The majestic Alps are fraught with many puzzles, to solve which travelers come from different parts of the planet to their feet. One of these secrets was Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The crystal clear waters of this reservoir fascinate with its serenity, and the surrounding bright green hills, behind which the snow-white caps of the Alpine mountains are hiding, have a special magic.
Often the lake is compared to a giant mirror: after all, its surface is so calm that it can accurately reflect nearby houses and trees. It is not surprising that this place has become one of the most visited in Europe, and it is ready to offer its guests resorts and entertainment for every taste.
Lake Geneva, or, as the French called it, Lehman, is the largest body of water in the Alps and is the second largest lake in Central Europe. Its northern coast is in the possession of Switzerland when, as the southern coast refers to the waters of France. The area of Lake Geneva is 582.4 square meters. km, of which 348.4 square meters. km belong to the Swiss state. If you look at the map, you can see that the reservoir has the shape of a crescent, the tips of which are facing south.
The length of Lake Leman is 72 km, and the width in some places reaches 13 km. The deepest point of the reservoir is recorded between the cities of Evian-les-Bains and Lausanne: its value is 310 meters. The lake is of glacial origin, therefore it is quite cold and suitable for swimming only in the summer months, when the sun’s rays warm the water to 21 – 23 ° С.
The reservoir is the main transport artery connecting the cities around it, between which ships daily run. To ensure navigation around Lake Leman, 22 lighthouses were installed, which also give signals to fishermen and athletes about the approach of bad weather.
Nature, flora and fauna
If you look at Lake Geneva in Switzerland, the amazing nature of the region catches your eye even on the photo. There are many parks and reserves, as well as botanical gardens, which can be found both in urban resorts and in the mountains.
The largest nature center in Switzerland is the La Pierrez nature reserve, whose landscapes are replaced one after the other, as if in a kaleidoscope. The park covers an area of 34 square meters. km and is a mixture of valleys, cliffs, meadows and gorges. Mountain goats, chamois, bears, lynxes and marmots live here, and among the birds you can find golden eagles, partridges and falcons, owls and woodpeckers.
Lehman is a real treasury for the fisherman, in the bowels of which the rich underwater world hides. Among the inhabitants of Lake Geneva you can find pike, perch, trout, crayfish, whitefish and many other species of fish.
On a note! Swiss laws permit the use of a pond for fishing with a single hook fishing rod without a license. However, fishing using a spinner requires special permission.
Since Lehman is protected from the northern winds by a chain of Alpine mountains, a peculiar climate has established in the region. And if in winter Lake Geneva can still be doused with a dry cold wind, in summer it will reward you only with a soft warm breath. In July and August, the air temperature in the region of Lake Leman can warm up to 30 ° C, which allows the local population to safely grow grapes. Subalpine vegetation prevails in the region, and palm trees are often found in local resorts.
Cities on the shores of Lake Geneva
It is not by chance that Lake Leman is called the Swiss Riviera: after all, several picturesque resort towns are concentrated on its shores, each of which has its own attractions and attractions.
At the southwestern tip of Lake Leman is located Geneva – one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland with a population of 200 thousand people. Its original symbol was the majestic Je-Do fountain, beating straight from a reservoir with a stream of 140 meters in height. Drowning in flowers and greenery, Geneva is replete with parks and squares, cultural monuments and historical sights, among which you should definitely visit:
- Saint Paul’s Cathedral
- Notre Dame Basilica
- Flower clock
- Reformation wall
This city of Switzerland can rightfully be called a cultural center: after all, it has about 30 various museums. Geneva is of great value to the entire world community, since it is here that the headquarters of many international organizations, such as the Red Cross, the WTO and the UN, are located.
