The free annual chocolate festival (Festichoc) in Versoix, in the northeastern extremities of Geneva, is a very popular family-friendly event for chocolate lovers — it claims to be the biggest chocolate festival in Switzerland. Chocolatiers from Genève, Valais, and nearby communities in the Lac Léman region exhibit and sell top chocolate at the Versoix festival. Admission is free and sampling is mostly allowed.
Le Festival du Chocolat (Festichoc) in Versoix is an annual chocolate festival held in the small town Versoix on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Around 30 chocolatiers from the Lac Léman region exhibit in the main tent. Sampling is generally allowed and while the actual prices are high, so is the quality of chocolate on sale here. Special chocolate workshops for children, shows, and presentations help to make the Versoix chocolate festival very popular with families. Typical festival event food and drinks are on sale.
In 2024, the Versoix Chocolate Festival is held on 16 and 17 March 2024.
Guided chocolate-tasting tours are available in Geneva year-round.
Le Festival du Chocolat in Versoix on Lac Léman, Switzerland
The annual chocolate festival (Festichoc) in Versoix on Lake Geneva is a very popular family-friendly event. It claims to be the largest chocolate festival in Switzerland. Chocolate lovers from all over the Lac Léman region travel to this one-day event. The highlights of the festival are the exhibition, sale, and free sampling of high-quality chocolate but workshops, shows, and festival food can also be enjoyed.
In this Salon des Artisans – a large marquee tent – over twenty chocolatiers exhibit and sell chocolate ranging from simple (but exquisite) slabs to elaborately decorated chocolate statues. Most of the chocolatiers are from Geneva and the La Côte region but specialists from Valais ski resorts such as Crans Montana and Sierre may also be represented. Big commercial and internationally famous brands such as Lindt, Nestle, Cailler, and Toblerone are not represented.
Some chocolatiers show off their artistic skills by producing chocolate figurines on-site. Visitors are welcome to discuss chocolate and sample for free without pressure to actually buy.
Prices of connoisseur Swiss chocolate are high but so is the quality, as even the most discrete of samplings will confirm.
Special shows (mostly free) and a chocolate workshop (small charge, but long queues) are popular with families with small children. Festival-style food and drink are also on sale with picnic benches set out for free use.
Visit the Chocolate Festival in Versoix on Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Le Festival du Chocolat de Versoix (Festichoc) is held annually on a weekend in late March or early April. (Usually two weeks before Easter weekend.) The festival is on from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and from 9 am to 5 pm on Sunday – early arrival is certainly more pleasant, as the tent becomes very crowded from around lunchtime.
In 2024, the chocolate festival is on the weekend from 16 to 17 March 2024.
The chocolate festival in Versoix is held at the Salle Communale Lachenal a few minutes walk from Versoix train station. (Sign posting is clear.)
A special free Chocotrain also connects the station and the festival venue.
Roads close to the chocolate festival are closed off and parking near the festival is very limited. However, many free parking lots in Versoix are available a few minutes walk from the festival, or with frequent shuttle buses to the festival grounds.
Versoix is the final town in Canton Genève (other than the special Céligny enclave) when driving on the lakeshore road (Route Suisse) towards Vaud and Lausanne.
Transportation to the Festichoc in Versoix, Geneva
The easiest public transportation access is by train – the Léman Express trains (RER / S-Bahn) connect Geneva via Versoix with Coppet usually four times per hour. Traveling time to Versoix from Genève-Cornavin is only 16 minutes. The Geneva Unireso Tout Genève ticket is valid for traveling to Versoix from Genève. Rail passengers on Regional Express (RE) trains from Nyon and further north should change trains in Coppet, a mere 7 minutes from Versoix.
Drivers will struggle to find parking in Versoix on the chocolate festival weekend. Special parking lots are marked with shuttle buses but on the whole, few would regret arriving by train in the first place.
Versoix has several picnic spots and beaches. During summer, pedalos (paddle boats) can be rented by the half-hour at Port Choiseul to the north of the town.
Versoix is also a good town for plane spotting – aircraft often pass low over the town en route to Geneva Airport (GVA) – any spot on the lakefront will offer great views of the incoming planes.