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Hiking in Geneva

Summer parcs

A walk through the parcs of Geneva

Starting point of this relaxing, marvellous walk: the Palais des Nations.

This walk lasts about 5 hours.

Parc de l’Ariana

Stroll in the quiet Parc de l’Ariana, just next to the Palais des Nations. The park owes its name to Gustave Revilliod, who christened the estate « Ariana » in homage to his mother, Ariane de la Rive. Built in 1877, the Ariana Museum is an architectural marvel in the Italian Renaissance style. On his death in 1890, Gustave Revilliod bequeathed the estate to the city. In 1929, Geneva gave the majority of the park to the League of Nations, which in turn offered Geneva Parc Moynier and Parc de la Perle du Lac. This agreement allowed the LoN to build its famous Palais des Nations while the city had acquired a continuous stretch of magnificent parkland on the lake shore.

Walk down towards the lake. On your left, you will find the gateway to the Botanical Garden.

Botanical Garden

Stroll in the monumental Botanical Garden and discover its collection of more than 12,000 species. In 1817, Geneva’s first botanical gardens were created by Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle as an expression of the then prevailing naturalist trend. Originally located in the Parc des Bastions, in 1904 the Botanical Garden then moved to its current location, Chemin de l’Impératrice. Living museums, the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens occupy roughly 28 hectares. With its 6 million samples, the Garden’s Herbarium is one of the world’s largest. In 2017, the city celebrated the 200th anniversary of Geneva’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

> From its main gate, leave the Botanical Garden and walk down towards the lake.

Parc Mon Repos

Discover one of the main gateways to Geneva, the magnificent Parc Mon Repos. The Villa Mon Repos was built in the 19th century by the Plantamours. The Plantamour brothers made it a true cultural place. For example, Andersen and Châteaubriand pass through the Villa. On his death in 1898, Philippe Plantamour bequeathed the estate to the City of Geneva. Between 1901 and 1939, the Villa Mon Repos housed the Ethnography Museum before being converted into the experimental centre for Geneva Television.
view geneva perle du lac

Parc de la Perle du Lac

Relax in the magical Parc de la Perle du Lac, a magnificent green oasis by the lake. In 1825, François Bartholoni built the Villa Bartholoni, in the Florentine style, which is now home to the Museum of Science History. Then, the banker sold the estate to Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex founder. The park was named « Perle du Lac » by his wife. In 1926, Bartholoni’s heirs sold the property to the League of Nations, which also purchased Parc Moynier. In 1929, the City of Geneva granted permission for the Palais des Nations to be built in Parc de l’Ariana, in exchange for the right to use Parc Moynier and Parc de la Perle du Lac.

Parc de l’Observatoire

Admire a breath-taking view of the lake and the Jet d’Eau from the beautiful Parc de l’Observatoire. Nestling on the Bastion Saint-Antoine, the promenade owes its name to the observatory built in 1772. Two centuries later, the observatory was surrounded by the lights of the city and poorly located to contemplate the sky. In 1969, it was destroyed after the new Geneva Observatory was putting into service in Versoix. Today, the Parc de l’Observatoire houses a magnificent sculpture of Henry Moore, which has been the symbol of the promenade.

> Cross the Pont du Mont-Blanc and walk along the lake to the end of the Quartier des Eaux-Vives. This walk lasts about 1 hour by foot.

> If you’re getting tired, take Bus 6 from the Métropole Bus Stop and get off the bus just in front of Parc la Grange’s magnificent gateway.

Parc la Grange

Get a breath of fresh air in the attractive Parc la Grange and its « Théâtre de la Verdure ». The park owes its name to the Lullins, who built the villa and created a formal garden in the 18th century. With its last owner, the Favre family, the Parc de la Grange underwent important transformations. The Favre built the monumental gateway on the Quai Gustave-Adore side, the pergola, the orangery and finally the magnificent library. In 1864, the park housed the prestigious closing gala for the Geneva Convention. In 1917, William Favre bequeathed the Parc de la Grange to the City of Geneva. The most beautiful rose garden of Geneva was created in 1945. The following year, the city created the Geneva International New Roses Competition.

> Go back towards the Place-de-Neuve by public transport (Bus 2 then Tram 12) and enter a legendary park.
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The Parc des Bastions. The people of Geneva love it.

Parc des Bastions

Walk from one beautiful monument to another in the delightful Parc des Bastions. In 1817, Geneva’s first botanical garden was created by Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle in this park. You will find the old university and its library which have been dominating the Parc des Bastions since 1872. Since 1917, the park has been housing the world-renowned Reformation Wall and the four leading reformers, Jean Calvin, Guillaume Farel, Théodore de Bèze and John Knox. Today, the Parc des Bastions provides the backdrop to some of the most popular events in Geneva’s life, including the Course de l’Escalade, school fêtes and the National Day celebrations.