Lausanne and its lake…
What could be more pleasant than to discover Lausanne and its region from the lake? You will certainly enjoy setting sail on one of the Compagnie Générale de Navigation’s Belle Epoque boats. You can simply relax on the deck and admire the scenery, taking in the hills around Lausanne, the old town and the vineyards of Lavaux, listed as a UNESCO world-heritage site. But you can also combine sightseeing with the pleasures of fine dining by taking a gourmet cruise!
An easy way to explore Lavaux
The gorgeous Lavaux wine-growing region has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. Take the small train to explore one of the most beautiful landscapes in Switzerland, with fine views of Lake Geneva and the Alps, and sample the finest wines along the way. 2 tours start from Cully harbour and Lutry harbour (2-7 min by train from Lausanne railway station) on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, whatever the weather; journey time approx. 1 hour, adults CHF 15.
Messing about on boats
Enjoy a refreshing and romantic ride on Lake Geneva on a two-seater pedalo with your partner – or hire a larger boat for a fun outing with friends (max. 5 persons). Swimming, chilling out, playing on the water slide, sunbathing on the deck, snoozing under the parasol… There are 30 green pedalos, motor boats, electric boats and even kayaks for you to use, available for hire for any duration (30 min, 1 hours, 2 hours) and to suit every budget; gift offers also available. Situated 200m from the metro station (Ouchy) and the bus stop (route 2; Ouchy).
Freedom on two wheels
Explore the lakeside by bike, with the wind in your hair… With more than 280 bikes available at 23 stations in Lausanne and the regions, PubliBike is the most popular Swiss bike-sharing network. Just order a pass and look for the nearest station to collect your bike – the PubliBike app, available in English for iPhone and Android, will locate it for you. Bikes can be returned to any station. Collect a bike in Lausanne, for example, for the ride to Pully; after a swim in the lake, take another bike to another station and continue your tour. It's easy, cheap, and one of the best ways of enjoying the landscape. A day pass costs CHF 10 for maximum 24 hours, and can be procured at 'la Maison du Vélo' or in the hotel Bellerive.
Water skiing and wakeboarding
Take advantage of Lausanne's location and the fine weather to enjoy a sensational and entertaining activity. You don't need any equipment, everything's provided and you don't need to be a pro. CHF 45 for 15 minutes of unforgettable high-speed thrills!
Up by cog train, back down on foot
Since my wife isn't very keen on hiking and comes along with me out of love, we have reached a compromise: we go up the Rochers de Naye near Montreux by cog train and come down on foot. Once you reach the top of the mountain (2,042 metres above sea level) you get a fantastic view over Lake Geneva and the Alps; if the weather is fine, you can see all the way to Geneva. After a small picnic (quite romantic), we walk back down the mountain.
Paragliding - it must be heaven
I have a fear of heights, but for my 40th birthday guess what present I got: a tandem paragliding flight. I felt a little queasy when I accepted the voucher… I met up with my paragliding instructor a few kilometres outside Lausanne. Once I eventually got up in the air I have to admit that with breathtaking panoramic views all around it's an unforgettable experience and a pure adrenaline rush.
Almost above the clouds
Sauvabelin tower is in north Lausanne. It offers a stunning panoramic view to those who have the energy to climb the 302 steps of its spiral staircase. On a fine day you can even see as far as Geneva. The tower is built from wood and access is free. As it is situated in the middle of a wood, climbing it can be combined with a lovely woodland walk.
Think green on the lake!
Pure tranquillity, and a fresh breeze in your hair: the solar-powered boat Aquarel offers delightfully peaceful trips on the lake out of Ouchy for CHF 12 per person. The cruises take place hourly, from Wednesday to Sunday during the summer; the captain will happily tell you about sights along the way. The boat carries up to 24 passengers; on request, you can also charter it for private trips, for example to one of the lakeshore restaurants.
Segway in Lausanne
Looking for a new way to get around? A Segway is particularly helpful in Lausanne, with all the ups and downs. Obviously it takes a little getting used to, and to start off you have to "ride in" to the square in front of the Château d'Ouchy – but once you've mastered it, it's great fun!
La promenade d’Ouchy
The view over the lake is quite stunning here; it’s like a breath of fresh air in the south of Lausanne. This is a perfect place to relax, take time to reflect, or play sport with friends.