June is the perfect time to visit Lake Annecy before the summer crowds arrive. Fifteen minutes drive away from the centre of Annecy (around 1 hour from Geneva) there are the lovely resorts of Menthon Saint Bernard and its more famous neighbour Tailloires with its Michelin starred restaurants and stunning lakeside promenade. In Menthon, the 13th Century Chateau looms over the village. It is said to be one of the finest residences in the Geneva region, owned by the Menthon family. There are lovely walks through the forest above the lake and the Chateau is worth a visit for its spectacular setting and breathtaking views down the lake. There are many weddings both here and in the Palace de Menthon hotel (featured below). From May to September you can take a guided tour (Reserve in advance); www.chateau-de-menthon.com/en/index.php You can either just visit the exterior grounds of the Chateau or view the interior. If the weather is good, you can also take nice walks through Menthon down to the waterfront. The imposing hotel Palace de Menthon boasts two excellent restaurants for lunch. Le Viu which is inside the main hotel and The Palace Beach which has a lovely position next to […]READ MORE
If you fancy a spot of brunch this Sunday and want to escape central Geneva why not head out to O Calme in Carouge? This cozy little place on Rue Ancienne is quite deceiving when you first walk in.READ MORE
I live in Nyon, in the canton of Vaud, and am often surprised at how little the “Genevois” really know of the small lakeside town of nearly 20’000 inhabitants. I have, however, heard many exclamations such as: “you live in Nyon? But that’s miles away!” – when it is only 13 minutes by train from Geneva, and about 20 minutes by car. Actually, to be realistic, you easily spend more time trying to cross the centre of Geneva in traffic. And when I worked in Geneva – this realisation definitely put things into perspective and comforted me in my daily commute. Every so often, even just for half a day, it feels good to get away from Geneva and explore the surroundings. And Nyon has quite a few (hidden) treasures waiting to be discovered – or at least more than the events/activities generally associated with the town by those that claim to be somewhat familiar with Nyon. These generally include Paleo Festival, the huge outdoor music festival that takes place in July every year, Visions du Réel, the International Film Festival – and yes, not to be forgotten of course – Nyon is also home to the UEFA headquarters. But […]READ MORE
Samoens is a stunning Medieval style village, only 50 minutes from Geneva in the French Alps.
It’s well worth a day trip, has a lovely main square and is famous for stone sculptures. You can visit the Botanical Gardens above the village or take stunning walks along the River Arve or by the lakes in the valley. There are also fantastic mountain hiking and biking routes in Spring/Summer and Autumn.
Hopefully spring and its good weather will be with us this month! So how about heading to Hermance, a beautiful medieval village on the lakeshore? Considered one of the many Swiss heritage sites, the place is very pretty, kind of fairytale-like, well-maintained and spring is the perfect time to go see the flowers blooming. If you fancy a gastronomic meal then choose L’Auberge d’Hermance. A degustation menu with 7 dishes should work! They provide good service on a beautiful terrace. For something more simple, head to La Croix Fédérale where you will find the famous filets de perche from the lake. Make sure to have the moelleux au chocolat for dessert. The terrace is also lovely and it’s on nice little street. The beach won’t be open yet at this time of the year but make sure to go again in the summer. Especially in August when they have their jazz festival (Jazz Sur la Plage). In any case, strolling around the village and on the lakeshore is definitely a nice Sunday outing. Also try to go up the hill to see the view of the village and the lake! You can get there with the E bus. From Rive […]READ MORE
If you haven’t been up the Salève in winter yet, don’t miss the opportunity before the snow is gone ! You can go sledging, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. If you prefer just to enjoy a short walk and a nice meal it’s also possible. The Salève is the closest mountain from Geneva, right across the border. Right now the cable car is unfortunately closed till April so you need a car to go up unless you fancy hiking. In that case take bus 8 to Veyrier and start from there. You can join a free guided hike every Sunday (leaving from Veyrier Douane bus stop at 10am). Make sure you have the right clothing. You don’t need to register. Expect a long hike (5 to 8 hours). Otherwise La Croisette (in Muraz) is probably the best place to start from. To get to La Croisette you need to drive through Collonges-Sous-Salève and via to Le Coin. At the top you will find the Auberge des Montagnards with a big terrace with a great view. Cheese dishes and blueberry pies expect you. You can’t book so get there early if you want more than a hot chocolate. More websites on the Salève: Information […]READ MORE
