Geneva, famous for its banking and business, is actually a beautiful town overlooking the fascinating Lake Geneva and surrounded by towering mountains. It is certainly worth visiting this town but also its surroundings where enchanting villages stand out are no less.
Here the excursions that we suggest if you find yourself spending a few days in this Swiss city.
- Chamonix Mont Blanc
- Yvoire Castle and Botanical Garden
- Montreux and Chillon Castle
- Lavaux wine region
- User questions and comments
1 - Annecy
This French town that overlooks the shores of the lake of the same name is not too many kilometers from Geneva and is absolutely worth a visit. Nicknamed the "Venice of the Alps" due to the presence of the river and the canals that cross it, Annecy has a beautiful old town with typical pastel colored houses and stone bridges that make it very fairytale. To see the Palais de L'Ile, an ancient prison where today there is a museum, the Market and the Cathedral of San Paolo which dates back to the 500th century.
- Range: 39,3 km
- it is 39,3 km from Geneva; It can be reached in 45 minutes by car along the A1 / E25 / E62 towards France or by the "Flixbus" bus which departs from Gare Routiere in Geneva and arrives in the center of Annecy - Get directions. Organized tours with private buses and guides also depart from the Swiss city.
- The Palais de l'Ile is open from January to May and from October to December Wed-Mon 10: 00-12: 00 and 14: 00-17-00; June-September Mon-Sun 10: 30-18: 00. Organized tours depart in the morning from Geneva station on Place Dorciere and last 5 hours.
- Entrance to the Palais de L'Ile costs € 3,80; tours organized from Geneva cost € 55,00
- Annecy: half day trip from Geneva
2 - Chamonix Mont Blanc
Also in French territory on the border with Italy and not far from Geneva is Chamonix Mont Blanc, a mountain resort very well known also because here the high peak of Mont Blanc stands out.
Although the town is destination for skiers and sportsmen it is pleasant to walk along the streets of the historic center and do some shopping in the shops that sell typical products such as cheese, honey and cold cuts. Don't miss the ride with the "Aiguille du Midi" glacier cable car which in 20 minutes connects the center of Chamonix with the peak of 3.842 m. At the top you can enjoy a breathtaking view that sweeps across the French, Swiss and Italian Alps; to then have a view of Mont Blanc an elevator allows access to the summit terrace.
- Range: 82,4 km
- it is 82,4 km from Geneva; by car it takes 1 hour and 10 minutes along A40 / E25 / E712; flixbus leaves from Gare Routiere in Geneva and takes you to your destination in 1 hours - Get directions. Alternatively, you can join an organized tour that starts from Geneva.
- The cable car is open from May 1st to May 24th at 8: 10-17: 00; from 25 May to 14 June 8: 10-17: 30; from 15 June to 5 July 7: 10-17: 30; from 6 July to 25 August 6: 30-18: 00; from 26 August to 1 September 7: 10-17: 30; from 2-29 September 8: 10-17: 30; from 30 September to 3 November 8: 10-16: 30 (runs every 15 minutes). Organized tours depart in the morning and last approximately 9 hours
- The return trip by cable car costs € 50,00; children aged 5 to 14 and over 60 pay € 42,50. Tours organized from Geneva cost € 73,00
- Chamonix-Mont-Blanc: full-day tour from Geneva
3 - Yvoire Castle and Botanical Garden
Another nice excursion to do starting from Geneva is the one to the castle of Yvoire, in French territory, near Lake Geneva. This delicious fortification of the fourteenth century it is characterized by fortified walls, a keep and an ancient vegetable garden, the Jardin des Cinq Sens. The castle was built by the Count of Savoy Amedee V the Great to defend the village and more today it is a tourist destination of excellence. Do not miss the Garden of the five senses, a labyrinth with more than 1.300 varieties of plants consisting of 9 areas, 5 of which are dedicated to the sensory journey and winds through different scents.
- Range: 25 km
- 25 km from Geneva; reachable in 40 minutes by car following the road that skirts Lake Geneva the D1005 - Get directions. Alternatively, you can join an organized tour that departs from the Geneva bus station
- The castle and the garden are open from 12 April to 15 September Mon-Sun 10: 00-18: 30; from 16 September to 6 October 10: 00-17: 30. Organized tours depart in the morning and last 5 hours.
- € 12,00 full and € 7,00 reduced (castle and gardens). Tours cost € 73,00
- From Geneva: Yvoire Castle & Lake Geneva Cruise
4 - Bern
Capital of Switzerland, Bern is a city to visit absolutely; its historic center, a Unesco World Heritage Site, boasts 6 km of arcades and is one of the longest covered commercial walks in Europe. Not only that, in this town with a medieval atmosphere beautiful fountains, brick buildings, fairy-tale alleys stand out. To admire the city we suggest you reach the rose garden overlooking the Bear Pit, or climb the Cathedral tower. And then how not to mention the Paul Klee Center, Einstein's house, the Historical and Art Museum. Note the Ziberlemarit (the onion market), a popular festival that takes place every year on the fourth Monday of November.
- Range: 148 km
- it is 148 km from Geneva and can be reached in about 2 hours by car following the E25 / E62 / A1 direction Lausanne - Get directions. There are also direct trains that connect the two cities in 1 hour and 40.
