Travel planning help for the Lake Geneva region

Travel planning help for the Lake Geneva region

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JulieG
JulieG
3 posts
new member
Mar 4, 2018 - 5:07 PM

Hi,

My Husband and I will be flying to Geneva Airport on 30th August 2018 (returning 7th September) and I am a little overwhelmed trying to find the best places to stay/visit and relevant travel tickets.

We won't be hiring a car, so will be relying on public transport throughout. We are trying to be sensible and are looking around the Lake Geneva area to stay for a few nights and then a few nights in Evian (France). We have never been hiking / skiing before, so are looking for somewhere that is picturesque, easy to get around on foot and not too expensive.

Also, what travel pass / options do we have to travel to Evian (France)?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as we literally don't know where to start!

Many thanks,

Julie

Lucas
Lucas
5490 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 4, 2018 - 5:36 PM in reply to JulieG

Hi JulieG and welcome to MySwissAlps!

If you are staying in the Lake Geneva region, the Regional Pass - Lake Geneva is your best bet. Though it won't cover trips in France, it will cover the boat trip on Lake Geneva to Evian at least. :) Click here for a PDF map of the coverage areas.

The Eurail Select Pass would cover you both in Switzerland and France. I'm not sure if it would be worth it - it depends on how much travel you do in both countries. You can read through our page here on How to choose the best rail pass for help on doing math to compare costs.

For ideas on what to do in the Lake Geneva region have a read through this link: https://www.myswissalp s.com/southwestswitzer land to get you started.

JulieG
JulieG
3 posts
new member
Mar 4, 2018 - 5:45 PM in reply to Lucas

Dear Lucas

Sincerest thanks for coming back to me so quickly and for providing all your advice, that is really helpful, thank you!

1960man
1960man
164 posts
active member
Mar 5, 2018 - 12:45 AM

Part of my close family has been resident in the Geneva area since 1947, and I've spent 57 years travelling to and around the Lake Geneva area. Your phrase 'relying on public transport' sounds like it's a chore, but of course in Switzerland it is far from a chore to use the totally integrated public transport system. A stark contrast to nearby France! For example in the Jura mountains overlooking Lake Geneva, if you are on the Swiss side of the border, there can be a train or bus every 30 minutes throughout the day; go as little as a mile across the border into France and there may well be no public transport service at all!

I agree with Lucas, the Regional Pass would get you to plenty enough pretty places in the time you have available. Like most of the Swiss public transport travel passes, some routes are free, but on some local and mountain railways the pass only gives you 50% off, so watch out for that.

However, the Lake Geneva pass gives free travel on at least 5 of the area's famous mountain railways, so you probably won't have time to do all of them!

Note that, as Switzerland is a small country, you can reach all the locations served by the Lake Geneva pass in a day trip from Geneva. Also, as you can see from the map, the pass gives free travel on the lake boats so you can travel between French ports using the pass.

A general tip is that it is likely to be cheaper to stay in France than in Switzerland. You could stay in Evian and 'commute' daily by boat to Switzerland, or stay in one of the French towns that surround Geneva, and are linked to central Geneva by Transports Public Genevois.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3346 posts
expert
Mar 6, 2018 - 2:01 AM in reply to 1960man

Hello 1960man and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

Interesting info which I have stored away for my next Swiss visit which will definitely include the "French side".

JulieG
JulieG
3 posts
new member
Mar 6, 2018 - 3:20 AM in reply to 1960man

Hi 1960man

Thank you so much for providing so much information, that is so helpful and I really appreciate you taking the time to reply to my message.

Will definitely look into staying in Evian and commuting to Switzerland.

Sincerest thanks,

JulieG

Peterli
Peterli
396 posts
top member
Mar 6, 2018 - 5:27 AM

Another place on the French side of the Léman that you might consider as a base is Yvoire, which dates back to 1306, and which beats Évian hands-down for its beauty. From Yvoire there are very frequent boat connections to Nyon on the Swiss side. The ride takes only about twenty minutes, since Yvoire is on the smaller part of the lake (called the 'petit-lac'). The boat trip from Lausanne to Evian takes thirty-five minutes, as this is over one of the widest parts of the lake. Here is the Spring timetable of la Compagnie Générale de Navigation: www.cgn.ch/media/34528 6/affiches-horaire-printemps-a2_def.pdf It also has a map of the various connections that can be made. You can also go from Yvoire to Lausanne, although less frequently then to Nyon. To see how beautiful Yvoire is, just go to Google Images and type in two words; Yvoire France and you will see what I mean, I promise ! Here is the website of Yvoire: www.yvoire-france.com/

If you get a really nice day and like cruising on the Léman, the section that I like the best is from Lausanne east, pulling into the quays of small communes with delightful names (when properly pronounced) like Pully, Lutry, Cully, Rivaz, Vevey, Montreux, and you can even get off at the Château de Chillon.

Of course, trains running along the lake are very frequent so it is never a problem to get back to Lausanne or Nyon and then back across the lake to France. The attached map shows the short walk from the Nyon train station through the old part of the city (Vieux-Bourg) to the CGN quay.

Last modified on Mar 6, 2018 - 5:39 AM by Peterli
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Peterli
Peterli
396 posts
top member
Mar 6, 2018 - 5:49 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi Rockoyster:

<<... my next Swiss visit which will definitely include the "French side".>> I'm glad that you still have the intention to include the French side when you make your next trip to la Suisse. I hope that you intend to visit beyond the shores of the Léman, in Vaud, Fribourg, Neuchâtel (of course), Jura, the Bernese Jura and also the Valais. I mention this because I find that many parts of French Switzerland (Romandie) don't get much coverage on this website. I can also say the same about the Ticino although Arno assures me that this is going to change.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3346 posts
expert
Mar 6, 2018 - 6:14 AM in reply to Peterli

Hello Peterli,

Yes, I will indeed attempt to do the "French side" justice. Gathering bookmarks and info all the time.

Ticino I loved.

Peterli
Peterli
396 posts
top member
Mar 6, 2018 - 7:05 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hello Rockoyster,

If you let us know what your interests are, I for one would be happy to give you some suggestions for a visit to "the French side". There will be many opportunities for you to use your DSC-HX50V !

PS: In the new thread "Road advice, Lucerne to Brunnen in May" I put in a little question for you and Slowpoke and any of the Swiss residents. I thought I'd mention it here in case you don't look at that thread.

Last modified on Mar 6, 2018 - 7:28 AM by Peterli
rockoyster
rockoyster
3346 posts
expert
Mar 6, 2018 - 8:45 AM in reply to Peterli

Hi Peterli,

I saw your supplementary question on that other thread. I decided was well outside my knowledge range and was about to say so but then the page disappeared.

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