Things to see and visit on Lake Geneva

January 30, 2015

Its official name is Lac Léman but pretty much everyone would rather call it Lake Geneva. With a surface area of 582,4 square kilometers, it’s the largest lake not only in Switzerland but in Western Europe. Here you can find so many and very interesting things to see.

First, there is obviously Geneva, a city with a secular history, great culture and entertainment. Among the places to see there are the "Jet d'eau", which is both the most famous monument of the city and the tallest fountain in the world, the rich historical center with more than thirty galleries and museums (the most outstanding one being the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum), the Reformation Wall, the Cathedral of St. Peter, the Grand-Rue, the Palais des Nations and the big national parks overlooking the banks of the lake.

From Geneva, you can go on a nice tour around the lake: moving east for a few kilometers you enter French territory and the medieval village of Yvoire, one of the most beautiful towns in France with its old houses made of stone and wood and decorated by cascades of geraniums on the walls. Then there are the beautiful Thonon’s coast and the town of Evian, famous worldwide for its mineral water. Shortly after, in the area of Meillerie, you can find numerous small pebbles beaches.

Villeneuve is located on the eastern end of Lake Geneva, in Switzerland territory, and nearby is the famous medieval castle of Chillon. The castle stands on a rocky island connected to the mainland by a covered wooden bridge. From here begins the most evocative part of the lake, which stretches from Montreux to Corseaux: in between there are Clarens, La Tour de Peilz and Vevey, the fairy-tale town where the mortal remains of the legendary Charlie Chaplin rest. Montreux is one of the great capitals of music in Europe: the Montreux Jazz Festival is annually held here and this city is home to the Mountain Recording Studios, once owned by the band Queen. Freddie Mercury also decided to spend his last years in this city.

From Montreux you can move towards the northern part of the lake, where Lausanne is. The city’s most beautiful places include the Cathedral, which offers a stunning panoramic view, the Palais de Rumine, which contains works by Cézanne, Renoir and Matisse, and the port of Ouchy with the three adjacent squares, crowded meeting places for both tourists and residents. Along the road from Lausanne to Geneva it’s recommended to visit the mighty castle of Morges, the small village of St. Prex, a gem mostly unknown to mass tourism, and Nyon, on whose territory stand two castles and important Roman ruins.

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