It doesn’t have to be the ski season to enjoy Geneva. You can still get a great sense of the outdoors at this lakeside city. Geneva may be synonymous with huge organisations such as the UN and the Red Cross but residents know how to relax and they have some of the best countryside anywhere in Europe.
Geneva is world famous for its skiing, being just a stone’s throw from fantastic resorts like Chamonix, Gstaad and Verbier. But these places are just as rewarding to visit in the off-season. If there is no snow on the slopes don’t let it deter you from driving up there and experiencing gorgeous Alpine scenery.
Day trips from Geneva
There are many attractive towns within easy driving distance. At Gstaad you can ride the cable car for an exhilarating view or the more active among you can choose to hike over a snow capped glacier. Normally catering to the Après ski scene, Gstaad has some great restaurants and coffee shops too so you will be able to sate your appetite after all that bracing mountain air.
Another good day trip is to Chamonix. While this has challenging skiing for all abilities during the winter season, in the summer you can also enjoy mountain-biking and picnics in the most breathtaking surroundings.
If it is walking you like you could do worse than taking a stroll around the magnificent Lake Geneva itself. This huge freshwater lake forms the centrepiece of the city and is also adorned with an impressive fountain which shoots water high up into the air.
The Jet d’Eau is best scene at night when the lake is lit up for full affect. The scenery around Lake Geneva, whether you choose to see it by car or foot, is stunning and half of the lake is officially in French territory as part of the Rhone River Valley.
Although it is unlikely you will ever tire of the lake you can then turn your attention to the city itself. One option is to take a tour and a bus which can bring you to all the best destinations including the Cathédrale St-Pierre whose intricate architecture mirrors its complex history. The cathedral dates back to pre Roman times and there is also a nearby museum of the Reformation which chronicles the life of the famous Geneva thinker Calvin.
Today Geneva is most renowned as a centre of international diplomacy and the Palais des Nations was one of the early examples of this, having been built to house the League of Nations after the First World War. If you want to find out more about Geneva’s humanitarian role why not visit the Museum of the International Committee of the Red Cross?
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