Beaches in Geneva

WHERE TO COOL OFF IN GENEVA

BEST BEACHES  IN AND AROUND GENEVA

by Chené Koscielny, Alexandra Belz, Kelly Marcisz

Where to go to cool off on a boiling summer’s day in Geneva or neighbouring France? – luckily we’re spoilt for choice, from the beaches of Lac Leman and other nearby lakes, public swimming pools – of which there are many to choose from, to the option of a dip in the river near Jonction.

We share our favourites with you. If you’d like to add yours, let us know.

 

BABY PLAGE – sandy beach and swings

Geneva beaches Baby Plage may be one of the tiniest beaches in the city but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in beauty. Children (of all ages) love dangling from the various swings made from recycled tyres that hang in the shadow of three huge plane trees. The tiny patch of white sand is ideal for small children and there is a lawned area for sunbathers on one end of the beach. Try having a quick dip in the early evening just as the sun is setting over the Jura, it’s truly a magical place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Entry: Free

Address: Quai Gustave-Ador, 1208 Genève, Switzerland

Facilities: Toilets, Buvette, Showers

Opening Hours: 24hrs, all year round

Top Tip: Get there early to get a spot under the trees

Note: No dogs allowed

NEWS: During the summer of 2018 you will notice a lot of building activity in the area between Baby Plage and Geneve Plage. The city has embarked on an ambitious project to join the two beaches by creating the longest man-made beach, which is expected to open by summer 2019.  (TBC)

 

BAIN DES PAQUIS – interesting people, inexpensive healthy food

Geneva beachesFor hanging out with the locals and enjoying an inexpensive day at the beach in the centre of Geneva, this is one of our favourite options.

Somewhat of an institution in Geneva, the Bains de Pâquis is always popular throughout the year because of the inexpensive buvette which offers very good value for money and includes a vegetarian option every day (take a few picnic options for fussy eaters though). The choice usually includes one plat du jour (with a vegetarian plat du jour too), a selection of salads, a Mediterranean platter of cold meats and fruit or cheese and cakes.  Ice-creams and drinks are available too.

The beach is pebbly and can get quite crowded on a summer’s day, but we’ve always managed to find a spot. There is a slide for little ones and a climbing wall and floating island for bigger children.

On the restaurant side there are huge sun decks – one side is exclusively for women (we even spotted a group of ladies knitting the other day) and the other side is mixed.  Expect to see some topless women sunning themselves or the odd naked swimmer diving into the lake.

NEWS: The Bains de Pâquis also offers events, including sunrise music sessions (Aubes Musicales) during August and Friday night apéro evenings with music – check their website for more details.

For more information about the massages and hammams at Bains de Paquis, check out our article on spas.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Entry: 2chf (adults), 1chf (children over 6) free (children under 6)

Address: Quai du Mont-Blanc 30, 1201 Genève

Facilities: Toilets, Showers, Changing Cubicles, Buvette, Massages and Hammams, Table Tennis Tables, Zip Line, Diving Boards, Lifeguards

Opening Hours: every day, depending on the weather from 7am-11pm (summer).  The buvette is open for both lunch and dinner, as well as breakfast from 7am (summer) and 8am (winter)

Top Tip: Take rubber shoes for the pebbly beach

Note: No dogs allowed

Click here for website

Email: info@aubp.ch

 

 

PLAGE DE LA SAVONNIÈRE – the crayfish and the pizza.

Geneva beachesA beautiful pebbly beach with enormous lawns and many trees offering loads of shade on a scorching day, the Plage de la Savonnière is a great place to while away a summer’s day.

The atmosphere is festive and international as families and friends celebrate birthday parties and enjoy summer barbecues – there are dedicated barbecue spots, but be sure to arrive early to ensure you get a chance to cook your lunch. Even though there were many people on the day of our visit, the area didn’t feel overcrowded.  We rented paddle boards (CHF20 per hour) from GE Paddle and the friendly instructor took his time to ensure we were safe (they offer private courses and team-building sessions too). The buvette, also run by the GE Paddle team – was a real discovery. They offer delicious pizzas and check out their Facebook page for updates about the crayfish festivals when they offer fresh ‘écrevisses’ – crayfish freshly delivered from the lake and prepared with garlic and parsley.