Do you ever explore Geneva outskirts? I am talking about the small communes that are not too far away from the centre. They have the kind of countryside touch and atmosphere without being quite the country yet. Do the names Lancy, Bernex, Onex, and Cartigny ring a bell? You can just hop on a train or a bus/tram and have a nice little stroll around. The closest and most accessible path is probably in Les Bois de la Bâtie, in Petit-Lancy. You can start your walk up from the route des Péniches (near Jonction). You’ll get a nice view on the Arve and all of Geneva on a sunny day. In this cold weather you’ll see stalactites on the rocks. You’ll probably also see many joggers. It’s a nice quiet little forest. If you have kids the animal park there will delight them: birds of all kinds, marmots, mountain sheep, goats and hares expect you. If you are looking for peace and quiet the forest and stream setting will certainly do! The visit is free as well. If you want to have a good lunch, I would recommend Café de la Tour, which offers traditional meals (and yes it is […]READ MORE
How about being really lazy for once? After all since I started writing this section I’ve taken you out a lot… even for walks and all… I guess I am more of an active person… But sometimes it feels so good to simply do… nothing! So how about spending the day in bed? Watch some DVDs? Read a book? How many times have you dreamt of having breakfast served in bed? And how many times did it actually happen? The company Ptit Dej O Lit might well have the solution. Whatever you fancy, it’s most likely that they have it. They even have gluten free products for those of you who are intolerant to it. I’m hungry just scrolling down the list of pastries… And this way you don’t have to fight with your partner over who is going to prepare breakfast. You still have to open the door though! Biskotti hasn’t tried their service yet so please let us know what you think! They work with local people to get fresh products so that’s already a plus! They deliver everyday, even on Sundays and Bank holidays, another good point for them! Just go online, and order everything you want the day […]READ MORE
Some of you might be looking forward to the end of winter already. There are some traditions that remind us that spring will soon be here. I hope you all made crepes last Saturday for Crepes Day (Chandeleur on February 2). It’s the day that opens the Carnival season! Fat Tuesday (Mardi-Gras) is on February 12 this year and there are opportunities to get dressed and have fun everywhere in Switzerland. So how about joining the Carnival in Monthey or Fribourg this Sunday? Both carnivals are on from Friday, February 8 until Tuesday, February 12. Monthey is a small town in Valais, about 85 kilometres from Geneva (if you take the train it will take you longer than going to Fribourg though). The program for Sunday includes some live music with various concerts, a big aperitif and a parade. The festivities start at 11am, the parade starts at 2:30pm and there will be a confetti battle at the end (around 4:30pm). Check this video for an idea of what to expect! The program is quite similar in Fribourg, which is about 140 kilometres from Geneva. The city is a bit bigger, but don’t expect the same kind of event that […]READ MORE
When I tell you that some of the best things in Geneva are hidden… Here is a typical example; Do you know Le Brunch Club ? If you are desperate for a real brunch, or even better a real English breakfast, you should definitely check it out. Every Sunday, Juliette and her team put together traditional Sunday brunch dishes at the cosy Café du Clos. Like me – and you probably – after living abroad, Juliette had been trying all kind of Sunday brunch places in Geneva for a while when she realized even though some places are pretty good, there was always something missing. It was not exactly like in London or in the US and I’m sure you’ll agree to that. Or it’s utterly expensive. So because if you want something done, sometimes it’s better to do it yourself, Juliette came up with this great concept. The idea is to make brunch in different places that are usually not open on Sundays and that people don’t necessarily know. She started in December last year and so far she has settled in Café du Clos. But who knows where she will take us next! In any case, Café du Clos […]READ MORE