UNESCO World Heritage Vineyards
Have you ever visited the beautiful Lavaux vineyards in Switzerland? Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site since June 2007 they are on not only wonderfully scenic but of great cultural significance too. The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, stretch from Chateau de Chillon for about 30 km along Lake Geneva towards the outskirts of Lausanne. These vineyards can be traced back to the 11th century, when it is believed they were planted by Benedictine and Cistercian monks. However, people believe that it was the Romans who first planted vines along this favoured south facing spot on the lake.
We visited during the harvest season and started at Chexbres which is the highest spot of the Lavaux UNESCO vineyards. You get a wonderful panorama over at the vineyards and Lake Geneva from this point and it really is one of Switzerland’s prettiest places to visit. You can begin your walk at various different points such as Saint-Saphorin, Rivaz or Epesses depending on what time you have available and how you much walking you want to do.
There is a great free map you can get from the Tourism office to plan your route or you can even download the Vaud Guide free app to give you lots more information about the region. The App, which works on GPS doesn’t require an internet connection and comes complete with a circular walking route which takes you from Chexbres to Saint-Saphorin, Rivaz and Epesses.
There are many vineyard cellars you can stop off at for a “dégustation” or tasting, and whilst we were there we even found a pop up one along the route. As well as having wine on offer (as a tasting, by the glass or by the bottle) they also had a selection of cold platters and savoury biscuits you could buy.
We drove up up to Chexbres and you can park at Chexbres train station, but if you’re coming by public transport you can take the “Train des Vignes”. If you don’t want to walk the whole route (which is around 10.4km, which could take 4 – 5 hours) you can always take the train below the vineyards along Lake Geneva from Saint-Saphorin, Rivaz or Epesses.
There are some pavements along the way but not everywhere. Also there are some areas with steep drops below so do make sure young children are supervised. You can take buggies and wheelchairs but some parts are quite steep.
Along the route you will find plenty of cafes and restaurants to stop as well as benches where you can stop and admire the view.
The Lavaux UNESCO World Heritage Vineyards
Where: Located in the Vaud Region of Switzerland
Where to stay: We stayed at Le Mirador Resort and Spa in nearby Chardonne
What else to do: Click here for a list of things to do in Vevey
You may like to click here see photos of the 2019 Fete des Vignerons which only takes place every 20 – 25 years.
See the map of the region below:
Articles Which May Interest You