Arancini – a deep-fried stuffed rice ball.

The thin crust pizza, (CHF10 for a generous margherita) the best we’ve had in Geneva so far, is made by Sicilian pizza-maker Maestro Calagero. We also tried his arancini – a Sicilian speciality – a deep fried rice ball coated in breadcrumbs and stuffed with gooey mozzarella and tuna (or other fillings). It was yummy and filling for CHF7.50. They also offer paninis, cookies and muffins.

The drinks include freshly prepared juices, local juices, iced tea, beer and wine and ice creams.

 

 

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Entry: Free

Address: Chemin Armand-Dufaux 13, 1245 Collonge-Bellerive

Telephone: GE Paddle 079 510 18 69

Facilities: Public toilets (closed from November-March), Buvette, Shower, Open Air Massage (enqure at GE Paddle), Play Park

Opening Hours: 8am-11pm (the buvette closes at 10pm)

Top Tip: Take rubber shoes for the pebbly beach

Note: No dogs allowed

Check the #GE Paddle facebook page for more info about events, paddle boards and competitions etc.

 

GENEVE PLAGE – loads of space and diving  boards

Geneva beachesGeneva’s biggest beach, Geneve Plage (which is about to get bigger following a massive beach project to link this beach to Baby Plage) offers 3 pools and a splash pool for babies. The huge lawns offer some shade and is a lovely place to while away a few hours.

Children enjoy the inflatable obstacle course (CHF7 for 30 minutes) on the lake. There is an Olympic size pool for swimmers, a pool for non-swimmers and a baby pool, as well as a dedicated swimming area in the lake. Stand-up paddle boards are available to rent. Dive into the lake from a 10m, 5m or 1m diving board. Weekends can get quite busy, so arrive early.

As of summer 2018 you can enjoy an al fresco lunch on the pretty restaurant terrace. Open for lunch and dinner.

Food options include 3 restaurants: The terrace restaurant offer salads, steaks, pizzas and perches with chips. The self-service café has the usual fare of sandwiches, salads, sausages and chips and the buvette offers hot dogs, nachos, pizzas, chips, salads and ice cream.

 

 

Entry: CHF7 per adult  CHF per child

Opening hours: Open from 10 May until 16 September between 10h and 20h, including weekends and public holidays.

Facilities: Changing cubicles, public toilets, lockers, volley ball courts and restaurants. Parking in nearby Geneva Plage public parking garage. Swimming, diving, aqua zumba courses. Massages.

Address: Quai de Cologny 5, Pont Noir, Cologny

Note: No dogs allowed.

 

 

 

THE PLAGE DE VERSOIX – bagels, cake and pedalos

Another beach we love is the one at the Plage de Versoix, a short 15 minutes drive from Geneva with plenty of parking (follow signs for Choiseul).  A large grassy park with a pebbly beach with lots of activities to choose from including paddle boarding, pedalos and boat hire. The Buvette du Port Choiseul offers a wide variety of food and drinks at reasonable prices, including generously filled bagels, homemade cakes and freshly squeezed fruit juice. Live music and a BBQ take place on Thursday evenings during the summer. We often spend a Sunday afternoon there renting paddle boards and weaving amongst the sailing boats in the port, before visiting the cafe to watch the world go by.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Entry: Free

Address: Chemin des Graviers 31, 1290 Versoix

Facilities: Public toilets, Buvette, Showers, Water Skiing, Paddle Board Rental, Pedalo Rental, Boat Rental, Petanque

Opening Hours: 9am-7pm from 15th May-15th September

Top Tip: Take rubber shoes for the pebbly beach

Note: No dogs allowed

 

 

THE LAC DE PASSY – the scenery and keeping the kids busy

Geneva beachesThere is nothing better on a humid mid-summer’s day in Geneva than a trip into the Alps to the Lac de Passy to cool off in the lake.  This turquoise oasis of water is encircled by a soft sandy beach against a backdrop of the still snowcapped Alpes. However, this particular beach has more than average to offer regardless of their age: mini golf, aquabiking, paddle board and pedalo hire, go karting and a “parcours aventure” for the energetic.  Alternatively, you can relax on the beach where plenty of scattered trees provide shade (although I would recommend bringing your own parasol as these spots are always in high demand on scorchingly hot days) and grab a basic snack from the buvette de la Plage.  It’s a truly stunning picture postcard experience – go grab your lilo!

