Things to do in Geneva
Geography dictates that Switzerland will never be associated with beach holidays, but the whopping great body of water on Geneva’s doorstep means the summer months do offer plenty of beach-like activities. Join the locals for a swim in the lake at the Bains des Pâquis (tel: +41 22 732 29 74; www.bains-des-paquis.ch), a 1930s-built public bathing area which also offers a hammam, spa treatments and a great little bar.
You can't come to Geneva and not venture onto the lake at some point. The number of cruising options is fairly extensive: find full-blown luxury cruises where fine dining accompanies the view, leisurely Sunday cruises, one-hour cruises, fondue cruises, lunch cruises, sunset cruises and the list goes on. The Compagnie Générale de Navigation (tel: + 41 0 900 929 929; www.cgn.ch), which operates the lake's main passenger boats, has a variety of enticing options.
It’s possible to go rafting through Geneva's city centre with local company Rafting Loisirs (tel: +41 22 784 0205; www.rafting-loisirs.ch). Inflatable rafts cover an 8km (5 mile) route, taking in eight waterfalls along the way, along the Arve River. Take in the heart of Geneva itself, as well as the more rustic environs of the surrounding countryside, before arriving into the city and flowing into the Rhône River.
Geneva is situated within striking distance of some of the Alps' best resorts. Among them are Gstaad, Zermatt and Crans-Montana, as well as the French towns of Val d’Isère and Chamonix. If you want to test your sliding skills without going too far, head to the Jura resort of Les Rousses (www.lesrousses.com) - only 40 minutes from the city.
The vineyards on the sunny slopes above Lake Geneva hold plenty of wine tasting opportunities, especially in the UNESCO heritage region of Lavaux. Catch a 'wine train' through the vines (tel: +41 0 848 848 791; www.lavauxexpress.ch). Visit Geneva in May and you may catch the annual caves ouvertes (open cellars), when local wine producers throw open their doors to the public for a day of wine tasting.