is a resort town called Evian-les-Bains, where the war between France and its colony of Algeria ended in 1962.
The waters of the lake have inspired many figures of science and culture. Lake Geneva was first mentioned in a literary work by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in his work Julie, or New Elosia. In this work, the famous Frenchman calls the lake not other than “the mirror of the soul”. Indeed, the waters in this spring have been famous for their purity for thousands of years and have inspired more than one generation of writers and other cultural figures.
The 19th-century Russian painter Mikhail Erassi was very fond of creating on the shores of Lake Geneva, and most of his works depict this particular natural site. It was for his landscapes of Lake Geneva that Erassi was awarded by Emperor Alexander III the title of professor of the St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Sciences. The painter practically all his paintings
Perhaps the most outstanding work created by the waters of the lake is the immortal composition by Deep Purple, the name of which translates as “Smoke on the Water”. In 1971 the musicians of the British rock band witnessed a fire in the town of Montreux, located on the shore of the lake. When the smoke from the fire descended on the surface of the lake, the musicians saw a uniquely beautiful sight.
The lake is navigable, the Swiss side of navigation is carried out by five fleets. Shipping tourism is a separate feature of Lake Geneva, which should tell more about. First, the ships on this lake have a special style that distinguishes them from ships in the rest of the world. Secondly, from the deck of the ships on the lake there is an inexpressible view.
There are several varieties of ships that you can visit the tourist. If you want to enjoy not only the beautiful scenery of the Alpine mountains, but also to appreciate in all the beauty of Swiss, Italian or French cuisine, then you can go straight to the ships-restaurants, which are very numerous in the coastal cities. These dishes are prepared by professionals of culinary art.
Sailing enthusiasts flock to Lake Geneva from all over the world. The most prestigious competitions have been held on the water for half a century. The country is home to the best athletes in the sport. If you wish, you can try to take part in a sailing regatta yourself. However, this is not the only entertainment associated with ships and sailing, which is offered to tourists.
The lake is of particular interest to fans of underwater diving. The fact is that for more than a century of shipping on the lake, about 40 large ships sunk. Fans of diving will be interesting to observe the underwater world, as well as the state of the vessels at the bottom of the lake, under the supervision of experts. Special vessels will take wishing to almost anywhere in the lake.
Many new experiences will get fans of fishing, who have visited the lake. This lake is rich in numerous species of fish, but you can fish only in certain places, so as not to have problems with the law. It is possible to contact many companies which offer guidance and assistance to fishermen who decide to visit Lake Geneva. Information about the services are available on the websites.
How to get to Lake Geneva
Because one of the largest cities in Switzerland, from which the lake gets its name, is located on the shores of Lake Geneva, the best way to get to the lake is by plane. Upon landing at the airport of Geneva you have a beautiful view of Lake Geneva. You can get to the lake after arriving in Zurich, but in this case you have to get to the lake about three hours by train.
This type of travel has its advantage and the fact that during the trip you will see beautiful views of the Alpine heights. You can get to the French part either by train or by plane. If you like more mountain scenery, then you should visit the Swiss side of Lake Geneva, if the vineyards, then the French side.
When is the best time to visit Lake Geneva
The climate on the lake, thanks to the protection of the Alpine mountains from cold winds, is quite warm and you can vacation all year round. For fans of swimming and sunbathing on the beaches, the best option would be to visit these places in July and August, as the water in the lake is quite cold. This is the only place on the continent where you can sunbathe on the beach while admiring the snow-capped mountain peaks.
What a tourist needs to know when visiting Lake Geneva
Although German is the predominant language in Switzerland, the Lake Geneva area is dominated by French speakers. Keep this in mind. It is best to know a few key phrases and expressions in French and German. You should also know that the most popular resort communities on the shores of the lake are three cities: Lausanne, Montreux and Vevey.
Lausanne is most suitable for those who prefer to visit the cultural sites. There is a Gothic church, which is the largest in the country, as well as many cultural centers. Montreux is more suitable for fans of cinema, equestrian and hiking in the mountains. In addition, in this town there is an active nightlife, so a visit to Montreux is the best option for young people.
In a small town Vevey you can see the place where the famous Charlie Chaplin spent the last years of his life, as well as a monument to the fork, located in the middle of the waters of the lake. In general, this town will appeal to those who do not like noisy gatherings and crowds of people. Lovers of a quiet holiday can find here as beaches for swimming, and mountain hiking tours, in which you can visit the villages.
What else to see around Lake Geneva
Three kilometers from the coast, near the city of Montreux, there is a famous castle Chillon, which was the residence of the owners of these lands in the distant Middle Ages. Until now this building is one of the best examples of the Gothic style in Europe. Chillon Castle is mentioned in the poem “Prisoner of Chillon” by English poet Byron, because it was the main prison of this part of Europe in the past.
The Gé-Do Fountain, near Geneva, was built back in 1891, and is the first of the so-called “trickling fountains” in the world. According to local belief, it was created in order to eliminate excessive pressure in the water supply system of the city. The height of the fountain jet reaches 140 meters, which is one of the greatest achievements in the world among fountains of this type.
It is worth visiting the small Swiss villages, located on the shores of the lake, between the mountain foothills. Here are still preserved traditions of previous generations, as well as a wealth of experience in cheese-making and cooking. Many residents of these villages still wear traditional Swiss costumes and are engaged in cheese-making. The famous Swiss cheese originated in such villages.
Lake Geneva is one of the most beautiful places not only in Europe, but also in the world. Almost everyone who has visited the shores of Lake Geneva, talk about this place as something extraterrestrial, amazingly beautiful! The most surprising thing is how the Swiss and the French managed to keep the waters of the lake crystal clear in spite of the high level of development of industry in the region.
The abundance of activities and offers from local tourist organizations will definitely not let you get bored, no matter what your preferences are. It is safe to say that Lake Geneva is a win-win for any tourist and should be visited at least once in a lifetime. Although traveling to Switzerland and France is not the cheapest pleasure, the desire to visit the lake does not diminish.