From Château Chillon to CERN
Geneva, which is elegantly positioned at the western point of Lake Geneva, is the ideal starting point for day trips to Western Switzerland, to the three-country border of Switzerland, France and Italy, or to the Alps. Whether it's for a relaxed spot of sightseeing, a gourmet getaway, or a detour into the world of science, the Calvinist city is more diverse than almost any other destination in Switzerland.
And you don't need to go far for a bit of variety: A boat trip on Lake Geneva is one of the most beautiful—and most relaxing—day trips you can go on. Simply climb on board and relax as small towns and lush green vineyards drift past you. And if you feel the need to do some exploring, get off the boat at Montreux and visit nearby Château Chillon. Dramatically constructed on a small peninsula right on the lake shore, this picturesque castle is one of the best-kept in Switzerland.
On a clear day, you can see the Alps from Geneva. It is no wonder, then, that the mountains are a popular destination for those wanting to get away from the city for a day. The numerous four-thousand-meter peaks are a real attraction. But why just settle for any old mountain when you could marvel at the "Top of Europe?" At 4810 meters above sea level, Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps, and Chamonix, at its base, is only a short train or car ride from Geneva. From here you can take the cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi, which is worth visiting for its dramatic location alone. From up here, you get an excellent view of Mont Blanc. If you have a head for heights, we recommend taking a selfie on the "Step into the Void" platform.
Gruyères and Annecy
The Swiss love cheese: Fondue isn't a national dish for nothing, so don't miss out on having some! And where better to sample a specialty than in its place of origin: Gruyères is famous for its cheese and is ideal for a day trip from Geneva. The small medieval town enchants visitors with its imposing castle and charming old town. Visit one of the famous cheese factories and try your first fondue!
If cheese isn't really your thing but medieval towns are, then head to Annecy. Dubbed the "Venice of the Alps," this small town is at least as romantic as the city of love and the setting is a lot more dramatic. The Château d'Annecy, the waterside promenade with the historic old town, and the Palais de l'Isle are all worth seeing.
A Science in its Own Right
Ever since the release of "Angels and Demons," starring Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor, CERN has become a household name around the world. CERN, or to give it its full name, the Center of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is just 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) away from the center of Geneva. So why not spend a day immersing yourself in the world of science and sort science from science fiction? What was that again about antimatter and black holes?
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