Switzerland may be one of the most beautiful countries to visit in all of Europe, and if you’re planning to stay in this alpine nation’s second most populous city, Geneva, be sure to make time for one of these amazing day trips.
By boat, train, or car, you can quickly escape the city limits to get a better sense for Geneva’s place in the beautiful Swiss landscape. These are my three favorite outings if you’re looking for a short break from downtown Geneva.
Lakeside Vevey’s Amazing Market
Vevey may be one of the best kept secrets on Lake Geneva and, in my view, is probably the prettiest lakeside town. Visit on a Tuesday or Saturday and you’ll be treated to a fabulous market square (one of Europe’s largest), which is overflowing with local farmers, produce, florists, and Swiss artisans selling their wares. If you love to shop local, you’ll love the market which is located in the town center among the medieval and Belle Epoch-style buildings that define Vevey’s architecture. Flanked by snow-capped mountains, and dotted with verdant splashes of trees along the azure water of lake Geneva, this is a fantastic place for an outing.
Enjoy an Alpine Train Ride
For panoramic alpine views and an amazing perspective of the glittering lake below, take the train to Glion where you can board the Glion-Rochers-deNaye Railway. This scenic alpine train ride will take you to the top of the Rochers de Naye, where you’ll be treated to some of the best alpine views in all of Europe.
The summit also is home to the La Rambertia Alpine Gardens (a great place to stroll and enjoy the crisp alpine air during the warm season), and it’s a center for alpine skiing during the winter months. It’s an amazing way to spend a day outside of the city of Geneva, and to make your friends back home green with envy when they see the amazing photos you post on social media.
You’ll take a train or rent a car to drive from Geneva to the opposite end of Lake Geneva, where you’ll board your train.
Lose Yourself in the Classic European Vibes of Yvoire
Nestled on the tip of a small peninsula and flanked by the gorgeous snow-capped Savoy Alps, the town of Yvoire is the perfect place to lose a day in the unspoiled charm of Switzerland. The village’s medieval stone-paved lanes and perfectly preserved structures, complete with flowers cascading over ancient balconies transport you to a simpler time.
But today’s traveler will have plenty to do in this charming hamlet. Cafes, shops, and galleries await you at every turn, and the views of this Switzerland gem are worth the 40 minute drive North along Route de Thonon, which traces the southern bank of Lake Geneva.