What to see in France

Camping on Lake Geneva, holidays off the beaten track

Coucher de soleil sur le lac Léman
Coucher de soleil sur le lac Léman

Of glacial origin, Lake Geneva is the largest Alpine lake in Europe. With a length of about 73 kilometres and a width of 14 kilometres, it has a crescent shape and is located in the northern part of Switzerland (between Lausanne and Montreux) and in the southern part of France, which covers the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and more precisely the department of Haute-Savoie. A very pleasant place for a stay out of the ordinary.

For a well-organised stay on the shores of Lake Geneva and the surrounding area, camping is a good idea. On the French side and south of the lake, there are almost thirty campsites at your disposal. They have a varied choice of fitted tents, or for more comfort, bungalows or mobile homes.

Visits and campsites

On the shores of Lake Geneva, between Geneva and Evian, Yvoire is a medieval village that is a must see! Small flowery streets, magnificent stone houses and a magnificent view of the lake. You should also visit the Garden of the Five Senses in the middle of the village. Yvoire is classified as one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France and can be visited on foot, as it is closed to traffic.

Thonon les Bains is located 17 kilometres east of Yvoire. Close to Switzerland, on the edge of the lake and at the foot of the Alps, this charming little town offers many possibilities for discovery. Two campsites are suggested here: La Dranse***, 500 metres from a natural park and 300 metres from the lake. It offers hiking, scuba diving and paragliding. Saint-Disdille*** is located in a wooded park 200 metres from the beach with direct access. The accommodation is recent and ideal for families.

A welcoming little seaside resort in Haute-Savoie, Evian is only 10 kilometres from Thonon and benefits from an exceptional natural environment between lake and mountains. A playful and family discovery of the town is possible here and is very popular with children, as is the municipal swimming pool, located on the edge of the lake in a magnificent domain, and offering supervised swimming. Or the little train, which allows you to explore the town with several stops, and finally the funicular, inaugurated in 1907, which was used to transport spa-goers between the hotels situated high up and the spring at the bottom.image

The beautiful medieval village of Yvoire on the shores of Lake Geneva
The beautiful medieval village of Yvoire on the shores of Lake Geneva© Adobe Stock

Sports and leisure on Lake Geneva

You will have the privilege of practising many sports on the lake or around it, such as hiking or horse riding to enjoy the landscape in a different way, but also mountain biking for the extent of the territory as well as to enjoy the sublime views over the lake. In Thonon, you can fly over the mountains in a paraglider accompanied by an instructor if you like thrills. Via ferrata and rock climbing are often practised in the region. For those who are attracted without being adept, the adventure courses are made for them.

On the lake, you may choose to enrol your children in a sailing course, try water skiing or wakeboarding, not forgetting rafting, canyoning and canoeing. On a quieter note, cruises on Lake Geneva are possible, as well as boat or pedal boat trips. And let's not forget fishing, of course. Lake Geneva, rich in quantity but also in variety of fish, is a real paradise for fishermen!

Swimming is also a popular activity on Lake Geneva during the summer months. And when you say swimming, you say beach... There are relatively many beaches on the French side of the lake. The municipal beach of Excenevex is the only natural beach with fine sand on Lake Geneva. Located 3 kilometres east of Yvoire, it is full of activities for all, and is the ideal beach for families. The municipal beach of Thonon les Bains is supervised and offers pools and paddling pools for the little ones. It is also surrounded by a flowery park. The pebble beaches of Saint-Disdille are wilder, they are part of the commune of Thonon les Bains. The town of Evian has several beaches, the gravel beach of the marina is very popular with the inhabitants and finally the beach of Dolfusse located in a huge and superb park.

The port of Evian on the shores of Lake Geneva
The port of Evian on the shores of Lake Geneva© Adobe Stock


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