Four of our favorite hikes in Geneva, all of which are easily accessed by public transport from Geneva’s city centre.
Geneva—Switzerland’s dazzling second-largest city—is defined by its magnificent crescent-shaped alpine lake, high-class glitz and glamour, and for being the World’s diplomatic hub. French architecture and cobbled streets create Geneva’s elegant look, an international crowd of diplomats and activist ex-pats bring a cosmopolitan buzz, and its anarchist history gives the city an edge. The mega-rich who flock here for shopping can certainly seem like a clash against the city’s artistic underbelly and the numerous international NGOs which have their headquarters here.
But just as worlds collide in Geneva, the natural surroundings hang together in complete harmony. The city wraps itself around Lake Geneva (or Lac Léman), Europe’s largest alpine lake shared between Switzerland and France. The powerful, winding river Rhone flows through Geneva’s heart, and the Alps stand magnificently on the city’s horizon. In fact, if you had to name Geneva’s one striking quality, it would be the beauty of its natural surroundings. Head west and you hit the Jura mountain range; south and you’re shortly at Mont Saleve; southeast, and you’re in the French Alps within an hour. With such immense nature all around you, it’s easy to leave the fancy watch ads and boutique shop windows behind, and quickly lose your sense of time and the hum of the city as you get into Geneva’s nature.
We have tried and tested Geneva’s most beautiful hikes, which are all easily accessed either by bus or train from the city centre. Jump into this guidebook for our four favourite hiking adventures.
Local’s Tip: Treat Yourself After a Hard Day’s Hike
For the most delicious fondue in town head to Buvette des Bains on the Bains des Pâquis by the lakeside (Quai du Mont-Blanc 30, 1201 Genève). For a reasonable 25 Swiss francs, you have yourself a pot for two, with a basket of crusty bread that’s a challenge to finish even for the hungriest of hikers. Make sure to leave room for the “taste of heaven”, the crispy cheese at the end, which the waiter will come and scrape off from the bottom of the pot for you. The restaurant is relaxed, with long communal tables and a playful marine-themed kitschy decor. It forms part of a community complex with saunas in the winter, bathing pools in the summer, and which hosts art and music events, including free morning concerts in the summertime, starting every day at 6 am! For more information: https://www.bains-des-paquis.ch/en