FAMILY-FRIENDLY HIKES NEAR GENEVA
by Laura from Let’s Explore
Jeûne Genevois is the perfect time to head for the mountains and soak up the beautiful views! Summer may be over, but we are very lucky to have such beautiful nature on our doorstep and a local public holiday when most others are back to school or back to work! Get the most out of your weekend with our suggestions for family-friendly hikes – most of them are within easy reach of Geneva.
MONT MOUREX, FRANCE
We’ve been going to Mont Mourex for years and we especially like the beautiful views over Geneva and the lake. Mont Mourex is between Gex and Divonne in France. It lies lower than the Jura, which makes it an easy hike. On Mont Mourex you can walk through the meadows where you will often see cows walking around, and you can enjoy the views of the lake on one side and the Jura on the other. It is a lovely place for a picnic as well, so bring along a salad or sandwich! If you prefer walking in a forest rather than through fields, try the other side of Mont Mourex. To get to the forest side, you would park at a restaurant called La Ferme du Mont-Mussy (the restaurant is closed now) which is on your left when you leave Divonne les Bains in the direction of Gex.
HOW TO GET THERE
Drive through Cessy to go to the small town of Mourex. A sign will lead you to a road to your right, which takes you to a little parking area. Beware, the last part of the road is a bit bumpy.
LAC DE ROY, PRAZ DE LYS SOMMAND, FRANCE
We liked our hike to Lac de Roy especially because it gets you to a cute mountain lake after only a short hike (about 45 minutes)! If you would like to continue walking afterwards, you can walk to the top of the mountain from there and enjoy the beautiful view on the lake from above. The shorter hike towards the lake is already beautiful, though, and totally accessible with children!
HOW TO GET THERE
Col de la Ramaz parking lot between the towns of Sommand and Praz de Lys.
VILLARS, VAUD, SWITZERLAND
Villars is a cute Swiss mountain village. Hiking in Villars is excellent because you can combine activities that will give you a real Switzerland feeling in just one day. A scenic little train takes you up on the Col de la Bretaye and from there, many hikes can be done, longer, and shorter ones. We like going in the direction of the Lac de Chavonnes because of the nice Swiss style restaurant with a terrace right in front of the lake. From there, you can also continue to the Lac Noir.
On another hike, we went the other way from the Col de la Bretaye train station (to the right), and hiked passed the typical Swiss sun burnt houses on a beautiful meadow. Villars is just perfect!
HOW TO GET THERE
The driving distance to Villars from Geneva is approximately 1 and a half hours. Buy a Free Access card in the village (free of charge for children up to 9 years old and CHF 12 for adults or bigger kids) at the tourist office for the scenic train to Col de la Bretaye.
MOLÉSON-SUR-GRUYÈRES, FRIBOURG REGION
Most people know the town of Gruyères for a typical Swiss day out because of the cheese factory, but the surrounding region is also very much worth a visit! We love Moléson-sur-Gruyères where you can take several hikes, a scenic train, and combine your day-trip with a visit to beautiful thermal baths!
On Moléson you can either take the scenic train up, or walk up. We usually take the train up, hike around, and then hike down. Down at Moléson there are plenty of activities for children which will still be open during the Jeûne Genevois weekend: bouncy castles, a summer toboggan run, and downhill karts. There is a cute terrace which belongs to the Fromagerie d’Alpage for some regional specialties.
Driving distance from Geneva by car: approximately 1h45 mins
Moléson general website: https://www.moleson.ch/
Thermal Baths: Website for the modern and close-by thermal baths: http://www.bainsdelagruyere.ch/
LA DÔLE, NEAR NYON, HIKING ON BOTH SIDES OF THE SWISS AND FRENCH BORDER
We love the Jura mountains! Hike around La Dôle and see if you can make it to the top, where the white round ball-shaped weather station is that you must have seen many times from below. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to observe chamois here. Any hike at La Dole should finish with a well-deserved drink or some food at the Restaurant La Barillette from where you have a beautiful view on Lac Léman!
HOW TO GET THERE
Drive up from Nyon in the direction of Saint-Cergue and then follow the signs in the direction of Gingins, and then La Dôle. Try to park somewhere from where you can see the top with the weather station. If you want to finish your day at Restaurant La Barillette, it is just a few minutes by car further following the same road you came up.
More information: on the restaurant: (http://www.restaurant-barillette.ch/)
WHO IS LAURA?
Our guest writer Laura writes a 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, you can visit her blog, or follow her Facebook Page.