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Via Francigena: Vineyards of Lavaux

Hike through the steep and stunningly-beautiful vineyards of Lavaux, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Hiking Moderate

15 km
201 m
201 m
3-4 hrs
Low Point
371 m
High Point
463 m
Via Francigena: Vineyards of Lavaux Map

This hike follows part of the famous ancient pilgrim path the Via Francigena and is marked throughout by signage for 'Route 70'.


Take a train from Geneva Central Station for just under an hour to Rivaz, a tiny village on the other side of Lake Geneva. (Tip: try to buy your ticket in advance online as you may find a cheaper fare, or also BlaBla Car is widely used in Switzerland, as Swiss trains are notoriously expensive.)

The Lavaux region produces some of the finest Swiss wine, and there are some nice opportunities to sample it along the way, with a number of vineyards open for tasting (but perhaps not midweek in the winter months). The most beautiful time of year to visit this region is during autumn, where the vineyards and surrounding fields explode into an array of rich reds and burnt yellows. But of course, every season has its own particular beauty. Hiking this route on a crisp February day, with no leaves to be seen, the gnarled, brown bark of the bare vines leaves space for you to appreciate the beauty of the shapes of the carved rock that enclose the vineyards, and the snow-capped peaks out in the distance.

This hike is everything you want a hike to be: varied landscapes, easy access, plenty of lovely picnic spots to stop and enjoy the views. From rolling vineyards where you won't come across another soul, to lakeside promenades bustling with excitable kids and old ladies with small dogs taking in the air. Not to mention the variety of visual landscape: a glistening blue, seemingly endless expanse of lake lined with knobbly trees formed like ogres knuckles, and clusters of jagged peaks, looming like a gang of giants on the other side of the lake.

When you arrive at Rivaz train station, pass through the tunnel and climb up the main street through the village, following green footpath signs for the "Route 70" and "Alpen Panorama Weg 3." These signs lead you to a pedestrianised walkers way, which cuts through the vineyards running high above and parallel to the train tracks, giving expansive views of the lake, rolling vineyards, and a series of sweet tiny Swiss villages up in the hills. The pedestrianised way is dotted with picnic tables. It takes you through a few charming villages, the most significant being Cully which has plenty of cafe and restaurant options, try the "Cafe de la Poste" near the waterfront for traditional Swiss food.

The Alpen Panorama Weg and Route 70 eventually pull away from the vineyards and comes down to the waterfront, leading you through a series of peaceful stony beaches before breaking out into a promenade, which gets busier and busier the closer you get to Lausanne. You will pass a series of luxury hotels before coming to a castle, turn right here, and you hit the metro. Jump on for three stops to Laussane Train Station, where you can take a train for 45 minutes back to Geneva.

Sources http://schweizmobil.ch/en/hiking-in-switzerland/routes/etappe-01104.html?nopager https://www.viefrancigene.org/en/resource/tour/la-francigena-svizzera/



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Water features
  • Family friendly