Transportation to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage-listed terraced vineyards of Lavaux is easy by train or car from Geneva, Bern, Lausanne, and Montreux.
The historic terraced vineyards of the Lavaux wine-producing region are some of the most spectacular sights on the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) in Switzerland. The Lavaux is a great day-trip destination for hiking and wine tasting. Beautiful roads and convenient railways help to bring visitors to the Lavaux from Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, and ski resorts in the Alps of the Valais and Rhone Valley.
The Lavaux wine-producing region is located between Lausanne and Vevey on the northern shores of Lake Geneva in western Switzerland. These two cities are the gateways to the Lavaux – use highways and fast trains to here and then change to regional roads and local trains to visit smaller villages.
Driving to the Lavaux Region on Lake Geneva
Driving to the Lavaux is very easy as major highways bring travelers fast to the region from many parts of Switzerland. From Geneva, use Autoroute A1 to Lausanne. Autoroute A9 runs from Lausanne above the Lavaux to Vevey, Montreux, and the ski resorts in the Rhone Valley in Valais (Wallis). From Bern, use the A12 past Fribourg (Freiburg) to its junction with the A9 near Vevey.
The most beautiful main road through Lavaux is from the A9 autobahn exit Chexbres down to Lake Geneva. This cantonal road goes through the vineyards giving drivers fantastic views without even having to exit their vehicles. Driving time to the Chexbres highway exit is around an hour (90 km / 56 miles) from either Geneva or Bern.
The main route through the Lavaux is the lakeside road from Lausanne to Vevey. It allows fantastic views of both Lake Geneva and the vineyards of the Lavaux. Parking is often available on the side of this road.
Trains to the Lavaux on Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Trains are a great option when traveling to and in the Lavaux region between Lausanne and Vevey on the northern shores of Lake Geneva. Generally, take the fast train to Lausanne or Vevey and then change to the slower S-Bahn trains.
It is possible to start the hikes from any station along the S2 and S3 route that runs near the lakeshore through the Lavaux region. Alternatively, it also possible to use a train from Lausanne to Grandvaux or from Vevey to Chebrex and start the hike high up in the hills.
Lakeside Trains in the Lavaux Region
For most hikers, the best train is the RER / S2, which usually runs hourly along the lakeshore. The train connects Vallorbe at the foot of the Jura Mountains with Villeneuve in the Rhone Valley. Between Lausanne and Vevey, the S2 stops at Pully, Lutry, Villette, Cully, Rivaz, and St Saphorin. The traveling time between Lausanne and Vevey including all these stops are only around 20 minutes. Montreux is only a few more minutes down the track.
An alternative train is S3, which stops only at Pully, Lutry, Cully, and Epesses between Lausanne and Vevey. Sometimes it is faster to take an express train to either Lausanne or Vevey first and then take the local train back than to wait for a train going in the right direction, although note beforehand if this will involve crossing another transportation tariff zone.
Train Stops in the Hills of Lavaux
It is also possible to start a hike in the Lavaux region from a train station high up in the hills. From Lausanne, use S4 or S5 toward Palézieux and start the hike from Grandvaux station.
A further useful train line is the hourly S7 (Train des Vignes) connection between Vevey at the lake level and Puidoux-Chexbres in the hills. For hiking in the Lavaux, use Chexbres Village gare (station) – only two minutes from Puidoux-Chexbres and ten minutes from Vevey by train. From Chexbres, hike down through the vineyards to Rivaz or St Saphorin.
A PTT postal bus service follows a beautiful route through the vineyards from Puidoux village via amongst others Puidoux-Chexbres and Chexbres-Village stations to Cully. The bus usually runs once per hour but there are gaps in the schedules.
In summer, some CGN lake boats also stop in some of the Lavaux villages on cruises between Lausanne and Vevey.
See Hiking in the Vineyards of Lavaux for more information on this beautiful region of Switzerland and tips for the best easy hikes. For autumn photos of the vineyards see Photos of the Lavaux and Photos of the Grandvaux.