A stone’s throw from Lausanne (only five minutes by train to Lutry!), the atmosphere is completely different. Goodbye city, hello vineyards. With Lake Geneva as the constant backdrop, Lavaux is a must-see for all visitors to the area, as well as for locals.
We love walking in the vineyards and we never tire of the amazing landscapes that stretch before our eyes. The magic operates every time and we say to ourselves that we are truly lucky to live in such a region!
The Lavaux terraced vineyards are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This status attracts attention from all around the world, which is well deserved! There is plenty to do in Lavaux and not only wine tastings – although that is a given! Here are our suggestions for a successful outing.
Did you know that the Town of Lausanne has its own wine? It does indeed! The City possesses 33 hectares of vineyards, divided in five estates under the appellations La Côte, Dézaley and Lavaux. That’s right: part of the Town of Lausanne’s wine comes from that famous region of terraced vineyards.
The best way of discovering a place is to explore it on foot. It is possible to walk in Lavaux from Lutry to Vevey. A pleasant day to look forward to! If you don’t want to spend the whole day doing that, no worries, Lavaux can also be discovered bit by bit. Our favourite place is between Epesses and Grandvaux. It is easy to park your car next to the picturesque village of Epesses and then take the small tarmac road that winds amongst the vineyards. Just after Epesses, high up on the left, we can even see the Tour de Marsens. This stronghold appears to go back to the 12th century and is listed as a cultural asset of regional importance. Not forgetting the various stunning viewpoints along the way, whatever the season!
It’s incredible to see the vines and the landscape change with the seasons. We recommend therefore that you visit the area more than once, especially as the suggestions of walks abound in Lavaux! Among our favourites, the itinerary from Grandvaux to Lutry, a pleasant walk that takes about two hours. The trail from Grandvaux to Cully will also win you over with its breathtaking panorama!
For a more complete package, go for a guided tour with wine tasting!
For us, the best time of the day is what we call the golden hour: the end of the day, just before the sun goes down. The rays of the setting sun bathe the vineyards and the lake in the most beautiful soft light. It’s the ideal time to go for a quiet walk and have the place to ourselves.
A good tip: stop just before you reach Grandvaux, in Didier Imhof’s small tasting cabin on the Chemin de la Dame. You will be able to drink a glass of wine or buy a bottle to take with you for an idyllic aperitif in the Dezaley vineyards. Sit down on the stone wall bordering one of the terraces and admire the sunset with a panorama of the vineyards, lake and mountains (while enjoying good wine from the area). It’s difficult to beat that and time seems to stand still!
If you have seafaring rather than walking legs, Lavaux can also be discovered from the lake. In Lausanne Ouchy, step aboard for a cruise with a spectacular, unique view of the vineyards. And if you can’t make up your mind between a walk and a cruise, do both! You can walk from Lutry to Rivaz / Saint-Saphorin and come back by boat. Do check the timetables before you leave!
Every year (September 27 to 29, 2019), the Grape Harvest Festival takes place in the charming village of Lutry. A traditional festival to celebrate local wines, the event also offers wine tastings, concerts, entertainment, as well as the children’s parade on Sunday.
Lavaux’s unmissable event is indisputably the Open Cellars. The next edition will take place on May 30 and 31, 2020. During those two days, it’s possible to taste the best wines from the region.
Lavaux and its terraced vineyards are really worth your taking the time to discover them during an outing outside of Lausanne. A walk in the vineyards offers a short breather in everyday life, and is a way of getting some fresh air and relax without going too far afield.