Lake Geneva & French Switzerland
Lake Geneva, in the southwest and French-speaking corner of the country, is the Swiss Riviera. Separating France and Switzerland, the lake is surrounded by Alps and lined with a collage of castles, museums, spas, resort towns, and vineyards. Elegant French-style villas — with pastel colors, frilly balconies, and characteristic mansard roofs — give it an air of gentility. Its crowds, therefore, are understandable. Explore the romantic Château de Chillon, fun, breezy Lausanne, and stylishly syncopated Montreux. Delve into the nearby French Swiss countryside, which offers up chocolates, vineyards, Gruyère cheese, a mountaintop glacier, and a fine folk museum.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ Château de Chillon Medieval castle perched romantically on eastern shore of Lake Geneva, with climbable ramparts, damp dungeons, and literary history.
▲▲ Lausanne Twisty, 3-D city stretching up a steep hill from the lakefront, with pleasant old town, plenty of sights — most notably the Olympic and Art Brut museums — and easy boat and train connections to the surrounding area.
▲▲ Gruyères Storybook small town overlooking dreamy countryside; nearby sights give you a glimpse into folk culture and cheese- and chocolate-making.
▲▲ Taveyanne Remote cluster of tiny chalets, near the majestic mountaintop Glacier des Diablerets.
▲ Montreux Relaxed lakeside resort offering few sights — just sublime views of the misty lake and cut-glass peaks, and immediate access to the Golden Pass and Chocolate Train scenic rail lines.