Switzerland- Lavaux, between the grapes and the lake

lavaux vineyards in Switzerland

Lavaux vineyards

Last summer, as we were driving along the Lake Geneva highway, I had a glimpse of the Lavaux area from our car. This brief introduction was enough to excite my (chronic) travel bug and put the Lavaux vineyards firmly on my to-visit-list (it’s always the same when I travel …I meet new people, I see new places, I read local magazines, etc. and I go back home inspired by new travel ideas that a life time can not satisfy!). It was a year later, on our way back from the German speaking area of Switzerland, that we were able to stop a night in Lavaux and enjoy its delights.

The Lavaux vineyards have a perfect profile for me: it is a world heritage site (to help satisfy my slightly compulsive need to visit world heritage sites), can be visited on foot (for an obsessive walker), has amazing views of mountains, vineyards and, of course, the lake… plus it is easily accessible from my home in France (Savoy).

Switzerland Lavaux

Epesses in the Background

We didn’t have a lot of time to spend in the area and the owners of the B&B, where we stayed, did a great job at making sure we made the most of our time. The weather forecast was predicting rain for the days ahead so on arrival and while it was clear we went directly to the most beautiful area of Lavaux called Dezaley. In this area the vineyards are so steep that they seem almost to be falling in to the lake – the locals have to use little trains to help and collect the grapes on this tough gradient. You can enjoy this area in relative calm as the highway (and the noise) vanishes into a tunnel. On our promenade we met lots of locals running or biking after work… lucky them, living in such a pretty area!

The next day it was raining but we still went to Lutry village. My Kiwi has a fetish for old stones and he wanted to see the menhirs found in the town – you can’t miss them as they are on display close to the main parking area, which is on the tourist walking route of the town. However, if menhirs arn’t your thing a stroll in the old village is charming (even under the rain).

And was my travel bug once again exacerbated by our visit to Lavaux? …Yes, the close-by Valais area is now on my “to-visit-list” for our next trip to Europe!

Switzerland Lavaux

Voyagista’s tips

  • Villa Lavaux is a luxury B&B with loads of charm. The owners are very friendly and we enjoyed their advice and company.

  • For a meal, I recommend “Le Signal” in Grandvaux . It is a restaurant mainly serving locals, that offers dinner outside on a terrace

  • It gets really warm in the vineyards so if you go in the summer, better to walk early in the morning or in the early evening.

  • To walk in the Dezaley area, you can park at the exit of the village called Epesses. Then start walking on the little road going down into the vineyards and come back to your car on the panoramic road above the vineyards. It takes about an hour. There is quite a steep climb to go back to the panoramic road.

  • If you have more time you can walk from Saint Saphorin to Lutry or do one of the other numerous little walks on offer. All the information can be downloaded here.

Switzerland Lavaux

Do you know Lavaux ? What do you recommend to see in this area ?

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