French-speaking Switzerland, or Suisse Romande, occupies the western third of the country, comprising the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) and the hills and lakes to the north. Geneva, at the southwestern tip of the lake, was once a haven for freethinkers from cross Europe; now it’s a city of diplomats and big business, but you’ll see its more relaxed side by the lake on a warm day. Halfway around the lake, Lausanne is full of young people; it’s a cultured, energetic town acclaimed as the skateboarding capital of Europe. Further east is the stunning medieval Château de Chillon, which drew Byron and the Romantic poets. Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest mountain (4807m), is visible from Geneva, while Lausanne has breathtaking views across the water to the French Alps. On a sunny day, the train ride around the beautiful northern shore is memorably scenic, but the excellent boat service brings home the full grandeur of the setting.

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Switzerland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

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Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

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The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

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Night-skiing, sledging and melted cheese in Switzerland

Night-skiing, sledging and melted cheese in Switzerland

Rough Guides editor and adrenalin junkie Helen Abramson is charmed by night-skiing and scared witless by sledging in Adelboden, Switzerland. I sit looking out …

03 Oct 2014 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
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