Travelling on Lake Leman: The charm of Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Lake Leman, also known as Lake Geneva, is a breathtakingly beautiful freshwater lake located in the centre of Europe. This iconic body of water attracts tourists, expats and locals with its stunning scenery and rich history. Its shores are home to many picturesque communities such as Montreux, Lausanne, Geneva, Vevey and Veito. Spending a day in any of these places, you are sure to feel their special charm. And at the same time, you can spend a month exploring these lakeside surroundings and find something new and amazing every day.

In this article, we'll give you the facts and a few places around Lake Leman that are worth visiting for at least a day. Our recommendations are based on personal travelling in the region and exploring its shores.

Lake Lehman facts

  • Lake Leman, also known as Lake Geneva, is the largest lake in the Alps and the second largest in Central Europe after Lake Balaton. Located in Switzerland and France, in Switzerland the lake is located in the cantons of Vaud, Geneva and Valais.
  • The main tributaries of Lake Geneva come from the Rhone River, and it itself is located in the floodplain of this river, having a crescent shape resembling a croissant.
  • The area of the lake is about 580 square kilometres, and its maximum depth reaches 310 metres. The north side of the lake is famous for its wine production, including the famous Lavaux Vineyards, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Lake Leman has a fleet of Belle Époque steamers offering scenic cruises and giving the lake a romantic atmosphere.
  • The lake is home to many unique species of plants and animals. A variety of fish such as bass, trout and whitefish can be seen in its clear waters.

Lake Leman temperature

The water temperature in Lake Leman varies depending on the time of year.

In the summer, the water in Lake Geneva can warm up to over 24°C, making it a great place to swim and relax. There are also several public beaches where you can safely enjoy the sun and water.

In winter, the water temperature in Lake Leman can drop to as low as 1°C. However, this does not stop extreme swimmers and you can see those who prefer to swim in the lake all year round.

There are many beautiful towns and villages around Lake Geneva on both the Swiss and French sides. Below we list some of these places around Lake Leman that we have personally visited:

Where to go in Geneva

Geneva, Switzerland

  • Population as of 2024: 639,000 people

Located on the western shore of Lake Geneva, Geneva in Switzerland is a unique international city that attracts attention due to the presence of United Nations offices and international humanitarian organisations.

The city is famous for its historical landmarks, including the iconic Jet d'Eau fountain and the headquarters of the Red Cross. Geneva in Switzerland is a centre of diplomacy, financial transactions and cultural diversity, attracting visitors with its diverse selection of shops, restaurants and parks.

Geneva in Switzerland is popular with tourists and locals alike for its convenient location and accessibility. Geneva Airport is just a short drive from the centre, making it an ideal location for weekend trips. It is also widely used by both local Swiss residents and those from neighbouring French regions due to its convenient transport infrastructure.

Lausanne, Switzerland

  • Population as of 2024: 465,000 people

Located on the northern shore of Lake Geneva, Lausanne in Switzerland attracts with its picturesque hilly landscapes and unique cultural heritage. This fourth largest city in Switzerland is renowned for its rich culture, including the amazing Art Brut collection and the Lausanne Opera House.

The city of Lausanne in Switzerland is an amazing place to walk around. Visitors can enjoy a stroll from the shopping district to the Parc Milano with its beautiful views and walk through the botanical garden. The lakeside promenade offers the opportunity to take boat trips and enjoy the panorama of nature.

The city of Lausanne itself is quite large and lively, with plenty of shops and shopping opportunities. This is a great place to spend a day on Lake Geneva and enjoy all that this beautiful city has to offer.

Montreux, Switzerland

  • Population as of 2024: 26,230 people

Montreux is a charming town located on the eastern shore of Lake Geneva that is famous for its annual jazz festival and Christmas market. Surrounded by vineyards and the majestic Alps, Montreux in Switzerland surprises with stunning views.

One of Montreux's main attractions is its picturesque lakeside promenade, where beautiful flowers thrive, creating a great atmosphere for photographs. A stroll along the waterfront surrounded by flowers, lake and mountains will be an unforgettable experience.

Montreux in Switzerland delights visitors with many activities all year round, suitable for all ages. One of the popular tourist destinations is the Chillon Castle with its castle walls, ceremonial halls and unique chapel decorated with frescoes from the 14th century.

What to do in Vevey, Switzerland

Vevey, Switzerland

  • Population as of 2024: 19,738 people

Nestled between vineyard-framed hills and lakeside, Vevey in Switzerland is famous for its ties to Nestlé and the statue of Charlie Chaplin on the seafront. Among Vevey's highlights are the Alimentarium, a unique food museum, and the annual Escalade festival.

The town of Vevey in Switzerland is famous for its picturesque scenery and cosy atmosphere. Here you will find hotels offering peaceful accommodation and easy access to public transport. Surrounded by a picturesque rural area with many restaurants, Vevey is a great place to relax and explore the beauty of Switzerland.

Vejto, Switzerland

  • Population as of 2024: 975 people

Veito in Switzerland, located south of Montreux, attracts both locals and tourists due to the famous Chillon Castle. The village's accessibility by both car and train makes it a popular destination for day trips for tourists staying in neighbouring cities such as Geneva or Montreux.

Chillon Castle, one of the key attractions in Veuteux in Switzerland, is a majestic medieval structure located on a small island close to the coast. This castle is one of the most visited historical monuments in Switzerland, and every visitor should see it. The castle is open to the public, and guided tours inside allow you to learn about its rich history and former inhabitants.

Even if you don't plan to visit its interior, we recommend taking a stroll along the lakeside to enjoy the view of this impressive castle.


Truly, Lake Leman has many amazing places and opportunities to explore. From picturesque towns and villages to majestic castles, from cultural activities to active water-based holidays, there is something to suit everyone's taste. And while each journey around the lake may reveal new corners and experiences, each brings its own special experience and memorable moments. Enjoy your adventures in this beautiful region.


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