CYCLE THROUGH GENEVA’S PICTURE-PERFECT VINEYARDS
by Alexandra Osváth
If you’re spending more time than expected in Geneva this summer, grab your bike (or rent one!) and head out into the surrounding countryside to explore idyllic vineyards and villages.
Our favourite route by far is through Geneva’s centuries-old wine-growing districts of Satigny, Russin and Dardagny, just a few kilometres from France. Click on the map to see a detailed route you can follow on your phone.
Also check our other Cycling route through Geneva for non-road warriors article.
We biked from central Geneva, but I had a little help from my e-bike! If you’re looking for a more leisurely day (or just can’t handle hills like me), you can rent one at Genèveroule just behind Gare Cornavin, the main train station.
Another option is taking the regional train! You can take your bikes with you on the 15-minute train ride to Satigny station. The terminus is La Plaine but we’d recommend getting off at Satigny, otherwise more of your bike route will be uphill. You could take the train on the way there or on the way back, or even both ways. And if you have the yearly or monthly TPG public transport pass, it’s included – although you’ll have to purchase a ticket for your bike.
If you’re biking from central Geneva, from Cornavin station head towards Meyrin and Vernier, either via Route de Meyrin or Rue de Lyon/Avenue de Châtelaine. It won’t be a very pretty route until you get out into the countryside, although Vernier village is quaint. Vernier’s beautiful town hall (mairie) is actually worth a quick detour!
The village of Bourdigny ushers you into the Satigny wine-growing district, the largest in Switzerland. As you peddle along the quiet lane, you’ll soon realise you’ve entered another world. Time is slower here – slow down and savour it.
Several of the vineyards you’ll pass offer tastings during the day, but this may vary. Check the Google map of this route, where you can click on the webpage for each vineyard.
As you cycle further, feel free to take smaller paths through forests and vineyards… the region is ripe for exploring.
En route to Russin, we stopped for a cold drink at a little restaurant called La Chaumaz, surrounded by vineyards and horses. Afterwards it was refreshingly downhill to the village of Russin (which is worth poking around) and then a little detour into the vineyards above La Plaine, with the Rhône river in the distance. We were greeted by very curious cows grazing next to the bike route.
We then headed to the quaint village of Dardagny, where we explored the stately town hall and the quiet square. The ivy-covered dwellings with colourful window shutters made for the perfect postcard.
Leaving the village, we followed the main road downhill to the peaceful Allondon river, where we biked through forested areas and open fields. We promised ourselves we’d come back one day and take a dip in the river!
There was a tough uphill climb as we approached the vineyards of Satigny once again, but it was mostly flat or downhill from there.
We retraced our path back through the village of Satigny and continued on to Geneva, but tired legs might appreciate an easy train ride back to the city.