Top day trips from Geneva

by Venancio Guerra

Geneva is not only Switzerland’s capital but also its major hub. It serves the southern area of Switzerland as well as France and a variety of major ski areas in the Alps including popular destinations such as Chamonix and Portes du Soleil.

Most visitors here see little of the surrounding area apart from the airport and if they do stop for a day or two it is to tick Geneva off the bucket list and visit popular sites such as the UN buildings.

However, within an hour or two from Geneva, there is so much more to explore. After all, Switzerland is a gorgeous country where mirror-like lakes are flanked by snow-capped mountains and wine tasting, skiing, mountain biking, and hiking are all possible, even within the same day.

Montreaux – the Swiss Riviera

Take the train out of Geneva to the other side of Lake Geneva and you’ll be greeted with one of the most scenic public transport journeys in the world: Montreaux – where the lake meets mountains.

Home to the well-heeled and the old stomping grounds for many famous bands (this is where Queen once had their studios), Montreux has many stories to tell. That is if you can draw yourself away from the view.

Many of these stories are hidden within the walls of the majestic Chillon Castle, a romantic and quirky ancient castle that sits on the lake itself and is possibly one of the most Insta-worthy destinations in all of Switzerland.

Many of these stories are hidden within the walls of the majestic Chillon Castle, a romantic and quirky ancient castle that sits on the lake itself and is possibly one of the most Insta-worthy destinations in all of Switzerland.

Ski at Crans Montana

Nestled about two hours from Geneva, Crans Montana is a lovely ski resort (see our guide to Crans Montana). This small family-friendly resort isn’t as intimidating as some of the country’s larger ski resorts and is perfect for beginners and children. A free cable car takes you to a kiddie’s zone so you can visit for the day and don’t have to worry about forking out for expensive ski passes and the like.

Visit Brig and the Simplon Pass

While the town of Brig may be a little over two hours from Geneva, it is worth the drive. Pass through many scenic towns before ending up in Brig which is the gateway to the Simplon Pass which connects Switzerland to neighboring Italy.

This scenic pass is flanked by a mountain and a sheer cliff and offers fantastic views as you climb up into the snowy mountain tops.

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