The beautiful Geneva Lake is a crescent moon shaped lake which is situated on the northern side of the Alp mountains and is shared by France and Switzerland. It is one of the largest lakes in Europe. The name Lac leman comes from ancient Greek word Limenis that means “port’s lake.”
Lake Geneva is basically divided into three parts
- Haut Lake – It is the upper lake and part from the Rhone Estuary.
- Petit Lac – This Lake is narrower and shallow part of the lake in the South-west, from Yvoire Promenthoux next penguins to the exit in Geneva.
- Grand Lac – or the large lake is the deepest basin and the largest width of the lake.
Lake Geneva is one of the largest water bodies in Switzerland; its northern shore runs around 95 kilometers and the southern shore around 72 kilometers which is around 45 miles in length.
The lake shores are absolutely beautiful and many sites near the lake can be visited. It is situated around 12,200 feet above the sea level.
There’s so much to do in Geneva Lake and the nearby places. Some of these known and lesser known places are listed here.
Planning to visit Geneva lake?
Geneva Lake and the adjoining places will absolutely blow your mind, there is just so much to do and so much to see, it is one of the most beautiful places you’ll come across in the whole of the Switzerland.
Best time to visit
You can visit Geneva city almost throughout the year, although summer is the most favorable time to be in Geneva.
June to August – This is the best time to visit Geneva Lake, although rain is common around this time most of the time it’s sunny. As many celebrations take place during this season it also becomes the most crowded months as the place is filled with tourists.
September to November – It is the beginning of winter at this time, but not very cold. The temperature ranges from 10 to 14 degree Celsius. This is the best time to travel if you’re on a budget as there is hardly any rush during this time of the year. Hence the hotel prices go down and are budget friendly.
December to April – The temperature goes below zero degrees. But people who are looking for some adventure sports like skiing can come in this time of the year as The Alps are Snowcovered. You need to book your hotel and plan well at least two to three months in advance.
May to June – This time is spring season in Geneva; the temperature can range from 15 to 20 degree Celsius.
How to reach Geneva Lake
Geneva is well connected through air, train, and bus.
Rail – The Swiss Federal railway station serves the Geneva train station and has trains to all the main cities like Bern, Zurich, and Basel approximately every half an hour.
Road – Geneva’s coach station is closed to the railway station and serves around 20 European countries.
Air – Geneva airport connects almost All European carriers as well as a few daily Trans – Atlantic flights. The local connections connect Geneva with Zurich, Bern, Lugano with many other European capitals. Also, international airlines are British Airways and Air France.
Places to visit and things to do
Here we have listed out all the things you can do in Geneva Lake and nearby place you must visit.
1. Geneva Lake
The beautiful, stunning and the picturesque beauty of this lake attract thousands of tourists to this place each year. You can have a lovely walk along with your friends and family and also have the cruise or boat ride to enjoy the breezy round. You see the beautiful and snowy Alps in the background and vineyards and villages that are alongside the lake, the beautiful mountains make the perfect backdrop. The water is very clear and wonderful for swimming during summer months and climbs on the massive obstacle.
The whole City, especially on a sunny day, comes together to the lake to enjoy the beautiful sunrise at 6:00 am every day during the sunrise festival and enjoy the live music.
One of the main attractions the lake is famous for is the Jet D’eau, it’s a giant fountain in the middle of Lake Geneva and is also one of the most iconic fountains in the world. The massive fountain can be seen from miles away. There are many lakeside food stalls where you can have a wonderful meal.
2. Black point estate
This place is situated on the southern shore of the Geneva Lake. You can take a 45 minutes boat ride to reach here. It is one of the oldest mansions on Geneva Lake and was built in 1888 as a summer home for Conrad Seipp. It has been open for public since 2007. There are 13 bedrooms and you can take a guided tour which will take you back in time. People who are interested in history and architecture will love this place. It runs across 60 acres of area and has a Queen Anne style of architecture; you can see the post-civil war-era furniture here.
Black point estate is listed in the National register of historic place s in the year 1994. The estate with its sure line is preserved by the Geneva lake conservancy. You have to climb around 100 steps to reach the main ground. The house is mainly restored to its original condition. So it’s worth it to come to this beautiful historic property with a great, fairly calm back-story.
3. Geneva lake museum
The Geneva lake museum is a replication of Lake Geneva’s Main Street from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. You get a brochure here that briefly explains the different rooms. Have a look at the beautiful artifacts.
The museum takes you through town’s history of the Native Americans of the 20th century. There are many interesting displays. The place shows Lake Geneva’s Rich history and close ties to Chicago. There’s a lot to discover at this museum, this place is truly fascinating.
4. Tristan Crist magic theater
The Tristan Crist magic theater is located on the 609 W main streets in downtown of Lake Geneva. This theater features a world-class magic, illusion and comedy performance of about an hour.
You are going to be amazed by all the magic tricks, it’s like as if you’re off to magic land. Your kids will remember this place throughout their lives. It’s going to entertain people of all age groups and for sure you’ll exit the theater dazzled and impressed.
