Switzerland’s second largest city befits outdoorsy travelers with a taste for luxury.
WHAT TO DO
Geneva offers more than just watches and chocolate. Take advantage of the gorgeous countryside with a bike tour, and stop at the city’s wineries, especially the scenic Château du Crest, for tastings along the way. Pack a picnic and hike to the top of Mont Salève where you can admire beautiful views of the city and watch parasailers take off. If you’re not up for walking, a regularly operating cable car can take you up and down the mountain. With such close proximity to France, it would be a shame not to pop over to the medieval town of Yvoire. Ferries offer scenic cruises that depart from city center for a quick day trip to the tourist-friendly town, where you can amble down cobblestoned streets, buy handmade gifts and enjoy romantic open-air repasts.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
For a meal out of a fairy tale, dine at Hôtel Restaurant du Parc des Eaux-Vives overlooking the park and lake. The restored 19th century villa serves fish caught from Lake Geneva and other regional dishes and there is an an extensive Swiss wine list. On your trip to Yvoire, make sure to enjoy lunch at Les Jardins du Léman. The fresh perch and garden views are outstanding. One of the oldest brasseries in Geneva, Café du Centre’s al fresco atmosphere is fun for people-watching after a day of shopping and sightseeing.
WHERE TO STAY
The luxurious Mandarin Oriental overlooks the Rhone River in the center of town, and offers spacious, scenic suites with an elegant purple color scheme. Its restaurant Rasoi by Veneet is a must for its innovative take on Indian cuisine. For a true countryside respite, sit back and enjoy the unparalleled La Réserve Hotel and Spa. Frequented by the likes of Roger Federer, the wellness-centered luxury hotel sits on a 10-acre landscaped park on Lake Geneva and offers a spa, outdoor swimming pool, healthy food and boat service to and from the city.
Read more about Switzerland travel in the Summer 2018 issue of Washington Life.