Authored by JAYA16

Glorious summer days are right around the corner, and there are many lovely little places to go which are both close to Geneva and still in Switzerland (until the borders fully reopen.) You can visit for a day or weekend, as most of these places are less than an hour’s drive from Geneva.

Vallon de L’Allondon

A personal favorite it is the Vallon de L’Allondon. It’s a lovely light trekking/brisk walking area with a beautiful stream running beside it. Perfect place to take a picnic lunch to enjoy by the stream. The water looks so inviting but (beware!) it is very cold. Parking is very limited, as this gem is still relatively undiscovered (although it can get busy along the 2-hour route between Russin and Dardagny.)

For the nature buffs, definitely stop by the ProNatura Nature Center (reopening June 13/14, 2020), to learn about the local flora/fauna, take a guided tour, and to discover the more than 100 km of hiking trails in the area.  The address of the Nature Center is 150 route de l’Allondon, 1283 Dardagny.

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Vallée de Joux and Lac de Joux

Canton Vaud is beautiful and has much to offer in terms of beauty and trekking. From the top of Mont Tendre, the tallest peak in the Jura at 1679 meters, take in stunning panorama views of Lake Geneva and the Alps.

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The Lac de Joux is a summer playground with boating, swimming, windsurfing and sailing.  And likewise, the nearby Parc Jura Vaudois is worth a visit, especially with small children in tow.  With more than 100 km2 to explore on foot and bike, you will come away with a deeper appreciation for Switzerland’s commitment to the environment and sustainable development.  Also worth seeing within the Parc Jura is one of the world’s largest ant super-colonies.  More than 1000 individual nests (and a half-billion ants) are linked together in a cooperative network so famous that the naturalist David Attenborough filmed a documentary there.

La Dôle and St. Cergue

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La Dôle, at 1677 meters, is the second tallest peak in the Swiss Jura mountains (after Mont Tendre) and gives a brilliant view of Lake Geneva and the Alps. As it is situated on the Swiss- French border, you can also see the lake of Les Rousses on the French side. A hike up to the summit’s white dome (a meteorological station) is well worth the view, although it is a challenging climb for beginners.  I was not sure if I would make it to the top, but in the end was glad I persevered. Fatigue vanishes the moment you see the view. 

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From La Dôle you can walk to St. Cergue which takes about 2.5 hours, or you can drive to St. Cergue and then hike there. Keep your eyes peeled for the cute little chamois, living in herds in the area surrounding La Dôle.  The view from the top of the village nestled in the hills is adorable and so is the view of the lake. The little town is also very quaint. The beauty of these places is that you can visit in summer and winter to see different aspects of nature. Enjoy!


We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to learn more about our activities and excursions, visit our website at