Lake Geneva lies on the border between France and Switzerland. On the French side the lake is known as Lac Léman. The main towns of this area Thonon-les-Bains and Evian-les-Bains which lie on the southern shores of the lake. This area is the starting point for the Routes des Grandes Alpes which run for 700 km (440 miles) down to the Mediterranean. This area of Lake Geneva in France is an excellent base for exploring the lake and the neighbouring countryside.
Boat trips, sailing, windsurfing, fishing and other sports can all be enjoyed on the lake. Ferries depart from Evian across the lake to Geneva and Lausanne for a day out in Switzerland.
The area around Lake Geneva is ideal for exploring on foot. Hiking along the hillside trails will reward with great views of the lake and the Swiss towns on the opposite shore. Ferries are the best way to hop from place to place around the lake to see some of the charming historic towns. Wine tasting tours are also popular and most wineries offer tours and tasting for a small charge. In the winter, the nearby Alpes provide superb skiing and snow sports at the higher altitudes.
The town of Evian-les-Bains has plenty of spas offering hydrotherapy treatments or tourists can stroll along the waterfront. Visitors are allowed to sample the well-known Evian water from the Source Cachat which is behind the Art Nouveau offices of the Evian HQ.Yvoire
Yvoire is a romantic medieval town on the French side of Lake Geneva and has many day trippers who arrive by boat from the Swiss side of the lake. The old town has narrow alleyways and old houses with flower-decked window boxes and balconies. There are a host of small boutiques and restaurants along the streets. The Savoy Chateau is the most prominent landmark and the Garden of the Five Senses is in the former kitchen garden of the castle. The town gates and the small museum should also not be missed.
This small town is right on the shores of Lake Geneva and can easily be reached by ferry. It has some fishermen's cottages and plenty of cafés and is surrounded by pretty countryside. Its biggest attraction is the fairytale Chateau de Ripaille which offers guided tours and samples of the excellent wines it produces.
The weather around Lake Geneva is governed by the varying altitudes. While the higher peaks of the Alps may be snow-covered for much of the year, the lower levels can be quite warm. The summer months are warm and sunny with temperatures reaching 24°C (76°F) while winters can be cloudy and cold. Summer rainfall is heavy at times with thunderstorms and the lake is known for its sudden storms.
The easiest way to reach the Haute Savoie on Lake Geneva is by air into Geneva (GVA) International Airport. It is at the western end of the lake, just 35 km (22 miles) from Thonon-les-Bains and your holiday home in the Lake Geneva area of France.