A beautiful sunny Sunday through the vineyards of Lavaux
Finally the winter decided to give a truce and we could make our first trek of 2014 in the environs of Geneva. The place chosen to enjoy the beautiful sunny Sunday was the region of Lavaux, near Montreux, even knowing that it would not be the best time to enjoy the views of the grape plantations.
It was the second Sunday in March and, as we thought, the vineyards were still very small. I believe that the months of September and October are the best time to make the trail and enjoy all the beauty of the vineyards.
From Geneva to Cully…
David and I boarded a train at Cornavin Station in Geneva at 11.15. The trip to the city of Lausanne lasts half an hour. Arriving in Lausanne we had to do a transfer to another train (local) towards a village called Cully.
In Switzerland, there are regional trains that connect the larger cities (Geneva, Zürich, Montreux, Bern, etc.) and have local trains connecting the smaller cities. From Lausanne to Cully station are only 10 minutes.
As David had done this tour previously, he thought he would remember the way but (as always) it did not happen!. In fact, the route was very easy, just follow a trail by the lake. However, we followed the main strip of the town for about 5 minutes and found that it had no way out.
We then decided to ask for information from a friendly Austrian lady who showed us the way along a viaduct that would then take us to the vineyards. And so we finally started our adventure of the day.
Through the vineyards of Lavaux
At the beginning of the trail there were few people, but gradually, and as the temperature rose, the movement increased.
On one side the lake and the mountains, on the other the slopes totally taken by the grape plantations. Although it was not a very sunny day, the scenery surprised us every moment.
The initial idea was to walk to the town of Vevey, about 10km, with a stop for lunch at some restaurant in the town of Saint-Saphorin (km 6.3). The trail is relatively easy, a good part of the route is flat and the few slopes can be handled by anyone who has a minimum of physical training, as it does not require much effort.
Before we reached San Saphorin, we had a quick walk through the town of Epesses, where there is a gazebo and a few picnic tables. We stopped for a bit to take a drink and enjoy the view of the gazebo and then continued towards Rivaz, the next village.
By this time it was past 1:30 p.m. and we started to worry about finding a restaurant for lunch because in the small towns of Switzerland and France, most restaurants close at 2:00 p.m. The only open restaurant was already crowded. Then we went on to Saint Saphorin, which was 1.5km away.
We arrived at Saint-Saphorin at 2pm and found only one restaurant, which was already closed. Luckily I always carry something in the backpack (salami, cheese, cookies) and the solution was exactly this, to make an improvised picnic with what we had. We climbed a staircase to get to the lookout of the city and there we stopped to eat. The view, without a doubt, was better than any restaurant.
After eating and resting a bit, it’s time to start again, after all, we had a few more miles ahead and then back 10km to the town of Cully. After Saint-Saphorin, a surprise, a waterfall in the middle of the vineyards to complete the beauty of the place. Another few meters and it’s time to fill the bottle, after all water is fundamental in this type of trip. Yes, you can drink the water from the “fountains” you find along the way, they are, in general, drinkable. When there are any restrictions, you will certainly see a notice that is clearly visible.
Finally we came to Vevey, the Swiss city known for hosting Nestlé’s headquarters and for being the place chosen by the actor Charles Chaplin to live during his last years of life.
First part fulfilled, it’s time to go back !! And, of course, we chose a slightly different route to enjoy the hike better. This time we used the trail closest to the highway for being higher and displaying a slightly different look.
We reached the town of Cully, this time on the right path (at the lake) at 5:40 p.m. Despite the almost 20km walk in about 5 hours, we were not too tired because, as I said, the route does not present great difficulties. But since no one is made of iron, we decided to sit by the lake, have a beer, and enjoy the sunset before returning home.
Do you want more information about this place, read the article Lavaux: one of the largest wine regions in Switzerland!