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A stopover for a taste of Indian summer

The days are getting shorter but gaining in density

It’s time to make the most of the city’s radiance and the colourful blaze of nature in the surrounding countryside. No time to waste, let’s start exploring!
The reputation of Geneva’s wines is well established, so why not set off to discover the vineyards that spread their vines, their red and gold leaves and their juicy grapes over the surrounding hillsides? Discover them by bike using the cycle paths, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and take a break to enjoy a glass of wine in a cellar; for those who like an original experience, go by tuk-tuk or head to the Domaine de Châteauvieux in Satigny, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant that offers a gourmet balcony overlooking the vines. The Mandement, the canton’s main wine-growing region, promises wonderfully heady elixirs…

Escape is just a step away

Autumn is also a time for strolling as the sun gets milder. Follow the quays, have a rest on a bench, cross a footbridge over the Rhône which rushes downstream and daydream about an Indiana Jones-like adventure. Until October, boats set off on an adventure for three-hour river trips. With a wave of a magic wand, the city gives way to nature, bird song and picturesque countryside. Next stop the Verbois dam!

The sportier will enjoy Geneva’s iconic mountain, the Salève, which is left without its cable car until 2023. All the better! The mountain is all ours! You can get there by public transport, then climb wearing a pair of sturdy shoes. Every Sunday, free group hikes are organised. At the top of this belvedere, which stretches across into France, you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the city, the lake and the Jet d’Eau.

An unforgettable experience

Looking for a thrill? Want to make the most of the spectacle offered by Mother Nature? Then climb into the basket of a hot-air balloon! This extraordinary adventure offers unforgettable delights with a 360° panorama of the city of Geneva, Lake Geneva, the Alps and the Jura, and, as a bonus, the forests and vineyards in their autumn splendour!

Contemplative people will also find plenty to enjoy in the city of Rousseau: the many parks are adorned in their most beautiful colours to welcome visitors with fallen leaves that rustle underfoot. In Parc des Bastions, you can stroll among majestic trees decorated with a touch of gold or bronze foliage, or you can pretend to be the heroine of the TV series “The Queen’s Gambit” while playing outdoor chess with the game’s many enthusiasts. Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are pulling out all the stops: leaves, needles, ferns and lichens, it’s up to whichever will look the most colourful. The glasshouses also participate with their vibrant flowers and exoticism.

Treasures to discover

When the sun plays hide-and-seek and disappears, the city’s many museums open wide their doors. And what museums they are! Patek Philippe offers a journey through time and the history of watchmaking with a fabulous collection of watches. With more than 1,000 objects, the Museum of Ethnography (MEG) features one of the two most important collections in Switzerland. The International Red Cross Museum, dedicated to Henri Dunant, tells the emotional story of 150 years of humanitarian work by immersing us in his work in the field. At the Musée de l’Ariana, Japanese ceramics proudly display the seasonal flower, with a temporary exhibition called “Chrysanthemums, Dragons and Samurai”. The Bodmer Foundation, which covers 5,000 years of writing, puts on the spotlight on books. As for the Barbier-Mueller Museum, it offers nothing less than a dazzling private collection of art from Africa, Asia, Oceania and various ancient civilisations. All these rare museums provide an unforgettable experience!

Between two museums, take a short break on Île Rousseau, an old bastion of the city where poplars, plane trees and yellowing willows contrast with the blue water. The view over the city is unique. The island invites you to set sail for a final cruise, to prolong the summer on one of the Belle Époque steamships that cruise the lake; admire Mont Blanc and watch the evening sun set its snow-capped summit on fire.

Finally, when they feel peckish, Genevans know where to go: it’s all about the Crémant fondue at the Buvette des Bains des Pâquis, a public bath dating back to 1872 and located on the water. Alternatively, you can treat your taste buds throughout the city during the Month of Taste, from mid-September to mid-October, the period of the grape harvest, when 70 restaurateurs creatively produce delicacies that allow you to appreciate the products of this rich region.

Indian summer has everything going for it. We wish it would never end.