Lake Geneva is the largest freshwater lake in Western Europe, and arguably the most romantic for having inspired so many artists.
At an altitude of 372 m, the largest of the Savoie Mont Blanc lakes offers landscapes with Riviera atmospheres. A link between France and Switzerland, it has a temperate climate favorable to southern vegetation. Its 53 km of French shore follow the valleys of the lower Chablais and are home to two spa towns, Thonon-les-Bains and Evian-les-Bains. It has several names: Lake Geneva, Lake Geneva or Lake Geneva. On the French-speaking part of Switzerland, it extends over the Cantons of Geneva, Vaud and Valais. On the French side, its sunny shore borders the north of the department of Haute-Savoie. Labeled France Nautical Station 4 *, Thonon-les-Bains offers the practice of a multitude of nautical activities: sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, diving… With its natural sandy beach, Excenevex offers swimmers a little Mediterranean air. From Belle Epoque steamboats with paddle wheels, to more unusual means of navigation such as the solar shuttle or the « La Savoie » sailing boat, cruising on Lake Geneva is a real pleasure. For boaters, the ports of Thonon-les-Bains, Evian-les-Bains and the villages along the shore have many places reserved for visitors.
Classified as the “Most Beautiful Villages of France”
On the heights of Thonon-les-Bains, the castle of Ripaille retraces the time of a visit, the history of the first Duke of Savoy. At the port of Rives, the eco-museum presents the different fishing techniques. In Evian, the walker discovers the Villa Lumière, and the Cachat spring. Further east, the medieval village of Yvoire, classified as the “Most Beautiful Villages of France”, is home to a plant labyrinth, the Garden of the Five Senses. The villages on the shores of Lake Geneva each have their own character: Chens-sur-Léman and its castle, Nernier steeped in literary and artistic memories, Amphion les Bains where Anna de Noailles spent part of her childhood, or the fishing village of Miellerie. LePré Curieux in Evian, a garden devoted to the protection of water, presents water lilies and aquatic plants. To Publish, the Dranse Delta Nature Reserve is home to many species: tits, herons, beavers…
Natural minera waters
In Thonon-les-Bains, the Ripaille estate arboretum houses exotic plants. The Bois de Ville forest, ideal for walking, stretches between Thonon and the Hermones massif. Not far from there, in Sciez, the Eagles of Lake Geneva offer many shows : flight of birds of prey, medieval tournament, tales and legends… In Yvoire, the area of Châtaignière and Rovorée form a whole conducive to contemplation. Lake Geneva is famous for its spas. Aristocratic and international holiday resorts during the Belle Epoque, Evian-les-Bains and Thonon-les-Bains offer fitness stays allowing you to enjoy the setting in complete relaxation. Both towns each produce natural mineral waters that bear their names. Perch, the emblematic fish of Lake Geneva, can be eaten on the terrace by the lake. Two restaurants are rewarded by the Michelin Guide: Ô Flaveurs 1* in Douvaine and Les Fresques 1* in Evian. Gastronomy is linked to the Chablais terroir, with its recipes based on Abondance cheese. Wine from the south shore, made mainly from the Chasselas grape variety, produces recognized crus: Ripaille, Crépy, Marignan and Marin.