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Lake Geneva region, (Lac Leman, Genfer See)
Switzerland and France

The Swiss lake of Geneva is a body of water that flows over, I am told, more than 100km of land. It reaches recognized port and provides different kinds of sensations, mostly of peace and tranquility on the shores of specific destinations in France and Switzerland. What is  highly obvious to even the most casual observer is that the lake of Geneva, called in French, Lac Leman and in German, Genfer See, also  provides both a respite from the daily grind of trying to make a living as well as, er, the opportunity to get into the daily grind to make said living.

If proof is needed, all around Lake Geneva are hotels, campsites, towns, villages, mooring berths, and all of the services that go along with all of the above. Also omnipresent is any other service or idea that may appeal to the touring, trying to relax, public. Capish?

These accommodations and services provide gainful, plus one trusts, lucrative employment to those in the daily pursuit of providing said goods and services to hopeful travelers. As locals seem to be few and far between, many of the workers in the above service jobs come from far, far away from Switzerland’s mostly landlocked shores.

Rather that try to expound on all of the villages and cities that make their presence felt on the shores of Lake Geneva, we will simply provide you with a map of the lake and the towns and cities, big and small that dot its shores. These include Geneva, Lausanne, and Montreux in Switzerland as well as Evian, Thonon and Yvoire in France. These larger, well known cities are accessorized by a huge selection of smaller towns and villages that, to me anyway, are the real places to be. The smaller entries provide again my in my mind’s eye, the visitor a real relaxation opportunity and the chance to “lie back” literally and metaphorically on or near the shores of this most beautiful lake.

During this visit we based on the shores of Lake Germany in the villages of Le Bourveret and St.Gingolph. We feel that three days of dining, wining and exploring in the area at least semi-qualifies us to write a little about these villages and to provide an idea of what is available both within and surrounding their most populated areas.

Let’s start with Le Bouveret shall we? To illustrate exactly how pleasant it is to be visiting these particular Lake Geneva shores, I am delighted to share that I am writing this story from the terrace of the La Lagune Restaurant and accompanying hotel. I am sitting here pleasingly proud of the fact that I can work from literally anywhere, working, whilst watching the passenger carrying steam ship, steaming from Bouveret to Montreaux.

 First usage of this ship was with a sense of necessity as I was desperately trying to get to Geneva airport and without a car, Montreaux, by boat, is the best and least expensive option. It worked.  Following onboard journeys were a mixture of transport and pleasure; where do you get that in a normal working day?

Installed once again on my terrace vantage point one sees the boat docking area where many small and medium sized pleasure craft are moored to await their owner’s pleasure. The whole area in fact provides a feeling of well being and contentment. What a way to spend a day; half work and half-well, half just laying back and taking it in. It is difficult to figure how one could be much better off, physically or mentally. Do what you like; work, play or absolutely nothing, the choice is yours.

If you chose get a little exercise or action during your sojourn you may be spoiled for choice. There’s golf both within a 10 minute walk form almost any Le Bouveret hotel, a water park in the village next to La Lagune, lots of boat rental, swimming both in the lake and in the La Lagune pool. There is also the earlier described option of exploring the waterway and the cities and towns that adorn its shores by either CGN steamer or your rented and much less sizeable and salubrious rental boat, dining-well you get the picture. There are plenty of options; boredom is not one of them.

If you visit this area in winter you can reach some of the best skiing in all the European Alps within a very leisurely 45-minute drive. If skiing certainty is necessary there is guaranteed snow on the glacier at Les Diablerets well within the above mentioned time frame. This makes the area an ideal base both for value and convenience during peak winter season. Our experience has shown that suitable, good value accommodation is hard to come by.

One would be completely amiss with this description if mention the smaller but most impressive village of St. Gingolph on the Swiss/French border was not included. St. Gingolph has its own steamboat stop and the village is dotted with great value hotels and fine restaurants that allow you to dine and watch sea based wildlife right on the lake just meters from your table. If you enjoy Lac Leman sea food, good prices and most pleasant service, you cannot miss this treat.