5 places to perform hiking near Geneva
Hiking is a way to relax, do sport and test your endurance. Switzerland, being surrounded by mountains, offers a great variety of well-arranged picturesque hiking trails and endless footpaths. Be prepared to explore valleys and vineyards, lakes and green hills, mysterious woods and forests, snow peaks and glaciers.
By the way one hour hike will burn between 300 – 600 calories, depending on your weight, backpack, speed and terrain.
There are 18 trails and 8 pilgrim paths around Geneva city. SUISSEPIC contacted Genevan hiking lovers and asked their recommendations.
Hiking at the River Rhone
Start your hiking rout in the Old Town of Geneva at the top of St. Pierre’s Cathedral to enjoy watching rooftops of the city. Then go to the banks of River Rhone and move to your final destination at La Plaine. The way to the countryside will take you around 5 hours as the length of the trail is around 20 km.
Enjoy urban and natural landscapes of rolling hills, castles and vineyards on your way. Discover a natural phenomenon ‘Junction’ of two rivers the Rhone and the Arve and some lovely little villages, such as Avully and Cartigny. Get back home by train from La Plaine train station.
Lavaux Terrace hike
Panoraminc Lavaux terraces of vineyards spread at 800 hectares are famous for the quality of white wines and stunning views of Geneva Lake. This place has been protected by UNESCO since 2007.
Lavaux 11km trail starts in St. Saphorin, a small medieval town famous for hospitality of its traditional pubs and wine cellars. Finish your route in Lutry village, where you can get a train to come back to Geneva or continue your journey to Vevey and Montreux to see beautiful Chillion Castle. You can walk at your own pace and as long as you want, making a stop for swimming in the lake.
Hiking at Salève
Mont Salève is a 1,379m 20 km away from Geneva’s city center. It became one of the most popular destinations for outdoor lovers. The way to the mountain takes 20 minutes by bus from Cornavin station.
Take bus #8 to the last stop Veyrier douane. If you are brave enough, you can continue going on foot up to 1,097m altitude. It will take you about 2 hours. Otherwise you can take a cable car Téléphérique du Salève or drive by car up to the top of Saleve and then have a walk around the plateau. There is a great variety of well-marked trails through the woods and meadows.
We suggest you having a picnic at the top of mountain enjoying spectacular views of Lake Leman, Geneva, French Alps and Mont Blanc.
Jura mountains chain spread for 250km at French-Swiss border with Crêt de la Neige as the highest peak 1700m. Trails here go through pine forests and rocky slopes. The most famous and longest one is 300km Jura Ridgeway. It could be covered for 17 days. On your way you will see Chasseral peak, Lac de Joux, Grottes de l’Orbe caves and the gorges Taubenloch. Another popular trail starts in the Joux valley and goes through Jura Vaudois Nature Park to the highest summit Mont Tendre.
Discover natural heritage the Vallorbe caves located in Jura region, an hour drive from Geneva. Start your route at Vallorbe train station along the Orbe river to the park area up to the entrance of the caves. Enjoy watching an underground river, waterfalls, stalactites and stalagmites, straws, “cauliflowers” during 40min walk inside the caves. At the end of the journey you can also see a fascinating collection of 250 minerals Fairy Treasure Trove and visit a “cheese cave” where fresh cheese is made in the natural environment.