TOP 10 SUMMER ACTIVITIES IN GENEVA

When it’s sunny in Geneva, the city has so much to offer. You just need to know where to look. We have researched some exciting ways to enjoy the city this summer. 
1) STAND-UP PADDLING
Stand-up paddling (SUP) is a great activity to do with friends or the family. Small kids can sit on the front of the board (with a life jacket) while a parent paddles and bigger kids can easily learn how to do it. Different locations offer individual and group lessons for all levels and there is no need to own a board/ paddle as you can hire them. This is a fun, affordable activity and it is a great way to explore the different beaches around Lake Geneva.

La plage du Reposoir

This lovely beach on the Chambésy side of the lake is ideal for stand-up paddlers of all levels. The beach is clean and the waters are calm so you can paddle out quite far without worrying about the currents. The SUP centre here is excellent, offering lessons throughout the season including paddleboard yoga sessions. 

MORE INFO: here

La Plage de la Savonnière in Collonge Bellerive

A beautiful pebbly beach (take rubber shoes) with enormous lawns and many trees offering loads of shade on a scorching day. This is a great place to do stand-up paddling. You can rent hard or inflatable boards from GE PADDLE, who offer individual and group lessons for adults and children, as well as yoga paddle. Pre-book courses on the website or by phone.

MORE INFO: here
standup paddle
jet d'eau paddle
2+3) PEDAL BOATS AND SAILING
Les Corsaires Sarl offers pedal boats for half-hourly to half-day rental from 2-6 persons and with a slide if you wish to splash into the lake to cool down.
Want to discover the beautiful beaches and stunning private houses around Lake Geneva? Rent a small boat (no licence needed) with either an electric- or gasoline motor good for 4-6 people (no dogs allowed on board).

MORE INFO: here
 
pedal boat
boat
4) LAKE GENEVA CRUISES
There is a big choice of boat excursions available of Lake Geneva, allowing you to discover the beautiful shores of Lake Geneva. Very popular is the one-hour long guided cruise offered six times per day. Enjoy a good meal on board a Belle Epoche paddle steamer: These boats, which date from the early twentieth century, will grant you a feeling of nostalgia while enjoying the lovely views along the shores of Lake Geneva. You can book lunch-time, sunset or dinner cruises from mid April to mid October (depending on the steam boat) with frequent departures (please check for details on the website).

MORE INFO: here
 
cgn
cgn
5) RIVER RAFTING ADVENTURE

Discovering Geneva´s rivers is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Going white-water rafting on River Arve is not only great for thrill-seekers, but also allows you to get up close and personal with nature (you will see waterfalls, rapids and quiet areas to jump in the water). 

The head office of rafting.ch is located in the city centre and whilst all equipment is provided (lifejacket, helmet, wetsuit etc) you will need to navigate on the river… following the instructions of the guide seated in the back of the boat.

A slightly calmer version of exploring the river is canoe rafting. You will travel with inflatable, stable boats that are easy to guide in all situations, on the river Rhône. Choose a guide or go solo for 2 or 3 hours (7 or 12 km).

MORE INFO: here

rafting
rafting
6) A VIEW FROM THE TOP – THE SALÈVE

There are different ways to get to the top of the Salève- and you want to do that, on a clear day, in order to see the stunning views over Geneva and surroundings.
The easiest and fastest way is by car and you can park in a big free car park near the restaurant L’Observatoire next to the observation tower.
Alternatively, you can park for free directly at the top station of the cable car.
A very scenic ride is the cable car (téléphérique), which takes you to an altitude of almost 1100 meters. From April to October, 09:30-19:00 you can park your car right next to the bottom station in a free car park from where the cable car leaves every 15 min. 
On really bad weather days the cable car will be closed so please check calling this telephone number +33 (0) 450 39 86 86.

MORE INFO: here

If you’re fit and feeling energetic, there are about a dozen hiking trails that are well marked and vary from mild difficulty to steep climbs. 
You could also just walk around the top of the Salève and enjoy the 360-degree views. Take a picnic or enjoy a nice meal at one of the restaurants: L’Observatoire or Panoramique – you have to book!

There are also trails for mountain biking or rock climbing. One really cool activity, even just to watch others do, is paragliding. No permit is required for this sport in France and both the Swiss and French paragliding clubs will be able to take you up. Tandem jumps are offered for the extra adrenalin rush.

