Grand Dixence Dam is by far the most exciting, exhausting and beautiful hike that I have ever done. It is the tallest gravity dam in the world and is located just a few hours drive to the region of Valais (Sion). It offers several hiking routes that can last up to a full day and finish off in a nearby mountain village. The route I took, Les Dix, was only 4 hours, starting and ending at the same spot, beginning at 2,365m and reaching 2,804m. At one stage I felt my ears popping due to the fast ascend. During the hike up I saw amazing scenery, flowing streams and even a small melting glacier. Almost at the top there is a nice little cafe that serves great rosti, however make sure to have cash as they do not take cards! Reaching the peak is a must for photos, the scenery is like from a post card, and the descent is by no means disappointing, towards the end of the hike you pass through a long dark tunnel under the mountain before reaching back to the starting point (after taking over 400 photos, my battery had died and I was not […]READ MORE
The beauty of living in Geneva is that it’s so close to escape to the mountains and the stunning countryside around the city. One of the closest escapes which you can do in a half day is to drive to the Jura.
St Cergues is a small village on the Swiss side of the Jura, around 40 minutes from Geneva. (take the autoroute around 20 minutes, direction Lausanne then take the exit near Nyon and follow the signs).
There are some lovely hiking and biking routes in the area in both winter and summer.READ MORE
Just over an hour from Geneva up the Route des Grandes Alpes past Morzine lies the stunning Lac de Montriond, an ideal day trip from Geneva on a sunny day. The lake is also known as the Emerald Green lake. In the winter, under a thick blanket of snow you can drive past the lake unknowingly on your way to Les Prodains telecabine in the Portes du Soleil. In the summer this is a hikers paradise and you can also kayak, swim, bike, hike or simply have a bbq by the lake. There are also lovely waterfalls nearby and a visit to the goat farms of Les Lindarets is great for the children. In Winter you can go diving under the frozen ice of the lake… Check out more activities in the beautiful valley d’Aulps; http://summer.valleedaulps.com/montriond-lake-summer.html At the Restaurant Le Bout de Lac, you can enjoy local trout meuniere in a stunning setting on a sunny terrace overlooking the lake. www.leboutdulac.com Tél: 04 50 74 70 98 for reservations. Alternatively take a picnic or bbq and just sunbathe and relax. On a Saturday you can buy picnic supplies in Morzine or in the valley at Taninges (Super U). Remember to […]READ MORE
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
Depressed at the end of the ski season? An early season hike at one of the most beautiful areas around Geneva will cure the blues… Sixt Fer a Cheval is one of the stunning hidden places around Geneva in the French Alps, less than one hours drive away. The village was voted one of the most beautiful villages in France and the national park is one of the least populated areas in Europe. Head to Au Bout de Monde to start the hike. Best enjoyed in May when the snow melt causes a plethora of waterfalls cascading down the cliffs, it is the ultimate valley hike where you see majestic mountains and can enjoy a rich variety of fauna and flora. You can see Ibex, squirrels and rare birds here. An easy circuit can be completed in around one and a half hours or for a more challenging hike, an overnight stay in one of the refuges is recommended (open from June and remember to reserve in advance). From mid June to October; stay in Refuge de la Vogealle; www.refugedelavogealle.com In summer you can complete the route with donkeys or horse ride through the beautiful valley. There is a nice Buvette […]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
The first couple of winters I spent in Geneva I rarely went to the mountains. And I used to hate winter… Finally, one day I decided to listen to the common piece of advice you’ve probably already been given; Go above the clouds, get out, take some fresh air! If you feel like Geneva is too grey and you don’t get enough sun, then there are simple ways to make things better. Even if you are not into winter sports and you don’t ski or even snowshoe! Finding a terrace with a nice view, enjoying a glass of mulled wine or a nice meal is very easy! Even if you don’t have a car! So what is your excuse? A close by place is La Givrine, a small resort in the Jura. It is even accessible by train (with a connection in Nyon). It is just after Saint-Cergue. If you go by car, you will see a small car park on the right side of the road on the way to La Cure. If you take the train, get off at La Givrine. From there, you can walk up to Le Vermeilley, a nice restaurant. They have a chalet and a yourte […]READ MORE
How about going for a walk this week? Whether you want to stay in town or go in the country, Geneva offers a lot of options for short and easy walks. A really nice one is to go along the Arve River; It’s a good idea to take bus number 8 to Pont-Sierre to and begin from there to walk all the way back to Jonction. Or you go in the other direction and start from Jonction. Make sure you have good shoes, as it might get a bit muddy! You’ll be walking through forests and see great autumn-coloured trees; you will also go via Carouge. What I also find interesting is the colour of the water that keeps changing and all the birds you can observe if you are quiet enough. If you need a map you can find one here. The City of Geneva website has a list of 10 walks that are all quite fun to do, especially to discover or re-discover parks, museums and places you probably haven’t even noticed. I would start the day with breakfast before the walk but feel free to have brunch after your exercise! A good place is Chez Quartier, on rue […]READ MORE
It’s time to get some fresh air! Located between Lausanne and Montreux, Lavaux is a great place to admire the changing colours of autumn. You can enjoy a walk through the vineyards with a magnificent view on the lake and the mountains and, while you’re there, why not stop for a good lunch in one of the picturesque villages, or try some local wine in one of the many cellars? My recommendation is to go to Grandvaux and start your walk from there. How long you want to walk is really up to you! If you’re feeling more adventurous, then there is a nice hike from Saint Saphorin that goes all the way to Lutry – 11 kilometers in total, but you can stop at any point, if you get tired. There are yellow walking signs everywhere, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost!. The only issue when you go by train is that you’re dependent on its schedule. Trains run roughly every hour, depending on the village you are in, but make sure to check with the cff before you leave. If you don’t want to walk, you can also take the little Lavaux Express train that […]READ MORE