At the gates of Lausanne, a few kilometres from the Beau-Rivage Palace, lies one of the most beautiful landscapes in Switzerland. The terraced vineyards of Lavaux are so impressive that they have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking through the vineyards, overlooking Lake Geneva and facing the Alps, is an authentic experience. In each village, the communal cellars or the personal cellars of the winegrowers invite you to taste the wines of the region, of an astonishing quality. For visits to the producers, it is advisable to announce yourself in advance.
Since 2016, the Manoir de Ban, the former residence of Charlie Chaplin and his family, has been open to the public under the name Chaplin's World. On his arrival in Switzerland, the English genius of cinema and art stayed at the Beau-Rivage Palace, before buying this splendid residence on the heights of Vevey and Lake Geneva. He lived there for over 20 years and is buried in the village cemetery. An ultra-modern scenography, original furniture and objects, as well as wax statues from the famous Grévin house have rapidly made Chaplin's World one of the most visited places in Switzerland. A restaurant and a large park are added to the renovated manor house and the studio built next door.
The most visited historical site in Switzerland, Chillon CastleTM was built in the 12th century on a rocky island in Lake Geneva, giving the impression that the fortress is floating on water. Just a stone's throw from Montreux and easily accessible by road and rail, this romantic castle invites you to take a real trip back in time. Individually, with a guide or equipped with an audio guide available in 14 languages, visitors discover the modern scenography of the temporary and permanent exhibitions. They immerse themselves in the mysteries of the Middle Ages, even in the gaols of the crypt, which inspired a poem by the Englishman Lord Byron about the "Prisoner of Chillon".
Home to the IOC since 1915, Lausanne was officially named Olympic Capital in 1994, shortly after the opening of the Olympic Museum. Built a few steps from the Beau-Rivage Palace, it is the only official museum of the Olympic movement in the world. Completely renovated in 2013, the Olympic Museum traces the history of the Games in an interactive way, thanks to numerous screens. Its permanent and temporary exhibitions pay tribute to the athletes, but also to the creators, architects and volunteers who keep the Olympic values alive. A sculpture park and a magnificent restaurant with a view of Lake Geneva complete this leisure site.
The abundance of cultural events on offer in Lausanne is almost miraculous for a city of its size. Everyone can find something of interest among the many high-quality museums in Lausanne: painting, drawing and sculpture at the Fondation de l'Hermitage, alternative creations at the Collection de l'art brut, design and contemporary art at the mudac, photography at the Musée de l'Elysée, etc. This diversity can be seen in the calendar of events in Lausanne, which is punctuated by events almost every weekend. The Festival de la Cité, the Lausanne marathon, Athletissima and the Christmas market are the best known events, complemented by sports, gastronomic, musical and artistic events throughout the year.
A CGN cruise is a must during a stay in the Lake Geneva region. In addition to its modern ships, the CGN owns eight paddle steamers dating from the Belle Epoque (early 20th century). A unique fleet, classified as a historical monument of national importance and considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. Easily accessible on foot from the Beau-Rivage Palace, the Lausanne-Ouchy landing stage is the CGN's main port. It connects the capital of Vaud with Montreux, the Lavaux vineyards, Nyon, Geneva and France. The crossing of the lake and the border takes about an hour.
Located at 3000 m on the Diablerets glacier, the highest point in the Vaud Alps, Glacier 3000 is a leisure resort where the snow never melts! A large modern gondola lift makes the short journey from the Col du Pillon a memorable one. Designed by a famous Swiss architect, the arrival building also serves as a restaurant. Outside, there are many activities on offer: skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, a snow bus on the glacier and even a ride on sledges pulled by Nordic dogs. But the most impressive are the Alpine Coaster - the highest roller coaster in the world - and the Peak Walk by Tissot - a suspension bridge between two peaks, unique in the world.
The presence of raw materials and skilled labour has made the Swiss Jura the cradle of fine watchmaking in the world. The Vaud region of the Vallée de Joux, the cantons of Jura and Neuchâtel are still home to prestigious brands such as TAG Heuer, Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Breguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Piaget, Tissot, etc. Several museums trace the history of this luxury industry and present unique pieces, such as the Espace Horloger in Le Sentier (VD) and the Musée International d'Horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fonds (NE). Small watchmakers even offer courses in how to make your own complicated watch.
The city of Lausanne has always had a special relationship with the art of dance. The capital of Vaud is first and foremost known for the Prix de Lausanne. This prestigious competition has been rewarding young dance hopefuls since the 1970s. Numerous companies also make the reputation of the city of dance. The best known of these is the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, directed by Gil Roman since the death of the famous choreographer Maurice Béjart. Touring the world, the dancers of the Béjart Ballet Lausanne return to Beaulieu Lausanne twice a year to give highly acclaimed performances. The Rudra-Béjart School, the artistic stages and many other talented choreographers contribute to the international reputation of Lausanne as a city of dance.