The beautiful terraced vineyards of the Lavaux region, stretching from Lausanne to Montreux, offer outstanding views and satisfying hikes of different degrees of difficulty, as well as being the heartland of Swiss wine production. First terraced by monks for that purpose in the 11th century, the region was justifiably awarded UNESCO World Heritage-site status in 2007.
Together with my friends in the Internation Women’s Club of Nyon (IWCN) I walked the very popular portion through the vineyards that stretch from St. Saphorin to Cully, an approximately two-and-a-half-hour walk.
With only a few steep, shortlived inclines and mostly leisurely meandering paths that cut through villages and steeply terraced vineyards and along ancient stone walls, the journey seemed to take less time than it actually did. The weather gifted us with sunshine and warmth and only slightly misty views across Lac Leman.
The Lavaux walks are easily reached via public transport, particularly by train: we boarded in Nyon, changed trains in Lausanne and uncamped at St. Saphorin, only a one-hour transit in total. We descended to lake level shortly before Cully and walked along the beach towards the village, where we headed for home after a short break at a beachside restaurant.
There’s a great deal of information available online about hiking in the Lavaux, but for starters you might want to check out the variety of walks listed on the Montreux Riviera website.
Here are some memories from our breathtaking day walking in the Lavaux (just click on a photo to see the photographs in a larger format):
Swiss Heritage’s Loveliest Walks
If hiking through beautiful countryside and charming urban areas gets your pulse racing (for all the right reasons) then Swiss Heritage’s 76-page, French-German pocketbook entitled “Switzerland’s Loveliest Walks” (Les plus belles promenades de Suisse) is your ticket to heaven.
The publication covers 33 noteworthy walks featuring examples from every canton. Its color photographs and succinct descriptions will set you off on your discovery of Switzerland’s amazing heritage as found in its buildings and of course, in its pristine nature.
You can order it and other booklets in the Swiss Heritage “Loveliest” collection online at a cost of CHF 16.– (CHF 8.– for members of Patrimoine Suisse).
You can read more about Switzerland’s historic sites and properties in the Category: Swiss Heritage’s “Loveliest”.