FAIRY-TALE CASTLES IN OR NEAR GENEVA
by Laura from Let’s Explore
Do you like visiting castles as much as we do? We have been to quite a few, in Switzerland and beyond. It is a great activity for a rainy day, or a dreamy setting on sunny days as castles in our region are often located close to the lake. Here are our top picks of castles to visit as a day trip from Geneva:
CHATEAU DE VOLTAIRE – Ferney-Voltaire, France
Château de Voltaire is not a big castle, but still an interesting one and situated only 20 minutes from Geneva. The famous writer and philosopher Voltaire used to live here and chose Ferney due to its proximity to Switzerland. The Chateau has recently been modernised and now has some interactive displays explaining the history of the castle and the life of Voltaire. The castle is surrounded by a beautiful park. and since it is not very big, you can combine it with a visit to the Saturday market in Ferney-Voltaire.
CHÂTEAU DE CHILLON – near Montreux
Château de Chillon is probably one of Switzerland’s most famous castles and conveniently located for a day trip from Geneva. We have been to Chillon castle several times and also like to take our out-of-town visitors here. It is beautifully set on the lake, or even partly in the lake, and we love peeking through the windows to admire the view. The castle is also a very interesting place to visit with kids and you can easily spend a few hours here. Chateau de Chillon organises several events throughout the year, so make sure to check their website and calendar.
CHÂTEAU DE PRANGINS
Chateau de Prangins is part of the Swiss National Museum and has an extensive permanent exhibition, a historic kitchen garden with long-forgotten vegetables, and many temporary exhibitions. At the moment, the temporary exhibition is definitely one we love as it talks about what’s in the cooking pots of the ‘Homo Helveticus’: ‘A table! What does Switzerland eat?’.
If you would like to know all about Swiss food, check out our previous article on favourite Swiss foods and make sure to visit the exhibition which runs until October 20th 2019. If you’re visiting the castle in summer, visit the Plage de Promenthoux.
CHÂTEAU DE NYON
We love walking around in Nyon! By the lake or up to the castle. The castle does look almost too well maintained and therefore less old, but that is actually not the case as it dates from the 12th century. What we like most is sitting on the panoramic terrace of the castle which is a great lookout point over the lake.
CHÂTEAU DE COPPET
Chateau de Coppet can be visited from April to October and is very close to Geneva (only 9 minutes by train). They sometimes also organise events, such as music concerts or theatre plays, and to have the Chateau as a setting for those kind of events is very romantic. After visiting the Château you could walk in the small old town which has a portico or enjoy the lake in Coppet.
CHÂTEAU DE MORGES
The castle of Morges has exhibitions of Swiss military and arms. At the moment, a temporary exhibition on imaginary arms is on display. If arms is not your thing, then Morges is also just a beautiful town to visit!
Let’s Explore has written a round-up post on castles in Switzerland which also features castles further afield. Would you like to know more about Swiss castles in other regions, then check out the full article on Let’s Explore:
WHO IS LAURA?
Our guest blogger Laura writes her own blog – Let’s Explore, where she shares her tips and ideas for travelling with children, and hiking and skiing around Geneva. Originally from the Netherlands, she now lives in Switzerland with her French-Swiss husband and two boys. Passionate about cultures – whether they be far away or closer to home, she sees moving around as a ‘school of life’. When she is not moving around, she still discovers cultures by cooking recipes with locals from multiple countries! If you would like to find out more about Let’s Explore’s travel tips or recipes, you can visit her blog, or follow her Facebook Page.