Mont Salève picture
Victor/Flickr

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.7scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

No matter how physically fit you are, odds are you'll enjoy checking out Mont Salève. Situated about 12 miles southeast of Geneva across the Franco-Swiss border, this mountain offers a plethora of hiking and mountain biking paths, as well as paragliding and cross-country ski trails. If you don't want to break a sweat while visiting, climb aboard Mont Salève's cable car, which drops visitors off at an observation deck with a restaurant.

Previous visitors praised Mont Salève's hiking trails and views of Geneva. Many also enjoyed watching paragliders jump off the mountain and airplanes taking off and landing at Genève Aéroport. However, the mountain's proximity to Geneva makes it easy to forget that this natural wonder is in another country, so remember to bring your passport (to present at the border) and euros (for purchasing items on-site).

Mont Salève can be reached by driving (free parking is provided) or taking the No. 8 bus from Geneva to the border. You can then walk, bike or take the cable car to the top. The mountain itself is free to visit 24 hours a day, but fees apply for select mountain activities and meals at the on-site restaurant. One-way rides on the cable car cost 7.30 euros ($8.50) per adult, while round-trip tickets are 11.30 euros (roughly $13) each. Reduced rates are available for children and seniors; passes are sold on Telepherique du Salève's website. If you have a Geneva Pass, your cable car ride is covered. Weather permitting, the cable car is generally open between April and October from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. When visiting Mont Salève, keep in mind that some trails are only accessible part of the year.

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Lake Geneva (Lac Léman)1 of 9
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Time to Spend
#1 Lake Geneva (Lac Léman)

Straddling the Franco-Swiss border is Lake Geneva, a 224-square-mile lake formed by the Rhône River. It has been a popular vacation spot for years, drawing such memorable names as Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin and Sophia Loren. In fact, many of Lake Geneva's visitors (including Hepburn and Chaplin) were so smitten with the area that they became permanent residents.

If you're looking to spend some time away from the city, there are plenty of attractions located along the lake's shores. Explore the vineyards and wineries in Lausanne on the lake's northern shore, or head to Montreux for belle epoque architecture. Back in Geneva (at the lake's southernmost shore), you can go swimming at the Pâquis Baths and watch the Jet d'Eau.

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