BEST DAYS OUT FROM GENEVA – MARCH 2019
by Alexandra Belz
Our suggestions for things to do when you want a short break or day trip from Geneva this month.
This amazing exhibition of contemporary and modern art takes places every year in Miami, Hong Kong and Basel, and brings together the international art world with the world’s leading galleries showing the works of over 4,000 artists.
Basel becomes one big art gallery during these days and offers many artsy events. You will be able to drive up there in a day but staying over night and enjoy two day at the show is a real treat. Attention: should you wish to stay in a hotel, book soon as rooms are getting scarcer. The Art Basel website offers links to accommodation suggestions.
Art Basel and the Swiss Railway (SBB) is offering a special package including a return railway ticket and the entry ticket to the show at reduced prices, which is worthwhile checking out on www.artbasel.com or www.sbb.ch .
Ticket Purchase options: 1-day ticket Chf 58.00
2-day ticket Chf 98.00
Permanent ticket Chf 140.00
…and there are more options available online or at the box office
When: June 13-16, 2019
Opening hours: 11:00 to 19:00 every day
Get the program and buy tickets online (available up to the last day of the show, all major credit cards are accepted)
A DAY IN MONTREUX
About one hour away from Geneva you will find what locals call The Swiss Riviera with its palm tree- lined avenues along the lake. It is particularly beautiful to see the tropical trees with the snow-covered mountains in the near distance. The walk from one side of Montreux to the other takes about an hour and the view over the crystal clear water of lac Léman invites you to sit on a bench and let your thoughts wander… Montreux has come to international fame when Claude Nobs founded the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1967 and it has since been held annually in early July. It is the second largest annual jazz festival in the world and had many big names of the jazz music world perform in the different theatres. So if you walk along the lake you can find bronze statues of prominent musicians everywhere, including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles or Freddy Mercury.
Of course you have to have lunch in MONTREUX JAZZ CAFÉ, which is located in the Hotel Fairmont Royal Palace (the most beautiful hotel sur place… but also the most expensive one). For a slightly cheaper, but tasty option, try LA ROUVENAZ. For another really special treat check out the terrace of the RESTAURANT and HOTEL L’ERMITAGE. The outdoor terrace or indoor dining room is located right on the border of lthe lake with spectacular views over the water and the mountains – highly recommended!
OTHER THINGS TO DO IN MONTREUX:
THE STUDIO EXPERIENCE is a museum that lets you enter into the world of Queen.
MONTREUX MUSEUM displays archaeology, art, sculptures and more in a beautiful 17th century vineyard house.
PLEXUS ART GALLERY opened its doors in 2017 and showcases rotating exhibits of contemporary and modern art including high-profile Swiss artists.
Montreux Jazz Café
Avenue Claude-Nobs 2
0041- (0)21 962 13 00
Booking online through www.montreuxjazzcafe.ch or www.lafourchette.ch
Restaurant La Rouvenaz
Rue du Marché 1
Rue du Lac 75
The Studio Experience
Casino Barrière Montreux
Rue du Theatre
Rue de la Gare 40
Plexus Art Gallery
Rue du Lac 61
CHÂTEAU DE CHILLON (between Montreux and Villeneuve)
This is an amazing medieval island castle (Chillon started off as a Roman outpost with its first written record dated back to 1005) in the lake Léman and a few minutes past Montreux, in Veytaux. It is definitely worth a visit if you have children as you can spend a good couple of hours walking through the whole castle feeling like a knight or a princess. Château de Chillon is one of the most visited castles in Switzerland and Europe and you can book guided tours or rent an audio guide.
Avenue de Chillon 21
0041- (0)21 966 89 10
Opening hours: 9:30- 17:00 every day
AMAZING SLEDGE RUNS
Switzerland is a paradise for sledders and officially there are about 150 toboggan runs but there might be many more. So while the weather still permits why not pack up the family and the sledge/s (or rent them at the location by the hour, half day or the entire day) and try out the following runs:
Les Diablerets (between Aigle and Gstaad)
Length 7,2 km
Distance from Geneva 1 hour 50 minutes
Château-d’Oex (close to Gstaad)
Length 4 km
Distance from Geneva 1 hour 45 minutes
Length 15 km
Mount Männlichen to Grindelwald
Length 10 km
Distance from Geneva 2 hours 45 minutes
Length 11 km
Distance from Geneva 2 hours 40 minutes
All the above places are wonderful get aways for a weekend with amazing facilities for nordic skiing or cross country skiing.
Do not forget to dress warm, best to be in skiing outfits as you might get wet during the ride. Also bring gloves, a woolly hat (possibly a helmet for steeper rides) and sun glasses.