Situated on picturesque hills and framed by vineyards, Lausanne is located on the northeastern shore of Lake Lemann in Switzerland. This well-groomed, plant-decorated city with a population of 128 thousand people is rich in historical sites and museums, and its many parks have become a favorite place for leisurely walks. In order to get acquainted with Lausanne, it is important to visit her unique attractions:
- Ancient castles of Beaulieu and Saint-Mer
- Gothic Lausanne Cathedral
- Olympic Museum
- Gothic Church of St. Francis
- Ryumin Palace
Travelers love to stroll around the medieval quarter of Ville Marche and explore the most valuable artifacts exhibited in Lausanne art galleries.
Once a small settlement of fishermen and winemakers today has grown into an elite resort town, considered one of the best not only in Switzerland, but throughout Europe. Montreux with a population of only 26 thousand people is located in the easternmost point of Lehman.
Photos and descriptions of this resort on Lake Geneva make it clear that this place is not for those who are used to saving: luxury hotels, luxury clinics, top-level restaurants, expensive boutiques welcome tourists at every step.
Every year, a jazz festival is held here, which attracts famous musicians from around the world. Among the notable places of Montreux, it is worth highlighting the Chillon Castle, which is located in the suburbs, and the monument to Freddie Mercury, installed on the embankment of Lake Leman.
The small town of Vevey in Switzerland with a population of 19.5 thousand people is located on the northeast coast of the lake. Famous throughout the world for its fertile vineyards, this environmentally friendly resort is characterized by calm and comfort.
If you happen to find yourself in Vevey, be sure to take a walk along the Grand-Place, visit the old cafe de La Clef and climb to the top of Mont Pelerin. This resort was appreciated by many celebrities: it was here that the talented actor Charlie Chaplin spent the last years of his life, in whose honor a monument was erected in the city square. Like other cities in Switzerland, Vevey boasts unique museums, among which the Winemaking Museum, the Museum of Photography and the Food Museum deserve special attention.
One of the oldest European thermal spas in Evian-les-Bains is located on the southern shore of Lake Geneva in France. This secluded place with a population of only 8,600 people is famous for its first-class balneotherapy, for the sake of which English monarchs and aristocracy came here for a long time to be treated. Today, any traveler who has looked into Evian-les-Bains can afford these procedures.
There are surprisingly few tourists, so the atmosphere in the city has a calm and measured rest. Evian-les-Bains has excellent water connections with all the cities of the Swiss Riviera, so getting here for spa events is easy.
Thonon-les-Bains is the largest resort city located on the southern shores of Lake Leman in France. It is very popular among tourists due to its many thermal springs. The unique Savoyard architecture of Thonon-les-Bains with its shops and souvenir shops stands out from other cities in Lake Geneva.
There are several interesting sights here, among which are of particular value:
- Ripai Castle
- City Hall
- central square
- Ancient St. Paul’s Church
Thonon-les-Bains is located right at the foot of Mont Blanc and the Chablis massif, where you can climb the funicular and enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding area.
Things to do
In addition to walking around the main resorts of Lake Geneva, where there are many attractions, tourists have a great opportunity to attend local events and arrange a real attraction from water activities.
- Food and wine fairs. Sophisticated travelers who know a lot about delicious dishes and good drinks will appreciate gastronomic tours, where everyone has the opportunity to visit cheese, chocolate, wine and beer fairs and buy their favorite product.
- Diving. Lake Geneva is a real find for divers. At the bottom of a seemingly calm reservoir, a world of sunken ships lurks, next to which prominent representatives of marine flora and fauna scurry about.
- Boating and kayaking. A water trip through a pond among the Alpine mountains is the dream of any tourist, which is carried out here on Lake Leman.
- Mountain biking. Swiss resorts are ideal for cycling trips, during which you can plunge into the pristine beauty of nature and enjoy the mountain scenery.
- Festivals. In Swiss cities, a variety of cultural events are often established (festival of jazz, tulips, grapes, all kinds of carnivals), a visit to which will be a great addition to your vacation on Lake Leman.
If you love outdoor recreation, but are not ready to give up the benefits of civilization, go to Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Its nature, resorts with its parks and cultural monuments, developed tourist infrastructure and plenty of entertainment will help to fill your vacation with pleasant experiences and spend a first-class vacation.