Autumn Activities in the Lac Léman Area

Summer may already feel like a distant memory, but don’t despair, there is plenty to do in the locality during Autumn. Here are some ideas…….

🍂Watch the cows come down from the summer pastures

…otherwise known as the ‘désalpe’. This is a colourful, noisy experience, during which herds of cows, bedecked with flowers and bells, are led down from the mountains by farming families in traditional costume. You can also expect to witness other Swiss traditions, such as yodelling, flag-throwing and the playing of alpenhorns. The most local désalpe is at St Cergue on Saturday 30 Sept.


🍂Take a hike, to enjoy the autumn foliage.

Two great local possibilities are at the Aubonne Arboretum (, or along the cross-crossing trails of the UNESCO World Heritage Lavaux vineyards – you might even like to sample a glass or two along the way! (


🍂Do some wine-tasting at local festivals.

There are plenty of wine festivals throughout Autumn to celebrate the ‘vendange’, or grape harvest. Two suggestions are Founex’s first Fête des Vendanges, on 22-23 September (; or Fête de la Vigne in Nyon on 29-30 September ( Both are events for the whole family, with attractions such as concerts, food stands, treasure hunts, and face painting.


🍂Sample seasonal food.

This is the season of ‘la chasse’, when restaurants all over the region offer special menus of game with various traditional accompaniements. Look out for signs announcing that ‘La Chasse est Arrivée’, and tuck in!


Lots of delicious food-related events are scheduled in Suisse Romande from 14-24 September for La Semaine du Goût. Have a look at the extensive programme for something that tickles your tastebuds –

🍂Attend a ‘quirky’ regional event.

Why not try one of the following……

🍂Saga des Géants, Geneva, 29 Sept – 1 Oct. Some huge visitors are coming to town! (

🍂Déjeuner sur l’Herbe, Prangins Château, 24 Sept. Take a picnic and watch the parade of 19th Century style. Lots of family activities, music and food. (

🍂Scary Night at the Castle, Château de Chillon, 7 Oct. Visit the castle by the light of flaming torches – not for the feint-hearted! (

Looking for further inspiration?

Here’s a selection of websites which you might find useful ……..

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