Day trips from Geneva are easy to arrange or book tours for stress-free excursions especially to sights not easily reached on public transportation.
Traveling in the Lake Geneva region is easy but many day-trip tours and excursions are also available and a good idea for sights requiring complicated transfers and connections. Bus tours allow seeing multiple destinations on a single day and also give easy access to popular sights on busy days. Tours, experiences, and adventures are highly seasonal with more available during summer. GetYourGuide is a good source for traditional tours.
Day-Trips, Tours, and Adventures in the Lake Geneva Region
Most day-trip tours and excursions in the Lake Geneva region start from Genève but many are also offered from Lausanne or from Montreux. Private tours and many experiences could be arranged to depart from other locations in the region.
Popular tours in Geneva city include amongst others chocolate, cheese fondue, and the international quarters. Photogenic spots and Instagram-inspired locations are increasingly popular.
Top day-trip destinations from Geneva include Lausanne (Olympic Museum), Vevey (Chaplin’s World, Alimentarium, Swiss Camera Museum), Montreux, Swiss Riviera, Chateaux de Chillon, and Yvoire (summer only) on the shores of the lake. Very popular tours further inland are to marvelous medieval Gruyeres (often including Cailler chocolate factory in Broc). A similar excursion includes the panoramic Golden Pass Express train from Montreux as part of the tour. A very long day trip to Interlaken (Jungfraujoch) and several mountain peaks such as Glacier 3000 are also possible from Geneva.
Traveling on day trips from Geneva into neighboring France is also popular. In addition to Yvoire and Evian on the French side of Lac Léman, popular destinations include the old town area of Annecy and many mountain destinations in the Alps including Chamonix and Mont Blanc (prices rise in relation to how high up the mountain visitors travel).
Many experiences and adventures are seasonal with generally more available in summer. Guided e-bike tours are popular to visit the international sights and outlying areas of Geneva away from the hilly old town center.
Day-Trips and Adventures from Montreux and Lausanne
Day-trip tours and adventures are often possible from Montreux or from Lausanne too.
Traveling on the Golden Pass and Chocolate Train from Montreux to Gruyeres and Broc (Caillier chocolate factory) is very popular and available from Lausanne too.
Hiking, cycling, and wine tasting in the beautiful vineyards of Lavaux between Montreux and Lausanne are especially pleasurable in autumn but the region is generally pleasant year-round too. Hiking in the Alps is very popular too.
Guided walks in Lausanne cover art and culture, architecture, or photogenic spots. Lausanne is famously hilly so wear comfortable shoes.
Chateau de Chillon, a pleasant hike or short bus ride from downtown Montreux, is the most popular historic monument in Switzerland.
Many excursions on Lake Geneva boats are possible from Lausanne, Vevey, Montreux, and smaller towns along Lake Geneva. The regular ferry from Lausanne to Evian in France operates year-round at high frequency and the easiest way to cruise on Lake Geneva in winter.
Travel to Mountain Peaks and Hill Tops Near Lake Geneva
Although it is possible to almost always see high mountains when near Lake Geneva, very few of the high peaks are directly at the lake itself. Mont Blanc may be seen from many parts of the lake between Geneva and Morges – the highest peak in the Alps is a popular day trip from Genève with many options for further activities in the Chamonix region.
At Mt Blanc, as with all other excursions to mountain peaks, note carefully what is included in the ticket price and particularly what is not. Cable cars up to the highest areas such as the Aiguille du Midi and Mer de Glace are often optional (and expensive) when picking the cheaper excursions. If the cable car or train to the top is included, it will be very clearly stated in the what’s included sections.
Cablecars, cogwheel trains, and buses lead into the mountains in Switzerland. The Matterhorn at Zermatt is the most emblematic mountain in Rhône Valley of Valais – climbing is the only way to its peak. Other mountain tops are easier to visit on day trips including Glacier 3000.
The Jungfraujoch and Top of Europe – the highest train station in Europe – is doable as a day trip from the Lake Geneva region. Organized bus tours followed by the train ride are the easiest but if making own arrangements start very early in the morning – several, well-coordinated train changes, are necessary. Also popular in this region is the Schilthorn (famous from James Bond 007) and mountain activities such as paragliding.