Hiking in the Vineyards of Lavaux

This summer we’re back in Leysin and, just like last summer, I’m marvelling at how this is our life. Because, as if spending the summer up in gorgeous Swiss mountains isn’t enough, we also get to go on incredible weekend getaways like hiking through the vineyards of Lavaux.

Last summer we hiked through the vineyards between Sierre & Salgesch and, while the vineyards were stunning, we drank no wine until we finished our nearly three-hour long hike.

This year’s hike was significantly different.

For starters, the terraced vineyards of Lavaux are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This area is one of the best-known wine producing regions of Switzerland. The vineyards stretch from Montreux to Lausanne, but one of the best known paths runs from St. Saphorin on the lake level and Chexbres in the hills. Another famous path follows Lake Geneva from St. Saphorin to Lutry.

We decided to combine the two for views both at lake-level and up in the hills. The hike up to Chexbres from St. Saphorin is only 30 minutes and from there it’s about two hours to Lutry. Local trains run throughout this area as well, meaning you can hop on and off whenever you want. But with views like these, why would you get on a train?

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And while Google Maps will tell you your hike only takes 2 1/2 hours (and technically they’re correct), the biggest difference between this summer’s hike and last year’s is the wine! Because, along the way you pass through other small towns as well: Epesses, Riex, Villette, and Chatelard.

And each town has its own charm, history, and designated wines.

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Meaning we did quite a bit of stopping and quite of bit of sampling along the way. A favorite stop of ours was Le Deck right outside Chexbres. But there were tons of options – just note that some require reservations, which takes all the spontaneity out of the hike (in my opinion).

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Eventually we did have to say goodbye to the trail and hop on the S3 in order to spend part of our day in Lausanne.

A city with so much to do, half a day wasn’t enough time to do it justice. But we did manage a short walk along the Ouchy Promenade (technically the starting point of the hiking trail). We also made our way to Ta Cave, the first crowd funded wine bar in Switzerland – they had some more local wines to try.

We walked past the Lausanne Cathedral – home to one of seven night watchman in all of Europe, a post that has been continuously filled for the last 600 years! And quickly passed through Place de la Palud (the center of Old Town).

But there was still other interesting things that we missed, like the Tour de Sauvabelin and the Collection de l’Art Brut.

Our last stop was at Pinte Besson, the oldest restaurant in Lausanne. They are famous for their creamy fondues, so it was fitting that that is where I tasted my first fondue. And I know what you’re thinking – you’ve never met anyone as obsessed with cheese as I am. AND I SPENT LAST SUMMER IN SWITZERLAND! Well, it just never worked out – and here’s one story of why.

But back to Lausanne…we spent a lovely afternoon there and it was a great end to a fabulous morning.

I could definitely see myself coming back here.

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