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Der Genfer See, Bild: Nyokki / shutterstock

Lake Geneva – a place that connects

Lake Geneva, or Lac Léman as it is called in French, is located between Switzerland and France. It thus connects both cultures and holds a variety of different facets and impressions. Art lovers will find many historic chapels and museums of various art movements in the old towns around the shores of the largest lake in Central Europe. Nature lovers will not only be thrilled by the unique mountain panorama that rises above the water. And if you just want to take a relaxing break, you will find numerous opportunities for long walks along the promenades, to lose yourself in the shopping paradises of the cities or to be enchanted by the gastronomic offer. Of course, the destination is particularly attractive for all water sports enthusiasts who can really let off steam on the lake.

Interesting facts about Lake Geneva

With 580 square kilometres of water, Lake Geneva holds the title of the largest inland lake in Central Europe. At the southwestern tip is the Swiss canton of Geneva, the north shore belongs to the canton of Vaud and a small part of the eastern south bank is attributed to the canton of Valais; the rest of the south bank is in French territory. With a holiday, you can experience different cities, cultures and ways of life, each of which has its own special features. At its deepest point, it goes down 310 meters, which also makes it the deepest lake in France. In addition to the Rhône and Dranse, other, smaller rivers such as the Venoge and the Aubonne flow into it. The largest and most famous cities along the coast are Geneva, Lausanne and Montreux.

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Geneva, the lake’s namesake

Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva (or Lac Léman), Image: Samuel Borges Photography / shutterstock

The city on the shores of the lake is Geneva, known above all as the cradle of watchmaking and the unofficial capital of the kingdom of chocolate. Tradition is very important here and nostalgia can arise in the streets at the sight of the historic buildings and rustic houses. The old town, which rises above the left bank, is dominated by the Cathedral of St. Pierre and is also home to the oldest square in the city, the Place du Bourg-de-Four.

Although French is the dominant language, as everywhere around the lake, Geneva is considered one of the most international cities in the world. Here, the quality of life is also said to be one of the best in the world, which is also noticeable in everyday things. The locals may seem a bit closed at times, but they have a very friendly and cheerful nature. You can feast on exquisite gastronomy right on the waterfront, enjoy an impressive performance in Geneva’s Grand Théâtre opera house or visit one of the many museums. For example, the Musée international de l’horlogie is a watch museum that presents the history and diversity of watchmaking in Geneva.

Lausanne – holiday region and lively cultural city

Lausanne, the capital of the Swiss canton of Vaud, picturesquely situated on three hills, impresses with a unique view. Standing on the shore of the lake, you have an unobstructed view of the Savoy Alps on the French side, which rise impressively above the water. This combination of snow-covered peaks and bright sunshine with sea flair make the city’s promenade an absolute highlight.

The city is home to a large number of historic, impressive buildings such as the cathedral, which is the focus of the cityscape as an early Gothic building. From the towers you have a wide view over the lake, the Alpine panorama and the surrounding towns. The palace hotels and associated parks also invite you to marvel and stroll. As far as art is concerned, the Olympic Museum is particularly noteworthy, where sports fans get their money’s worth. The Olympic Committee has been based here since 1914 and thus also attracts other major sporting events such as the Lausanne Marathon or the international athletics meeting “Athletissima”.

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Inspiring Montreux

A touch of the Mediterranean, a touch of poetry and a picturesque setting make the town of Montreux a real gem. The greats of show business such as Freddie Mercury and Prince were inspired here; Charlie Chaplin even spent the last 25 years of his life in this place. A museum, Chaplin’s World , has been set up for him, where his fans can walk in the footsteps of their hero.

The collection of famous visitors is not surprising, as the view and the southern climate invite you to dream of past passions and better days. A full schedule of the city with a number of cultural events allows the artistic spirit to live on even today. The most famous and popular is probably the Montreux Jazz Festival, which fills two weeks of summer every year with music and good humour. Here, world-famous stars of the jazz scene perform alongside newcomers and regional artists, creating a relaxed atmosphere in which you can indulge in the music and the cheerful mood.

Lake Geneva is as diverse and special as the individual regions that frame it. Whether it’s tradition and international enjoyment in Geneva, historic buildings and a great panorama in Lausanne or art and poetry in Montreux, everyone gets their money’s worth here.