Sightseeing in Switzerland one day and France the next is one of the many joys of staying at Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva. The city of Geneva sits right on the border—you can literally have a wonderful plat du jour for lunch in France and finish with a chocolate in Switzerland for dessert. Kid-friendly activities abound, and all are easily reachable from the city centre.
Cruise on Lake Geneva
Photography Fedor Selivanov / Alamy Stock Photo
Four Seasons is just steps from Lake Geneva, also known as Lac Léman. CGN runs boat tours using a wonderful fleet of ships, including historic paddle steamers such as La Suisse.
On a clear day, there’s nothing better than taking in the breathtaking mountain scenery from the deck of one of these boats. They travel to all corners of the lake and run year-round (though the winter timetable is more limited).
A favourite trip is to head to the quaint village of Yvoire in France, complete with lovely streets for strolling, picturesque restaurants and shops, and the sweet Garden of Five Senses.
See the top of the Alps
Photography robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Chamonix is home to Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, and boasts some of the best skiing and mountain climbing in the world. The drama of the glaciers and ragged peaks in and around Mont Blanc is nothing short of sublime, and it’s only an hour’s drive from Geneva.
Families can head to the precipitous top of Aiguille du Midi on Mont Blanc via a multi-station cable car ride. The ride alone will leave you giggling, screaming, or a bit of both. It’s a total rush, and the views from the top over the French, Swiss and Italian Alps are magnificent.
Tour a Medieval fortress
Photography Ingolf Pompe 84 / Alamy Stock Photo
Chillon Castle is the most visited attraction in Switzerland for good reason. Located at the opposite end of the lake from Geneva, near Montreux, the castle dates back a thousand years. Even if you don’t have time for a full guided tour (minimum tour time is an hour), the outside of the fortress is stunning.
You can take a CGN boat from Geneva to Chillon and a then take a train back, or take the train both ways. In nice weather, enjoy a leisurely stroll from the castle to Montreux along the lakefront promenade lined with gorgeous plant life that thrives due to the mild climate on this part of the lake.
Visit picture-perfect villages
Only half-an-hour away via car, Lake Annecy is just too close to Geneva to skip. The Vieille Ville of Annecy is postcard pretty, and Lake Annecy is equally spectacular with its turquoise water and a shoreline edged by idyllic villages and Michelin-starred restaurants. Add in majestic Alpine peaks as the backdrop and you have one incredible spot.
Make your visit kid-friendly by taking a short boat ride and running around the park before settling into lunch on the Venice-like Thiou Canal.
Olympic Museum and UNESCO-protected vineyards
Lausanne is a quick train ride from Geneva and worth a day trip. This bustling city is also home to The Olympic Museum, which covers the history of this iconic global event.
If you have a full day, take the train a bit further into UNESCO-protected Lavaux for a picturesque walk among 500-year old vineyards. Or, during the summer months, have lunch on the beach in Lutry, where kids can jump off a high-diving board into the lake with the locals.