After the year 2021 without visiting my sister Florence in Zug in Switzerland, I finally returned to the Confoederatio Helvetica in March 2022. I stayed over a week. More than a family visit, I organised an excursion to French-speaking Switzerland, also known as Romandy to visit Maxime and the vineyards of Lavaux in the canton of Vaud, near Lausanne. I also booked a journey on the world-famous Glacier Express from Sankt Moritz to Brig. Furthermore, I looked for a nice way in and out. The ÖBB Nightjet night train from Amsterdam to Zurich and the voyage home via Lyon in France.
A week in Switzerland for my sister offered opportunities for excursions further away. As I hadn’t really explored Romandy yet beyond the GoldenPass Line and my youth skiing in Anzère in the canton of Valais (Wallis). And Maxime works from Lausanne, I decided to go there. Also, it’s near the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lavaux.
Lavaux is a region in the canton of Vaud, in the district of Lavaux-Oron. Lavaux consist of 830 hectares of terraced vineyards that stretch for about 30 km along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva.
Although there is some evidence that vines were grown in the area in Roman times, the actual vine terraces can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area.
It benefits from a temperate climate, but the southern aspect of the terraces with the reflection of the sun in the lake and the stone walls gives a mediterranean character to the region. The main wine grape variety grown here is the Chasselas.
Under cantonal law, the vineyards of Lavaux are protected from development. Since July 2007, Lavaux is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Since 2016, the vineyards of Lavaux are not treated with synthetic pesticides any more.
Im’n not sure we did the official hike. Maxime and Sydney took me to Puidoux. From there we went to Chexbres-Village, where we started walking in the direction of Vevey.
Although it was the wrong season to see actual grapes, the views are simply stunning. The Lac Léman, the terraces, being close to the rails.
Combined with springy, almost summery weather, this is not a hike to forget. It’s an easy hike by the way.