5. United Nations Organization
The United Nations organization at Geneva is at Palais Des Nations building and is the second largest office site of the United Nations. You can walk in the rooms were many important historical negotiations took place.
You can have a one hour guided tour which helps you to discover the building, the group tours are available in around 15 languages. There is an art collection which has over 2000 international works of art, also the famous “The Rebirth sculpture” by Michelangelo Pistoletto.
There is serpent bar which is the perfect place to have organic food and drinks and click a lot of selfies. Not only is this place wonderful to visit the Chambers were historic treaties were made but also as a purely artistic level, you are going to consider this visit a quality one. Be sure to see the broken chair sculpture which is outside the main entrance.
6. Bigfoot Beach estate
The Bigfoot estate is a state park on Geneva Lake. There are plenty of trails, a small beach, and very nice campsites. The place gets packed on weekends. There are picnic tables where you can enjoy with family and kids. It is very interesting to know that Bigfoot Lake was the original English name of Lake Geneva.
7. Grand Geneva Resort: The Mountaintop
The mountaintop at Grand Geneva resort is the name for the ski resort; there are mountain slopes perfect for skiing, a well-organized ski shop, and a restaurant. The staff is friendly. Come here on a weekday and it will be absolutely perfect as very few people are there, so you have the whole mountain for yourself.
8. Rivera Beach
The Rivera Beach is located at Wrigley drive in Lake Geneva, it’s a kid-friendly area best to spend time with your family and friends. The white sandy beach, the crystal clear Waters, and the beautiful views can be seen across the lake. The beach is quite clean, you can have a swim or have a subtle walk, sunbathe and just relax.
9. Safari Lake Geneva
Be sure you don’t miss out on this one. The Safari at Lake Geneva helps you to see the animals from around the world. The tour lasts for around one hour and you get a cup of feed for the animals. Many of the animals approach the vehicles, and you can feed them and get really close and even pat them. You’ll see Arabian Camel, sheep, yaks, bison, zebras, miniature horses, blackbuck antelope, Pekin duck, apple yard ducks, greater rhea, and many more exotic varieties of animals. Tour runs every hour just make sure to reach 10 minutes before your tour starts.
10. White River Country Park
The white River country Park opened in 2014 and has nearly 200 acres area and 2 miles of frontage along the white river. You can have a picnic with family here; enjoy fishing, kayaking, canoeing or have a long Walk on the trails.
The two pedestrian bridges which are the latest addition to the park that runs across the white river helps you explore the trails and the natural areas of the park.
11. Yerkes Observatory
The Yerkes Observatory was established in 1897 on Geneva Lake. It runs across 77 acres of land. You can visit the tour Yerkes on Saturdays throughout the year and have a look inside the 40-inch refractor and the 90-foot dome, which is the largest lens-type telescope in the world. Yerkes also has a museum and gives a huge opportunity for learning.
12. Wilmot mountain
With around 120 skiable acres of area and 23 trails, Wilmot Mountain can offer an affordable and fun trip to the whole family. You can enjoy snowboarding, skiing, and tubing here. A children’s learning center offers group lessons according to family needs. Tubing is highly recommended as it doesn’t require any lessons and you can race down the hills and watch snow fly by.
It’s the European organization for nuclear research also known as CERN is an organization that operates the largest particle physics lab in the world. But don’t worry you really need not be a scientist or even a science buff to visit this place. The organization is pushing the boundaries of human knowledge, you’ll learn about many things that affect your day to day life, go on a day trip and you can see the biggest machine ever made by mankind.
Places to eat
There are many places to eat in Geneva, here are a few of them listed according to the budget you might have.
- Great eggs – looking for a delightfully delicious breakfast? Do visit here and enjoy breakfast wraps, burritos, omelets.
- Champ sports – it’s a modern-day sports bar. You can enjoy live music every Friday night. Their specialties are BBQ chicken, tacos, burgers, wraps. Perfect place to have lunch or dinner when on a budget.
2. Moderately priced places
- The next door pub – The place is amazing, the pizza here is absolutely fantastic, apart from pizza the place is also known for ribs, burgers, lasagna, and pasta.
- Simple cafe – They have a very creative and healthy menu; frittata, veg burgers, sandwiches are recommended. Nice place to have breakfast or lunch.
3. Fine dining restaurant
- Geneva ChopHouse – An upscale restaurant located on the lodge of great Geneva resort. Lobster Mac n cheese, lamb chops, steaks are delicious with a glass of red wine.
- Baker house – This is a fabulous place to visit, the rooms are furnished in Victorian style. Ravioli, beef-shot ribs, salmon are amazing. Don’t Miss out on the Sunday brunch which offers a great variety of food. Although higher side of the price it’s absolutely worth the visit.
Just take a break from the regular hectic life and take out time to admire the beauty of Lake Geneva. Have a relaxing vacation. There is so much to do! Enjoy the sunset with your loved ones over the lake and the picturesque beauty the place offers. Have a recreational experience. Lake Geneva truly is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.