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Entry: Free, although from the end of June-end of August there is a 2 euro parking fee

Address: chemin de Mont Blanc Plage, 74190 Passy, France

Facilities: Public toilets, Buvette & Bar Restaurant, Showers, Mini Golf, Aquabiking, Paddle Board Rental, Pedalo Rental, Go Karting, Parcours Aventure, Bouncy Inflatables, Mini Golf

Opening Hours: All Year, although the majority of the facilities are only available from 8th July–3rd September (and surveillance on the beach is from midday to 6pm)

Top Tip: Bring your own parasol or get there early to grab a shaded spot

Note: No dogs allowed on beach, but allowed on the pathways that surround the lake

Click here for website

 

CRANS-PRÈS-CÉLIGNY BEACH –  Chilled Rosé while the children play

Geneva beachesThis special find is set directly on the border of lac Leman with a magnificent view over a well groomed grassland, a small harbour,  the lake and onto the distant mountains. A playground entertains small children while the adults can enjoy a glass of chilled Rosé in Port de Crans buvette located next to the Club Nautique de Crans or play a round of beach volleyball.

The buvette is open from 1st of March to 31st of October from 09:00 to 21:00 (can be extended during the peak season) and serves foods like filet de perche and ferá doré at reasonable prices (for Switzerland!). There is a good choice of beers and wines and the setting gives you a feeling of being in the south of France.

The weekends are busy with locals but it is not as crowded as many other well-known places in Geneva. You will find free parking very close on either side of Route Suisse.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Entry: Free

Address: Route Suisse 16, 1229 Crans-près-Céligny

Facilities: Public toilets, Buvette & Bar Restaurant, playground

Opening Hours: All Year, although the buvette is only open from the 1st of March until the 31st of October from 9am till 21.00.

 

LES ROCAILLES BEACH – Volleyball and picnics

Geneva beachesJust past the village of Coppet this lovely place offers a grassland- area for a day in the sun, a picnic (there are three BBQs for public use) and direct access to a small pebble beach as well as the lake to cool off. A full-sized sand volleyball pitch can be used by the public and soft drinks, beer, wines and simple food ( croque Monsieur and paninis) as well as ice cream are being served at the basic, but cosy buvette. Fish and chips, hot dogs, salads and crèpes are prepared in a trailer next to the buvette. There are two well-maintained public toilets, and some parking spaces free of charge are located directly next to the buvette as well as a bigger parking lot across on the other side of Route Suisse.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Address: Chemin des Bernodes, 1296 Coppet

Opening hours: Open every day from 10:00 to 22:00

Facilities: Buvette, parking, public toilets and volleyball net.

 

NYON PLAGE DES TROIS JETEÉS Quieter beach and spectacular views

Nyon’s main beach, the “Plage de Trois Jetées” is only 35 minutes by car from Geneva and definitely worth the short drive! Entrance to the beach is free and visitors are greeted by unspoiled views of the beautiful lake. Like most ‘beaches’ in the Lake Geneva area, there is no sand but instead a lawn of soft green grass to lay down your towels and chairs. This particular beach is quite small and we recommend going before lunchtime to grab a good spot. The lake is easily accessible by a slippery staircase (careful!) that leads you straight into the water. As the name suggests there are three jetties, which you can swim to and climb on top of; from here you have a spectacular view of the lake and mountains as well the neighbouring French shores.

 

There is a little restaurant serving food and drinks or you can take a picnic basket and enjoy your day in the sun. Escape to Nyon for a quieter beach day and spectacular views!

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Entry: Free

Opening hours: Until 30th of September 7 days a week from 9h – 21h.

Address: Route de Geneve, 1260, Nyon.

Facilities: Parking nearby, buvette, showers, changing cubicles, table tennis tables and little slide for children.

No dogs allowed.

 

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