My favourite invigorating walks in Lausanne

Sainath, the walking man
Sainath the walking man
January 24, 2022

Not for nothing am I known as “the Walking Man”: as soon as a ray of sunlight appears, I love going out on a walk to (re)discover my town. However, it can be difficult sometimes as there are so many options. So if you’re short of ideas and don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place. I’m sharing with you my 3 favourite walks to enjoy nature in the middle of town. Let’s go!

From Milan Park to Lutry

Apart from Ouchy, that remains a touristic attraction, it’s quite rare to venture in the area below the train station, except for those who live there. And yet, many places there are well suited to walking. First of all, I suggest we start with a coffee at Ça passe Crème, a coffee shop run by two enthusiasts. They’ll be delighted to prepare a delicious coffee for you as they explain all the reasons why it’s so special.

Sainath Sainath

After restoring our energy, let’s head to Milan Park, about fifty metres downhill. For an immersion in the forest, I recommend climbing the Crêt de Montriond and enjoying the superb view over the city. You can also simply follow the foot of the hill before entering the park through the botanical garden that, despite its small size, gives the feeling of a walk in the mountains.

LT/ Laurent Kaczor LT/ Laurent Kaczor

Then, strolling along the Avenue de Cour towards the east for ten minutes or so, you’ll come upon the magnificent Olympic Museum. You’re then on the popular Ouchy Quays, so carry on alongside the lake, enjoy a brief stop in Denantou Park and continue to the Sentier des Rives du Lac.

Sainath Sainath

This pretty path starts at Haldimand Tower, a ruin that’s actually not as old as all that, since it dates back to the 19th century. The footpath is easy, right by the lakeside. There’s a good chance you’ll meet swans building their nest!

The walk takes you by the house of General Guisan, and you can carry on right up to Lutry. A gorgeous village with picturesque streets, a pervasive winegrowing heritage and excellent pastries if you stop by Vincent’s bakery. For the more persevering, the Chemin des Vignes awaits you to take you right to Lavaux!

Marino Trotta Marino Trotta

The Bois de Vaux cemetery

A walk in a cemetery, isn’t that strange? Well, maybe not that much, actually! The Bois de Vaux cemetery possesses a very subtle quality that goes well beyond its main purpose, since its architect Alphonse Laverrière designed it as a public park.

You can take the opportunity to walk along its alleys lined with linden trees and to sit on one of the benches by the ponds in which Greco-Roman statues stand next to the water lilies. It’s also the chance to visit Coco Chanel, who lies under a bed of permanently white flowers.

Sainath Sainath

As you leave, you can choose between 2 options. For the first, I suggest you go back up through the Vallée de la Jeunesse. A legacy of the 1964 Universal Exhibition, its path begins at the dome of the Espace des Inventions. You can then walk up the meandering path through the park, where there also is a rose garden and majestic trees.

LT/ Hugues Siegenthaler LT/ Hugues Siegenthaler

If you decide on option number 2, simply walk down towards the lake and enjoy the walk in Vidy, going by the Roman ruins. You then reach the town’s most popular jogging track! By following the lakeside towards Lausanne University, you’ll reach the only proper beach in Lausanne, where you can devote a few minutes to the marvellous pastime of stone skimming.

Sainath Sainath

From the Cathedral to Sauvabelin 

To begin with, the best way to discover the Cité is to get lost in its picturesque alleys, in search of hidden gardens and artisan boutiques. If you walk through the old city heading towards the Rue de la Barre and the restaurant Sardine (that serves very good food, BTW), you’ll catch a glimpse, close to the fountain, of a small path that climbs through the woods. This leads you to the Hermitage Park, one of the most beautiful gardens in Lausanne according to me, watched over by a mansion that has become an art museum.

Sainath Sainath

If you’re feeling sporty, continue climbing in the forest to discover the Flon waterfalls and the marvellous vantage point of the Signal, a small esplanade close to the Chalet Suisse (that serves as much raclette as you can eat, believe it or not). You’ll also reach Sauvabelin Lake, its woolly pigs, tower and café. An oasis in the forest a stone’s throw from the city and the perfect walk to strengthen your calf muscles.

Ville de Lausanne Ville de Lausanne

As you can tell, the possibilities for walks in Lausanne are many. And it’s probably when walking that you have the most chance of discovering hidden corners, not always known by all. Pull on your shoes and off you go; the secret spots will be all yours!

Places mentioned in the article
Discover the Lausanners