Only 17 miles from the center of Geneve - on Lake LeMann - the most charming village and well worth the short trip.
Place de la Mairie
Phone +33 04 50 72 80 21
17 miles from the Swiss/France border.
It is necessary to stop in Yvoire. It is a strengthened village.
The medieval village of Yvoire is located on the French side of Lac Léman - Lake Geneva. Yvoire is positioned at the end of the Presqu'île de Léman - Leman peninsula, that divides Lake Geneva into the Petit Lac - small lake and the Grand Lac – big lake. Its vantage point on Leman peninsula means you can almost get a 360° of the Lake Geneva.
This position today offers great views of the lake but centuries years ago it offered control over much of Lake Geneva and power over one of the gateways to the Alps. Starting in the early 14th century Yvoire was fortified. These fortifications lasted for a few hundreds years until the 16th century when Yvoire fell under the influence of Bern, an ally of France and Geneva. At this time there was relative peace and no need for Yvoire to maintain its military architecture. What you see today of the ramparts and walls of Yvoire are only a sample of what once was.
For a long period, Yvoire sank back into anonymity and the proud strongpoint became a village of farmers and fishermen.
Important evidence of the past has been miraculously preserved : the castle, ramparts and fortified gateways, ditches and houses.
On the Michelin map link below - just enter the "from" city and "to" and you'll see a very good map of the choice of routes - Michelin says 17 miles and about 36 minutes.
It's worthwhile to rent a car and drive to France, a 20 minute drive, if you have the visa.
You can pass by Evian, the same place that produces the water!- you can also pass by other cute swiss villages such as Mountreux known for it's vinyards, and Loussanne.
I work for a Swiss company and I asked many colleages what to see in the Geneva area. Everyone I asked mentioned taking the Ferry to Y'voire in France to eat fish(filet du Perch)!! You can get the ferry from Geneva but we took the train to Nyon and got on a ferry there. Y'voire is a medeival walled town full of tourists. We did enjoy our few hours there, however. Be prepared to eat the local dish 'fillet du perch' which is offered everywhere. At the restaurant we chose by the ferry dock, it was all they had. They give you a generous portion of the fried fish with an gigantic portion of poms frits.
Chamonix & Mont Blanc & Annecy are about 1-2 hour drive away from Geneva, so it would make a good day trip to France.