Lake Geneva or Lac Léman is a large lake shared by between France and Switzerland. With a backdrop of the Alps and fresh mountain water, Lake Geneva is a wonderful place to spend the summer. On the Swiss side you can visit the lake towns of Geneva, Lausanne and Montreux. While on the French side you’ll be able to visit Thonon-les-Bains and Evian-les-Bains. I spent 6 months living in Annemasse working as an au pair. Annemasse is a little French town just outside of Geneva and the perfect access point to many of the lovely lake towns. I visited Thonon-les-Bains and Evian-les-Bains a few times on my days off. I would definitely recommend going in summer as the colour of the lake is gorgeous, the promenades are lined with brightly coloured flowers, you can grab an ice cream or pay to swim in one of the public pools.
Thonon-Les-Bains is a 30 minute train ride from Annemasse. Thonon is a little fishing village on Lake Geneva.
Head down to the town’s lovely cobbled streets lined with colourful buildings, boulangeries, patisseries and chocolatiers.
Then make your way down to the port. Walking along the quay, you can take in the gorgeous and panoramic vista of the turquoise Lake and snow-capped peaks of Lausanne, Switzerland.
If, like me, you go there on a rainy wintery day be sure to check out the very inviting ‘Chez Fernand’. It was kinda like a tapas bar and was done so tastefully. The gouté (snack) special and atmospheric vibe lured me in and soon I was enjoying Crepe Suzette and a warm chai vanilla drink.
Songs like 1985 by Bowling for Soup and other great English punk rock songs played in the background as I did two of my favourite things: people watch and write in my travel journal. I really had such a wonderful moment of happiness as I enjoyed my first proper French café experience.
I’m really enjoying my little day trips and being able to discover this little corner of France and Switzerland. Of course I’m also very excited for my proper holidays that I have planned. In a week’s time I will be flying to Amsterdam where I will spend 3 nights. I have also paid for my air tickets and accommodation deposit for my week trip to Italy in April. I’m going to be meeting up with one of my best friends from South Africa, Khara. It’s all very exciting and I’m so grateful for this incredible opportunity to travel and be out of my comfort zone. I can already see how I’ve grown in leaps and bounds as a person after only 7 weeks.
Evian-les-Bains is most popularly known as a spa-town and for the famous (and very expensive) Evian mineral water. In summer you can have a walk along the promenade, check out the port and enjoy the flower lined lake. Why not pay your few Euros and visit the Evian-plage (the pool beach). Rates: Adult: 3.10 to 4.80 €Child: 1.70 to 3.60 €. Free entry for children < 6 years. you can enjoy a number of different swimming pools and waterslides. It’s a lovely way to spend a summer afternoon.
If you’re visiting more of France on your trip why not check out my French regional guides:
A winter skiing trip to Tignes
Champagne region: Epernay