During my time in Switzerland, I got to chill out in Geneva and explore the sites. Geneva is a wealthy Swiss city that’s saturated in diverse cultures and surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains. Geneva has a vast array of sites to see, like the United Nations Building, the Reformation Wall, and Jet d’Eau, just to name a few.
What I also like about Geneva’s location, is that it’s an ideal starting point for several excursions and day trips. One place that I never heard of till I was in Geneva is Yvoire. It’s a quaint and untouched medieval town across Lake Geneva in France. We decided to take the ferry to Yvoire and enjoy the sites along the way. It cost $33 US or 26 SFr and takes about one hour, give or take a few minutes to reach Yvoire.
Waiting to get on board a passenger Ferry boat, I took several pictures of the Jet d’Eau and the hundreds of private yachts. Unfortunately, it was misty and rainy that morning, but it didn’t dampen our spirits or our day trip.
Each village is peppered with charming homes with some date back hundreds of years. We appreciated the unique architecture and the extent people had gone to, to preserve these historic homes.
The ferry took us down the northern shore of Lake Geneva, stopping at several picturesque little Swiss villages along the way, finally making our way across to France, landing in Yvoire. It seemed the more north we went, the more sunshine we experienced. By the time we arrived in France, it was warm and beaming with sunshine.
Approaching Yvoire is breathtaking. The first site you see is the Chateau d’Yvoire. It was built in 1306 and played an important role in the trade route along the lake and the Alps. When trade routes changed in the 16th century, it left Yvoire unnoticed for centuries. The castle still dominates the town, but it’s now a privately owned home. It’s been revamped inside and fitted with modern amenities and comforts. It’s gorgeous! Today thanks to tourism, Yvoire is back on the map, and a popular destination must see.
To me, Yvoire is the most beautiful and romantic town along Lake Geneva. This picture- perfect town was built in the early 14th century and not much has changed. They’ve taken care to preserved much of its medieval history and charm. They still have the old town walls, gate, ramparts and well trodden cobblestone roads.
Walking into the town is like taking a huge step back in time. You’re almost overwhelmed with its historic ambience; you just want to savor every moment. The town gate is original, so it’s quite narrow, but back then they only used horses and wagons or walked everywhere.
We enjoyed walking down the quaint alleys and immersing ourselves in the flowery displays that brimmed every home, business, and vacant spot. There were even delicate little flowers growing on the rock walls of a lot of the homes.
With only just over 800 residents, they still offer fabulous services. There are numerous restaurants where you can sit leisurely and enjoy a glass of wine and indulge in the local cuisine. There’s also several cute little shops where you can pick up a unique souvenir. You’ll need to bring Swiss Francs to make your purchases.
Lumbering through peaceful Yvoire was an experience one doesn’t forget. Its alluring characteristic and middle ages charm put a spell on you that’s hard to describe. I’d love to go back and relive the moment. If you get the opportunity to visit Geneva and are looking for something heartwarming to do, I warmly recommend visiting the spectacular town of Yvoire.