MORE INFO: here and here 

saleve view sun
Saleve view
7) AL FRESCO DINING

What better way to enjoy the lovely summer weather in Geneva than chilling by the lake, watching the sun reflect on the lake?
Here are some of our favourite options:

La Buvette des Bains in Bain de Paquis
This place is super casual and relatively cheap. Come for lunch or dinner and enjoy the simple yet fresh and tasty salads and a daily ‘plat du jour’ (daily special). Leave room for desert though as the cheesecake is amazing!

MORE INFO: here

Réposoir in Pregny-Chambésy
Lovely seating with cocktails and snack-type food.

MORE INFO: here

Restaurant du Quai in Hermance
Beautiful seating under umbrellas with a mediterranean menu consisting of fresh meats and fish, lovely salads and vegetables. 

MORE INFO: here 

Les Voiles – Geneve plage
This cool outdoor lounge with life music serves amazing cocktails and tasty finger food such as pizza, cold cuts-cheese platters etc. Dress to impress!

MORE INFO: here

Les Voiles
Buvette des bains
8) BEACHES

Cool off on a hot summer’s day at one of Geneva's lakeside beaches.

Here are our favourites:

Baby Plage on Quai Gustave Ador

This sandy beach is probably the smallest but its proximity to the city is unbeatable. There is a lawned area at one end of the beach for sunbathers and the three big old plane trees not only give shade but are in particular attractive to children, who love dangling from the various swings made from recycled tyres. A buvette (snacks and drinks), toilets and showers are provided and this public beach (no entry fee) is open 24hrs, all year around.

Plage de la Savonnière – Collonge-Bellerive

We already mentioned this gorgeous beach above, but even if you do not fancy stand-up paddling, this is a magical place to hang out for a day with family and friends. Be sure to arrive early to secure your spot. A real discovery is the restaurant with its delicious pizzas. 

Les Rocailles Beach

Just past the village of Coppet, this lovely place offers everything for a great day in the sun. There is a fine pebble beach as well as a lawned area, trees that provide shade and activities such as volleyball and a playground (free of charge). The buvette and a food truck serve simple food such as paninis and Croque Monsieur, fish ‘n chips, hot dogs, beers, wines and different soft drinks

TOP TIP: Take a camera, because on a good day you might catch a good view of Mont Blanc

Eaux-Vives Beach

Urban swimming in Swiss cities has always been something that locals and tourists enjoy every summer (and winter!). Get ready and prepare your swimsuit, this sunny season in Geneva will be 100% farniente thanks to the amazing new and free beach with a great view on the Jet d’Eau. The long and wide beach is partly sandy and partly made of pebbles for more comfort if the wind comes up. The new area also offers a green park to relax, take a nap or read a good book. Beachgoers will also enjoy take-away meals and some tasty ice-cream from the electronic tricycles operating along the beach front. The concept here is 100% Swiss and 0% waste in order to preserve the natural beauty of the spot. 

Good to know: Improvement of the beach are still ongoing and 2020 will welcome a beautiful beach restaurant with stunning views over the lake.
 
Eaux-Vives beach
babyplage
9) MUSIC IN THE CITY
In summer Geneva’s many beautiful parks and streets come alive as music festivals take place across the city. Here is our favourite one. 
 
Fête de la Musique

The 28th edition of this festival takes place from 21st to 23rd of June 2019 in different parks and streets of Geneva. A great opportunity to listen to different styles of music, while wandering through the city.  The atmosphere is chilled, making this festival an amazing event for the whole family or with friends and on top it is free of charge.

MORE INFO: here 
music festival
music festival
10) SHOPPING IN GENEVA
There is something for every taste: You find the luxury shopping district around Rue du Rhône with all the luxurious brands that give Geneva its reputation or the smaller, more independent shops in Carouge, Plainpalais or Pâquis that offer a very individual touch.
 
shopping
inside Bongenie shop

WRITTEN BY

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Article by Thingstodoingeneva

Things to do in Geneva  - the grapevine guide to the city.

We celebrate Geneva and inform English speakers about all the exciting cultural, sports, gastronomical, educational and other things to do around the city.
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