Last weekend I discovered Switzerland’s natural and authentic landscapes through the beautiful region of Lavaux.
I’ve been to Switzerland quite a few times already, but it was always about visiting cities and urban setups. Everybody knows Switzerland is known for its natural beauty and not its skyscrapers, so it was time we started diving into this country’s beautiful landscapes. After some research on numerous travel blogs, it seemed that a hike around the region of Lavaux was the best option. We wanted an autumn weekend getaway: a long peaceful walk, plenty of good rest, and a good glass of Swiss wine.
The Lavaux region belongs to the canton of Vaud in Switzerland and consists of around 800 hectares of terraced vineyards. It spreads around 30 km along the shores of Lake Geneva. The region of Lavaux has been one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2007, the vineyards being protected from development. Also, since 2016, they are not treated with synthetic pesticides any more.
The closest biggest city to Lavaux is Lausanne. So we booked 2 nights at Hotel Boutique Carlton for a weekend that gave us the perfect mix between nature scenery and urban walks. If you are a Half-Fare card holder, get the 1-day travel-pass, it gets you unlimited travelling all along Switzerland – city local transport and boats included. You don’t need to reserve your seats, just hop on the next train you need (preferably 10-15 minutes before departure) and take any open seat. Traveling in Switzerland is so incredibly easy, especially since all central stations are in the center and super well connected to public transport.
We only had one day to visit Lavaux so we decided to take the most often recommended hiking trail, the Swiss Wine Route. The exception was that we did it the other way around: from Lutry to Saint-Saphorin. So Saturday morning we took the train from Lausanne to Lutry, a charming medieval town just a few minutes away. Lutry was hosting La Fete du Vin, but unfortunately we got there a bit too early for la fete, so we simply enjoyed the walk around the port and the pitoresque streets, all dressed in autumn decorations.
Just a few minutes walking uphill from Lutry, we stepped into these amazing vineyards, which are mainly know for their Chasselas grapes that make a fruity fresh white wine.
Around a quarter of production is represented by red wines made from Gamay and Pinot noir grapes, which I was very eager to taste, even if it was rather forbidden 🙂
The scenery up and down the hill was so breathtaking that I was stopping to take pictures every 5 minutes.
After a glass of white wine and some cacahuates in Villette we got really hungry. We asked local people and found out that we were too late for lunch. Luckily we found a nice terrace restaurant in the next village of Grandvaux where we enjoyed the après-midi Panier Gorumand and… some more white wine 🙂
The view from the top was utterly beautiful.
It’s important to plan your trip, as most restaurants along the way stop serving lunch after 13:30. Also, 17:00 seems to be the underlining hour when all caves open for wine tasting. If you feel lazy or simply cannot walk such a long distance, the Lavaux Express is a great way to see les alentours in one day. Santé!