- always accessible
- Bern: Walking Tour of the Old Town Bern Tour: Lust, Vice, Envy and Gluttony
5 - Lausanne
Surrounded by hills and vineyards and overlooking Lake Geneva, Lausanne is a beautiful Swiss town not far from Geneva. Very the pedestrian historic center is characteristic, with the imposing Gothic cathedral of Notre Dame, the cobbled alleys and medieval buildings. The Ouchy area is instead the seaside resort where you can take long walks or embark for trips on the characteristic boats. Finally, the numerous craft workshops, bistros and luxury hotels make it one of the most prominent tourist resorts.
- Range: 59,7 km
- 59,7 km from Geneva; it can be reached by car in 50 minutes following the E62 or by direct train in 35 minutes - Get directions. Organized private tours also depart from the bus station.
- Organized tours depart in the morning and last around 10 hours
- organized tours cost € 88,00
- From Geneva: Lausanne day trip and Montreux cruise Lausanne: Taste the Swiss city self-guided food tour
6 - Interlaken
Intelaken is a town in the Bernese Oberland located between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Starting from Geneva you have the opportunity to explore the area and admire the town dominated by 3 imposing peaks. The town, then, has a characteristic center, with a beautiful square characterized by the clock, some local gardens and an avenue that invites you to stroll and look at the numerous shop windows. Finally, if you want to enjoy a breathtaking view, take the Harder Kulm cable car which in 10 minutes will allow you to admire a magnificent panorama.
- Range: 178 km
- it is 178 km from Geneva, reachable by car in 2 hours and 30 following the E25 / E62 / A1 Lausanne and then the A6 Interleken. By train you need to change in Bern and it takes about 3 hours - Get directions. Alternatively, private tours are organized from Geneva which depart from the bus station.
- The cable car is open from June to October Mon-Sun at 9: 10-21: 40 every 30 minutes. The organized excursions start in the morning and last until the evening.
- The cost of the cable car is 32 CHF return (€ 30,00); 16 CHF reduced (€ 15,00). Organized excursions start from € 125,00
- From Geneva: Full-day trip to Interlaken
7 - Gruyeres
The Swiss town, known for giving its name to the famous cheese, is located in the western part of the country and is the perfect destination for a day trip from Geneva. At a height of 800 meters it is perched on a rocky spur from which it is possible to dominate the valley of the Sarine river. Very nice the historic center with buildings dating back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, to visit the museum dedicated to HR Giger and the important castle.
A visit to the Gruyere dairy is not to be missed a few kilometers from the town that from May to September, the period of the mountain pasture, allows tourists a visit with a final tasting.
- Range: 103 km
- It is 103km from Geneva and can be reached by car in 1 hour and 30 minutes following the E62 / E27 - Get directions Alternatively, private tours are organized departing from Geneva station that lead to the region and the town of GRuyeres and include a guided tour of the dairy.
- The castle is open from November to March 10: 00-16: 30; April-October 9: 00-18: 00. Organized tours depart in the morning and last around 10 hours.
- Admission to the castle is 10 CHF full (€ 9,00) and 8,5 CHF reduced (€ 7,20). Organized tours cost € 200,00
- Geneva: Gruyères Gold Tour with Train Ride & Tastings
8 - Montreux and Chillon Castle
A beautiful Swiss town on Lake Geneva, Montreux is characterized by a picturesque village surrounded by vineyards and mountains overlooking the deep blue waters.
During an excursion to this location you cannot miss the lakeside where there are several monuments, the historic center with the beautiful church of San Vincenzo and the much-visited Chillon Castle. This manor dates back to the th century and stands on a small island a few meters from the shore and is connected to the mainland by a covered passage. The interior with beautiful rooms, prisons, a crypt and the external patrol path from which you can enjoy a splendid panorama is worth a visit.
- Range: 75,7 km
- Montreaux is 75,7 km from Geneva and can be reached in 1 hour and 15 by car following the E25 / E62 / A1 (Get directions) to the castle while by direct train it takes 1 hour and 20 minutes - Get directions
- The castle is open April-September Mon-Sun 9: 00-19: 00; October 9: 30-18: 00; November-February 10: 00-17: 00; March 9:30 - 18:00.
- Admission to the castle is 12,50 full tickets (€ 11,00) and 6 CHF (€ 5,20) reduced tickets.
9 - Lavaux wine region
Lavaux, the wine region between Lausanne and Geneva, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to the beauty of the area characterized by raised vineyards that slope gently towards the lake. This enchanted place, dating back to the XII it is ideal for growing grapes since it is totally sunny and the surrounding walls serve as protection. The result is a fragrant white wine with an intense floral aroma that can be tasted during a visit to the cellar after having explored the territory.
- Range: 71,1 km
- it is 71,1 km from Geneva and can be reached by car in about 1 hour and 20 minutes - Get directions. Alternatively, private organized tours depart from Geneva that allow you to visit the beautiful countryside and some wineries
- Tours depart in the morning and last from a minimum of 2 hours to a maximum of one day
- The cost of an organized tour starts from € 90,00
- Recommended cards, tickets and tours. Geneva: Riviera Montreux, UNESCO Lavaux and optional cruise - Montreux: Lavaux Sightseeing Trolley tour from Vevey