Lavaux Vineyard Terraces
This 18-mile, 2,050-acre swathe of wine country is made up of southern-facing terraces that thrive in the mild microclimate and are known for producing the Chasselas grape used to make a prestigious white wine that fueled the local economy for centuries. Join a tour or day trip from Geneva or Lausanne to take in spectacular vistas terraced vineyards blanketing the hillsides down to the lakeshore, enjoy a wine tasting in one of the area’s many caveaux (wine cellars), and visit the picturesque Château de Chillon and gem-like villages of Montreux and Vevey. Some tours also stop at Chaplin’s World, a museum and Hollywood-inspired studio dedicated to the famous comedic actor.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Be sure to wear comfortable footwear and dress for the weather to tour the countryside and villages of the Lavaux.
- Photographers will want to capture the singular views of the terraced vineyards, lake, and Alpine peaks on the horizon.
- Some wineries may not be accessible to wheelchairs. If you are visiting as part of a wine tour, check in advance.
- You must be of legal drinking age to participate in wine tastings.
How to Get There
The Lavaux is in the Canton de Vaud just east of Lausanne, on the shores of Lake Geneva. There is no public transportation through the area, so explore by car along highway A9 or join a guided tour that includes transportation.
When to Get There
Try to visit the Lavaux in spring and fall, when the terraced vineyards are at their peak. The area is also picturesque in the fall as the vineyards give over to gold and orange.
The History of Grape Production in the Lavaux
While the Swiss wine industry doesn’t rival that of its neighbors in Italy and France, this area has been growing grapes for wine since at least the 11th century, and probably as far back as Roman times. While there is clear evidence that vines were cultivated by local Benedictine and Cistercian monks, traces of Roman settlements here and in nearby Lausanne—a city which historically owes some of its wealth to the Lavaux wine industry—suggests that ancient Romans also used the terraces for growing wine grapes.
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- Freddie Mercury Statue
- Old Town of Montreux (Vieille-Ville de Montreux)
- Montreux Flower Promenade (Chemin Fleuri)
- Glacier 3000
- Alimentarium - Food Museum
- Chaplin's World by Grévin
- Chillon Castle (Château de Chillon)
- Swiss Vapeur Parc
- HR Giger Museum (Musée HR Giger)
- La Maison du Gruyère
- Gruyères Tibet Museum
- Olympic Museum Lausanne (Musée Olympique)
- Maison Cailler
- Prangins Castle (Chateau de Prangins)
- Lake Geneva (Lac Léman)