We recently did a day trip into France to visit the source of the Lison River. The Lison River is a tributary of the Loue River, which in turn feeds the Rhone River. The source of the Lison River is just outside the small town of Nans Sous Sainte Anne, France, which is about a 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive from Geneva. (See map below.)
So, we grabbed some snacks, water bottles, and our camera jumped in the car. The drive is quite pretty. For the first segment, you drive along the banks of Lac Leman on the A1, then head north on the A9. We crossed into France at a tiny border crossing and quickly found ourselves driving through the countryside. The countryside is quite beautiful and its amazing how quickly you can go from being in the city to the country in Europe. We pass a lot of farms with cows and fields full of beautiful yellow flowers. I’m not sure what the flowers are called, but I’ve been told that they are harvested to make a cooking oil.
After a while, we arrived in the little village of Nans Sous Sainte Anne and spotted signs directing us to the “Source du Lison,” or source of the Lison. We followed the signs and arrived at the bottom of a hill in a parking area. To our surprise, the parking lot was full of old and classic cars. It turns out there was a car rally that day and one of the stops was the Source of the Lison.
We grabbed our camera and headed down the path along the bank of the Lison River. We could hear the waterfall and after a few minutes, we could see it too. It’s quite a beautiful waterfall. There are two sides that make up the main fall and a stone structure off to the left which creates two more waterfalls. You can also hike up a short, but steep path to the top of the fall. At the top of the fall, you can see a cave opening where the Lison River is created from an underground river.
To the left of the cave opening at the top of the waterfall, you can see some stairs going up into the rock. We headed up the stairs to climb to a walkway overlooking the cave and the waterfall. The stairway was very slippery and very dark with the only light coming from the entrance at the bottom and the walkway at the top. We had to use both hands and hold on to the rope railing to make it up and down the stairs without slipping.
After getting our fill of the waterfall, we headed into Nans Sous Sainte Anne to head home. On our way out, we found a little shop selling local cheese and wine and decided to stop and buy some. We ended up with some goat cheese from local farms which was quite delicious. One thing that was interesting is that in the US when you buy goat cheese, it’s all nice and soft in a little package. But in France (and Switzerland too), when you buy goat cheese it has a hard rind on the outside and the store clerk will simply wrap it in some wax paper for you. But, its much fresher and very delicious.
After our stop for wine and cheese, we really got on the road and were quickly back home. This was a great afternoon day trip for us from Geneva. Because the Source du Lison was so close, It meant we could have a lazy Sunday morning and sleep in before heading out for the day. It also meant that we got home before it was dark, so no driving at night.
To see more photos from our trip, visit the original post on my personal blog.
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/