Geneva has concluded my travel plans for 2017 and what an awesome way to finish up the year. This place has so much to see, do and experience I’ll definitely need a return visit at some point to do what I missed! 3 cold, fresh and festive days made this place a perfect December trip and it’s given me a great intro to Switzerland.
After some smooth travel we arrived in the city centre, dumped our bags and ventured straight out to the shore of Lake Geneva. The water as you can see pictured below is mesmerisingly clear and even at this time of year there were some locals in taking a swim! We first stopped at the Bains de Paquis which is a small pier reaching out to the lake. There’s a little lighthouse right at the end of the pier which you can get to and this will give you an awesome view of the Jet d’Eau, one of Geneva most famous landmarks. It’s a powerful fountain, 500 litres of water being chucked into the air reaching heights of 140m! I wouldn’t want to get near this in December but can imagine it’s great fun in the summer months. After a few pics we left the pier and just wandered along the side of the lake. We passed many different landmarks all which we later learned about and tonnes of lovely colourful old buildings. We walked what felt like the whole of Geneva so it was welcomed when we wandered back to our home for the next few nights to have a rest!
Our home in Geneva was the fantastic N’vY Hotel. The location of this place to start with was absolutely perfect. It was nestled just off Lake Geneva, a short 5 minute stroll and we were straight back down on the shore so this made exploring the city a lot easier! It’s a 4 star facility and rightly so. The whole place was kept immaculate, it had a great little bar, fantastic restaurant (more on that below), a well equipped fitness centre and the staff were more than accommodating. We received a warm welcome from the Hotel Director Hubert Viard before being shown to our amazing room for the next two nights.
Everything about this room was perfect! The bed was super comfy, we both slept soundly for our two night stay. The bathroom was again immaculate and had a jacuzzi bath tub which was lovely after a full days walking in Geneva. A couple of small desk areas suited me as they provided space to do a little edit work each evening and off load the hundreds of photos I’d shot on my camera. The cherry on top of the cake though was the view; we were fortunate enough to be right at the top of N’vY Hotel with a stunning balcony view which stretched all the way down to Lake Geneva. We really couldn’t of asked for better!
We dined in the restaurant on our second evening at N’vY and the food, service and atmosphere were all so, so good. Our waiter was very educated on the menu and he made some great suggestions which we took on board and we were not disappointed. We started with a sweet potato and parsnip appetiser served in a small glass; extremely flavoursome and portioned perfectly. I then personally had the chicken breast, served with sweet potato gnocchi, wok style vegetables and a tilfda pepper sauce. Couldn’t of ordered better if I’d tried. We split a dessert; a hazelnut and caramelised apple dacquoise with vanilla ice cream. We were then finally treated with some miniature apple pies (small but big flavour!) and some hand made jellies. These were made form yuzu lemon, pineapple and passion fruit. We can’t say anything other than we’d highly, highly recommend eating at the Trilby restaurant and we’d love to try more next time!
Staying on the topic of food, another one to mention would be Elsalad. There are numerous healthy places to eat in Geneva and this one is definitely worth a visit. We stopped here for lunch one day and it was so tasty. They offer a great variety of nutritious salads which you can have in a bowl or put together in a wrap. I had a wrap containing grilled chicken, mixed greens, avocado, bacon, sunflower seeds, apple and cranberry. One of the best things I’ve ever eaten and reason enough to return to Geneva!
Back to the exploration of Geneva. Most of our time spent discovering the city was helped by Geneva Tourism. They kindly supplied us with two Geneva Passes (definitely recommend purchasing) and a tour of the city with our very own private guide, Antionette. She was fantastic and had lived in Geneva for 30+ years. She knew everything and everywhere to go so she was a huge help with regards to us getting to know our way around. After initially meeting Antoinette, we caught the boat across the lake. Such an easy way to get around quickly and free of charge with our Geneva passes. On the boat you’ll get another great view of the Jet d’Eau before quickly docking up again. Once across the lake we spent our time in Old Town Geneva. As we ascended higher and higher the shopping was plentiful, there was numerous museums to visit (again, most free of charge with our passes) and some lovely, quiet cobbled streets to just aimlessly wander whilst taking in the sights.
As you get right to the top of Old Town Geneva you’ll come across St Pierres Cathedral. We went here twice as it was a nice walk to get there and just beautiful inside. Here in the cathedral, if you want you can enter into the tower and head to the top for a panoramic view of Geneva. On your way back down through Old Town you will also come across a nice flat setting which again gives a pretty good panoramic view of the city with the mountains in the background. By the time we had taken in the views, visited a few more shops and stopped off for coffee it was beginning to get dark and the lights had lit up the city. Geneva is a great place to be in December with its markets and Christmas lights. It really got us in the festive spirit and being so close I’m sure its somewhere we will visit again.
Thanks for reading, see you in the next one!
(Our private tour and Geneva passes were kindly provided by Geneva Live Tourism however all opinions expressed are my own.)
(We were fortunate enough to receive a complimentary upgrade at N’vY Hotel however all opinions expressed are my own)