Introducing Lake Geneva & Vaud
East of Geneva, Western Europe's biggest lake stretches like a giant liquid mirror between French-speaking Canton de Vaud (pronounced Voh; Waadt in German) on its northern shore and France to the south.
Known to most as Lake Geneva, to Francophones (except some in Geneva!) it is Lac Léman. Lined by the elegant city of Lausanne and a phalanx of pretty smaller towns, the Swiss side of the lake presents the marvellous emerald spectacle of tightly ranked vineyards spreading in terraces up the steep hillsides of the Lavaux area. These grapes and those grown to the west of Lausanne produce some fine tipples and it is possible to visit some caveaux (cellars). Modest beaches, often backed by peaceful woodland, dot the lake, and around Montreux the climate is mild enough for palm trees to thrive.
Jutting out over the waters of the lake near Montreux is the fairytale Château de Chillon, the first of many that await exploration a short way inland.
Lake-lovers can head north to Yverdon-les-Bains, which sits on the southern tip of Lac de Neuchâtel and offers the chance to relax in tempting thermal baths.
At its southeast corner the canton rises into the magnificent mountain country of the Alpes Vaudoises (Vaud Alps), a hikers' paradise in spring and summer, and skiers' haven in winter. Those addicted to the white stuff can even indulge in moderate summer skiing across the impressive Les Diablerets glacier.
In July, music rocks the lake with Montreux's international jazz get-together and Nyon's multifaceted Paléo music fest.
Lake Geneva & Vaud destination guides
Day Trip to Lausanne, Montreux and Château de Chillon
Explore the beautiful Swiss cities of Lausanne and Montreux on this relaxing and scenic day trip from Geneva. You'll drive through the beautiful Swiss countryside, enjoy free time in Lausanne and Montreux, and take a guided tour of the famous Château de Chillon, a stunning castle that sits on Lake Geneva.
Christmas at Montreux and Chillon
Get in the Swiss holiday spirit on this day trip from Geneva to Montreux, where you can browse and buy gifts at the Christmas Markets. You’ll also take a guided tour of Château de Chillon, a beautiful lakeside castle. On the way to Montreux, enjoy the drive through the beautiful Swiss countryside that surrounds Lake Geneva.