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Travel WorldNews Destinations Lake Geneva - sapphire sea from heart of the Alps - Part I

Lake Geneva - sapphire sea from heart of the Alps - Part I

Geneva, Switzerland, Europe, United Nations Palais

Lake Geneva or Lake Léman, as they say in French, is the largest natural lake in Western Europe and also the largest alpine lake, stretching over an area of 581 square kilometers and having a pool of 89 billion cubic meters of water. Lake, in the form of horn, has the southern shores of France, and on the north, west and east in Switzerland, the border between the two countries passes through the middle of the lake. Shores are adorned with numerous vineyards, villages, castles and beautiful towns.

Extent of water measures 73 km long and 14 km in the widest point, with a maximum depth of 310 meters. The lake is formed by the river Rhone, which flows into it through the east, between Villeneuve (Switzerland) and Saint-Gingolph (France), leaving the area, through city of Geneva, located on the west side of the lake. It is estimated that the river crosses the lake from side to side in 17 years.

The lake is famous for its crystal clear water, forming a splendid blue mirror. The largest cities, located on its shores, are Geneva and Lausanne, the lake is also known for the famous Montreux and Vevey resorts (in Switzerland) and Thonon-les-Bains and Évian-les-Bains (France).

Landscape that has inspired hundreds of artists

For centuries, Lake Geneva has served as a place of inspiration for hundreds of artists from many fields, from writers and poets to painters and musicians. Geneva was the place where the operas arose, such as Frankenstein (Mary Shelley), The Idiot (Dostoevsky) and the Lausanne served as a place of inspiration for Victor Hugo, TS Eliot, Voltaire or Tolstoy.

Montreux, famous resort in the world today, for the jazz festival has hosted over the years, great personalities such as Hans Christian Andersen, Vladimir Nabokov and Igor Stravinsky, is still preferred by many stars. Vevey, a quieter resort than Montreux, was preferred by Dostoevsky (where he wrote The Player), Charlie Chaplin and Graham Greene. In Vevey is one of the few statues of Mihai Eminescu, outside Romania.

North shore of the lake is famous for its fertile soil, as a region has become famous not only for the stunning landscapes but also for its excellent wines that are produced from grapes grown here.

Geneva, starting point of a journey of dreams

The best starting point for adventure, along Lake Léman, is Geneva, being one of the most popular cities in the world.

Geneva is a stylish city with only 191,000 inhabitants, occupying every year one of the first places in the metropolis with a high index rankings of quality of life. Over 200 international organizations have their headquarters in this Swiss city foreigner constitute 45% of the population of the city. Geneva is also one of the most expensive cities in the world, housing a large number of jewelry stores, watchmaking, luxury private banks and restaurants serving large number of wealthy people living in this city.

But you do not need lot of money to enjoy the excellent atmosphere that is in Geneva, one of the most popular cities of the world elite. To see what makes Geneva so irresistible need to explore the city on foot. Moreover, Geneva Hall actively encourages walking, urban planning with pedestrians in foreground. Same end, officials have designed 10 routes pedestrian theme, for tourists who want to discover different aspects of Geneva. In addition, every Sunday municipality organizes free guided tours that highlight little-known heritage issues.

Before starting the journey around Lake Geneva, is worth visiting the old part of town, where you will find many fine chocolate shops and luxury shops. Then you reach the Jardin Anglais, where you will find flower clock, became famous and imitated lately, in all parks in the world. It worth then to stroll along the Promenade du Lac, to observe the chic restaurants and luxury boats, and then to admire the Jet d'Eau, the symbol of the city.

Once you have discovered Geneva, you can start the adventure along Lake Léman. The best way to explore the coast (even so is the region between Geneva and Lausanne called by locals, La Côte) is the train, you can take from Cornavin Station.