With its lakeside location, dramatic mountainous backdrop and historic town centre, Geneva is a lovely destination to visit at any time of year. However, during the summer months, the city comes alive with festivals and events, many of which feature fantastic live music and mouth-watering local food. Summer is the ideal time to get out on the shimmering waters of Lake Geneva, soak up stunning views of the city in the sunshine, or explore the local vineyards, all of which are within easy reach for guests staying at the elegant Hotel d’Angleterre. From summer fetes to private yachts and patriotic Swiss celebrations, these are some of the best reasons to visit Geneva in summer.
Swiss National Day
National day is a public holiday celebrated all over Switzerland to mark the founding of the Swiss Confederation. Regular festivities include a parade and a fireworks display. Typically, there’s also a fête hosted in the square of Plainpalais in the centre of Geneva, which involves activities for children alongside live music and dancing. Take part in the celebrations by enjoying a Champagne afternoon tea at the hotel, which can be taken looking out over the lake.
1st August 2017
The Fêtes de Genève 2017
The Fêtes de Genève is Switzerland’s largest annual event, and a key date in the city’s summer dairy. Expect music, fine food and fireworks at this 11-day celebration. Mix with locals on the shores of Lake Geneva, take part in the scheduled Sunday brunch at the Pont du Mont-Blanc, watch the parade of vintage Harley Davidsons, or simply sit back and admire the spectacular fireworks display which takes place on 12th August.
3rd – 13th August 2017
Bains des Pâquis
Locals have been coming to Bains des Pâquis to cool off when the temperatures soar since the late 19th century. Perched on the shores of Lake Geneva, the baths were rebuilt in the 1930s, though they still maintain much of their original charm. Visitors can take a refreshing dip, sunbathe on the beach (which occupies a prime position loking out across the lake), socialise at the bar and restaurant, or pamper themselves in the Turkish hammam.
There are few nicer ways to spend a summer’s day in Geneva than exploring the city’s nearby vineyards. Somewhat underrated, the region’s winemakers produce some award-winning bottles in an impossibly pretty setting of verdant rolling hills and picturesque stone cottages. Be sure to sample region’s award-winning Sauvignon Blanc.
Just a short drive from central Geneva, Mont-Salève is actually located across the French border but offers some extraordinary views of the Swiss city. Climb to the top of this towering peak via one of the many hiking trails, or take it easy in the cable car that delivers visitors to the summit within five minutes. From the top, its possible to see some of the city’s most prominent landmarks such as the Jet d’Eau and Flower Clock.
You can’t visit Geneva during the summer months without spending some time on the waters of Lake Geneva. There are plenty of ways to do this, whether it’s a leisurely cruise, chartering a private yacht complete with your own skipper, or hiring a canoe or pedalo for the afternoon. Sailing classes are available for those looking to develop their seafaring skills, and bike rentals are also widely available, offering a fun way to get around the lake at a leisurely pace. Make a day of it by enjoying a picnic or meal al fresco, which Hotel d’Angleterre is happy to provide on request.
Take in the fantastic views of Lake Geneva and the distant Swiss Alps over a glass of Swiss wine at Hotel d’Angleterre’s Windows Restaurant.
Image Credits: main image © iStock/antares71. Tomatoes © iStock/ti-ja. Swiss flag © iStock/augustavop. Paquis signpost © iStock/sivarock. Fireworks © Geneva Tourism. Swiss vineyard © Geneva Tourism. Cable car © Geneva Tourism. Boat on Lake Geneva © Geneva Tourism.