For thousands of years now, Lake Geneva has attracted invaders and international travelers alike. The landscape is one of great geographical diversity. So much so, that it is oftentimes referred to as “Switzerland in miniature.” Key features are the countryside’s verdant green fields, the Jura’s serene wooded slopes, the lake’s peaceful shoreline, and of course you can’t overlook the Alps and their snow-covered peaks.
There are five primary cities around the lake that attract the largest amount of tourist traffic – Geneva, Lausanne, Nyon, Vevey, and Villeneuve. The area is just as popular a winter destination as a summer one with a wide array of attractions, events and festivals, nightlife, restaurants, and shopping to entice all types of international travelers. One thing about the restaurants and the cuisine – it is second to none and no matter where you choose to eat, chances are you won’t be disappointed.
There are so many activities that you can indulge yourself in (summer or winter) that you may find this somewhat challenging when it comes to planning your itinerary. Hopefully, the following will give you an idea of some of the more popular activities to get involved in while you are visiting Lake Geneva. These are all activities that you can partake in, not just attractions or events.
1. Lake Geneva Cruise
Cruises are offered on most all of Switzerland’s lakes and Lake Geneva is no exception. Of all the recommended activities here, this should be the #1 on your agenda. The lake usually comes to life in the summer months with countless sailboats everywhere you look. Sitting in the shadow of the Jet d’Eau, the large fountain that is situated where the lake empties into the Rhone River, this is the most famous landmark of the lake. The water jets 459 feet (140 meters) into the air.
2. Cycling Lake Geneva
This is not as strenuous as you might think and there is quite a variety of the types of cycling paths and trails that you can take on. In fact, there are roughly 2,050 miles (3,300 km) of trails that you can travel and most of them are fairly easy to deal with.
3. Hiking the Lake Geneva Region
With over 31,000 (50,000 km) miles of paths and trails, it will be hard to decide on which one you want to enjoy. Varying degrees of difficulty from leisurely to strenuous exist, so go at your own pace. Regardless, the scenery is spectacular and disappointment is non-existent. The Swiss Hiking Federation is always available for any information you need or questions that you may have.
4. Visit One of the Lake’s Health Spas
This is a definite recommendation, especially if you have spent the day cycling or hiking. The ones located at Arosa, Davos, Klosters, and St. Moritz are the most popular and suggested. The Geneva area has always been renowned for its health and recuperation venues, so no matter which one of these that you choose, you will be very pleased and refreshed by these state-of-the-art facilities.
Photo of Giant Fork in Lake Geneva, Switzerland by Lomyx