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Where can you find cosmopolitan cities, dramatic mountain peak views, Alpine valleys and breathtaking vineyards? The Lake Geneva Region, that’s where

Description: The Lake Geneva Region

The Lake Geneva Region

One of the world’s most famous lakes, Lake Geneva, needs little introduction. Over the years, the glittering Swiss lake has been home to Hollywood royalty including Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin and David Niven, and the inimitable Coco Chanel. Today, a virtually unparalleled constellation of Michelin-started restaurants, sumptuous hotels, prestigious health clinics and opulent boutiques continues to draw the world’s most stylist people to the shores of Lake Geneva.

However, there is far more to the larger Lake Geneva Region than even those already familiar with the chic city of Geneva might realize. This diverse region encompasses several distinct environments: cosmopolitan cities such as Lausanne, Montreux and Vevey; charming old villages and historic chateaux; picturesque vineyards and Alpine meadows; spectacular, pristine mountains; and countless lakes, rivers, gorges and waterfalls.

Description: Lausanne Festival

Lausanne Festival

One thing unites locals around Lake Geneva: a love for fine food and wine. Whether you plump for fish fresh from the lake, served with Chef Violier’s signature Dézaley chervil velouté at the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant Hotel de Ville in Crissier (just one of the area’s 13 Michelin-starred restaurants) or a hearty croute au from age in a mountain refuge, you won’t be disappointed, particularly if you wash down your food with a glass of crisp local Chasselas.

While Lake Geneva’s restaurants invariable source fresh, local produce, it’s hard to beat one of the region’s gourmet walking routes for simple, authentic dishes. Following clearly marked, scenic paths you’ll pass the fields, farms and vineyards where the celebrated local cheeses, cold meats and wines are crafted, stopping for tastings at markets and welcoming inns along the way.

Description: Lavaux Vineyard

Lavaux Vineyard

Oenophiles will be pleased to learn that there are also several dedicated wine walks in the Lake Geneva Region, including one which explores the celebrated Lavaux vineyards. These ancient terraced vineyards, which unfurl uphill from the shores of Lake Geneva, have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in recognition of the living “culture landscape” they represent, testimony of the unique collaboration of monks, farmers and artisans who created these intricate, suspended wine gardens.

Gather together a picnic in the medieval town of Lutry before starting your exploration on foot. The walk will take you through the hamlet of Chatelard and up steep vineyards to Montagny Castle before stopping for a well-deserved lunch at the stunning Chemin des Echelettes viewpoint in the village of Aran, which affords sweeping views across Lake Geneva and the towering mountains beyond it. Pressing on through the narrow, atmospheric streets of Grandvaux, you’ll descend to the pretty town of Cully, from where you can look back at Lavaux’s steepest vineyard, Dézaley.

Description: Lavaux’s steepest vineyard, Dézaley

Lavaux’s steepest vineyard, Dézaley

It’s also possible to soak up the views of vineyards, lakeside villages, snow-capped peaks and pretty castles from the sun-kissed decks of a splendid Belle Epoque paddle-wheeler boat. Eight of these beautifully restored ships navigate their way serenely around Lake Geneva, each equipped with an excellent restaurant, making for an utterly idyllic day out.

For more urban delights, head for the bright lights of Lausanne, a city which bristles with fascinating museums, art galleries, theatres, exclusive boutiques and festivals.

Description: Wine Tasting in Lavaux

Wine Tasting in Lavaux

For a peaceful stroll, amble along the lake promenade from Montreux – turn left to reach the turreted Château de Chillon, perched strategically on a rocky outcrop in the lake, or turn right to follow the palm-tree and flower-adorned path to Vevey, one of the pearls of this “Swiss Riviera”

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