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Weekend in Geneva - Need Suggestions Please

Weekend in Geneva - Need Suggestions Please

Old Feb 20th, 2008, 11:20 AM
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Weekend in Geneva - Need Suggestions Please

I will be in Geneva for a week in March and then I will have two full days (Saturday and Sunday) for site seeing. My primary interst is photography. I would like to photograph some quaint, old European town / city areas and then some scenic mountain landscapes. Also of interest would be castles in a mountain or lake setting.

I have considered traveling to Lucerne, Berne, Montreaux, or maybe somewhere in France...etc. but i am not sure how to make best use of my limited time. My available time will be:

Fri afternoon - travel somewhere or shoot in Geneva
Sat - All day
Sun - All day, however I must be back in Geneva this evening
Mon - Fly out at 8 am.

Thanks for any advice anyone can provide!

Best Regards,
Patrick Cox
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 11:46 AM
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Saturday, get up early and take the train from Geneva out to Vevey (~1 hour) and go to the open air farmers market in the town square. It's the real deal and a gorgeous setting. Then continue on to Montreux (by train or bus) and go to Chateau de Chillon (for your castle on a lake). It's fabulous. come back and walk thru the Old Town in Montreux. Have dinner at L'hermitage, then catch the train back to Geneva.

Sunday go a different direction, perhaps to Gruyeres or Annecy?
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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Friday afternoon is excellent for Geneva I think. Stroll around the old town and along the lake promenades. If you're lucky you can even see Mt. Blanc from the right bank lake promenades.

Castle Chillon near Montreux is not to miss for its lakeside AND mountain setting and the medieval architecture. Another medieval castle (and picturesque old town) is Gruyere, this time a mountain setting.

Lucerne is IMO a bit too far. Instead of Bern I'd say visit Fribourg - it is closer to Geneva and can be combined with Gruyere or Chillon. Visit Montreux in combination with Chillon, but it is not that a quaint town - more modern/Belle Epoque. On the other hand you can take the cog-wheel train up to Rochers-de-Naye for mountain scenery.

In France you could visit Annecy. But I'd stick to Switzerland.
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Old Feb 21st, 2008, 05:09 AM
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Thanks for these suggestions! I will study them further. Another option that I am now considering, as you have both referenced, is going down into France instead of staying in Switzerland. I was considering seeing Annecy and Chamonix (Mont Blanc.) Any comments on this itinerary vs the Lake Geneva area? (I see that Ingo recommends Switzerland.)

Thanks again!!
Patrick
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Old Feb 21st, 2008, 05:35 AM
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If you can stay flexible, the clarity of the weather may affect your choices. You may want to make last-minute decisions based on the forecast.

Annecy and Chamonix are very good (and accessible) options from Geneva. The waterfront town of Yvoire is scenic too.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2008, 01:00 PM
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I thought I would bump this back up to the top to see if I could get any further input.

I am still trying to be convinced about sticking around the Geneva lake area vs driving into France to see Annecy and Maybe Chamonix. And, does the fact that I will be there in March have any bearing on the decision?

Also, are Chamonix or Annecy in France and Montreux in Switzerland really day trips from Geneva where I could return back to my hotel in Geneva each day? (Either by car or train) Or would I be better off choosing one destination and then work my way there on day 1, spend the night, then work my way back to Geneva on my last day?

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2008, 01:09 PM
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All of these are day trips. Train/bus connections are excellent.

March doesn't really make a difference. Weather does. Although I must say I visited Chillon on a rainy day and it was wonderful. Appropriate weather for a medieval castle
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Old Feb 23rd, 2008, 05:03 PM
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Montreux is absolutely an easy day trip from Geneva. It's just over 1 hour by train each way. Train station is right there in either Vevey or Montreux.

I absolutely love Vevey/Montreux and have visited 5 times to date. I have not been to Annecy to be able to compare which might be better for you. Obviously I am strongly biases to the gorgeous stretch along Lac Leman.
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 06:08 AM
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I agree with Montreux, mainly because of Chateau Chillon. It is a medieval castle with spectacular setting. It is build right in the lake, with snow-covered mountains as the background. Light will be best in the morning and in the evening.

You can easily drive a loop, starting in Geneve, then to Montreux/Chillon, stopping there for an hour or so, then Martigny, Chamonix (Mont Blanc), Megeve, Annecy. Lac d'Annecy is very scenic. From there, back to Geneve. It is an easy drive for one day. Driving time from Geneve to Annecy is 50min.

I would recommend renting a car if you want to take photographs. You can drive up the mountains, stop and take pictures. Difficult from the train.
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Old Feb 24th, 2008, 09:14 AM
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I usually suggest train travel, but the great itinerary suggested above would take a rental car to make it an easy day trip. Well worth it, as there is some spectacular scenery in that loop of places.
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