Lavaux, a district famous for the lush vineyards, is one of the most scenic places in Switzerland. Comprised of nearly 19 miles of terraced vineyards overlooking Lake Geneva (Lac Leman in French), Lavaux is a sight to behold.
Located in southwestern part of Switzerland, Lavaux vineyards are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region has a deep-rooted history when it comes to wine making and has many families who have been making vine for generations. It were the Bendectine and Cistercian monks who created sprawling vineyards.
The trails meandering through vineyards lead toward villages located along the steep hills. After hiking you can stop at one of the area’s restaurants, pubs or cellars where you can taste locally produced wine.
Not a lot of tourists who come to visit Switzerland know about Lavaux. And since it’s not as popular yet as other popular places in Switzerland such as Zermatt or Lauterbrunnen, you won’t see big crowds of here. Still, many people come here to marvel at the beauty of the Swiss winemaking region and take photos in the vineyards.
Consider visiting Lavaux Vinorama, a tourist hub of the area where you can try more than 300 types of local wine. You can easily find this place as it’s located near the village of Rivaz along the highway.
Even if you are far from being a wine lover, Lavaux still should be on your itinerary of places to visit in Switzerland because of its incredible culture, rich history and friendly locals whose families have been producing wine in this region for centuries.
You can explore the region on your own or with a guided tour. If you decide to explore the area on your own, you will need to download the map or get it on the Montreal Rivera website ahead of your trip.
PRO TIP: Since the Lavaux Switzerland vineyards are vertical, you should prepare for some hiking. As you get higher you will be rewarded with numerous places where you can try crisp white wine. If you want to visit a specific winery, make sure to check their opening hours online before your trip.
When to visit Lavaux
The best time to visit Lavaux, Switzerland in my opinion, is during the fall. You can witness the harvesting of the grapes and taste some of the region’s signature wines. September and mid-October offer plenty of sunshine and mild enough temperatures to be outside.
How to get to Lavaux, Switzerland
Lavaux is located on the northern shore of Lake Geneva between the Swiss cities Lausanne and Vevey. You can easily get to Lavaux from there via highway, railroad or boat.
– By car – If you want to drive through Lavaux, take the scenic Chexbres highway which goes along Lake Geneva for about one hour. To get there, take the A9 autobahn and take an exit on Chexbres to Lake Geneva. You will get the most fantastic views along the stretch of the road from Lausanne to Vevey.
– By boat – A boat tours run across the entire Lake Geneva after departing from Lausanne, Vevey, and Montreaux. While taking a boat ride on Lake Geneva is a must because of the beautiful views, you can easily catch a train to return to your destination.
Another option is to take one of the iconic steamboats that have the huge Swiss flag hoisted to the back. These steamboats often can be seen cutting across the waters of the lake.
You can also book a sightseeing tour along Lake Geneva that will include several stops including Lavaux.
– By train – RER/S1 is the best train to take to Lavaux. It runs along the lakeshore and connects Yverdon-les-Baines with Villeneuve. You need to get off at one of the S1 stops that include Pully, Lutry, Epesses, Vilette, Rivaz and St. Saphorin. Another train is S3 which stops at Cully, Lutry, and Pully.
If you just want to roam around, begin your trip at one of the area’s villages that has a train station, hotels/restaurants or other amenities. Walk uphill into the vineyards and explore everything that the area has to offer.
PRO TIP: While Lavaux, Switzerland vineyards are beautiful at any time, I recommend planning your trip during the sunny day as it will make for much better photos.