Hello Switzerland

Hiking the Chemin de Narcisses near Montreux. Photo Source Amie O’Shaughnessy

Hooray, our relocation to Switzerland is complete! Let’s just say that the relocation logistics were not fun (stay tuned for a post about lessons learned), but we (all four of us — including our dog) are exceptionally happy to be here.

We are living in the wine producing area of Lavaux on Lake Geneva. Making friends will take some time but we’re already amazed at how welcoming the French-speaking locals are in the villages around us.

Terraced vineyards dominate this area on the lake between Lausanne and Vevey. There are small roads through the vineyards that make wonderful walking paths and well-known cycling routes. Put Lavaux on your must-see list — it’s truly spectacular.

Kid-friendly things to do on Lake Geneva

We have yet to explore all the kid-friendly things to do on Lake Geneva but they are clearly plentiful and I’ll cover them as we discover a “best of” list.

Hiking is one of our favorite family activities — unquestionably, the challenge will be deciding between the endless options.

We decided to start with a route that was described as family-friendly, the Chemin de Narcisses, outside of Montreux. You can use the funicular train in Les Avants as the starting point to avoid a significant climb. The hike was enjoyable through a mixture of forest and open hillsides with stunning views.

That said, we learned two important lessons in today’s adventure:

1.  Beware of what is described as an “easy family hiking tour” in Switzerland. It was a great trail for our 7-year-old but it still had a number of steep ascents and descents — and, we’re not even in the Alps yet. I definitely wouldn’t bring ages 4 and under on this trail unless they are “experienced” hikers.

2. Wine is an essential part of any hiking pit stop. This set up on a bench along the way made us laugh. I love that they use real wine glasses too.

Clearly, we have some things to learn from our hosts!

9 Comments

  1. Good for you, Amie, and bonne chance! My husband and I lived in Europe for 13 years (France and Ireland) and it was such a great life-changing experience. I’ll be looking forward to hearing how you assimilate. What a wonderful adventure!

  2. Congratulations on starting this new exciting chapter of your life! This will be such a wonderful experience for your son (and you!). I look forward to reading your posts about your new home.

  3. What a wonderful place to raise family! I have a friend who lived in Switzerland for 3 years and heard so many great things about their culture and people. Congratulations and look forward to seeing more posts and lovely pictures!

  4. Your website is great! I am from the US (Arizona and California) but have been living in Geneva for the last 4 years. I now have two daughters, 4 months of age and 2 years old! Contact me if you want some help in discovering Switzerland. I agree with you on the “family” hikes – beware – they aren’t so easy!.
    Best wishes and welcome to Switzerland.

  5. Your pictures and descriptions of this part of Switzerland are well done. I can’t wait to go!

  6. Hello,
    I would love to hear about your planning and any other advice you may have for families headed for long term visits to the Alps. We leave the US in Nov for 6 months and will do a little traveling but end up for the winter in Chamonix. We have 2 kids so we are looking for activities and fun things to keep them busy. Any advice would be great!

  7. Rachelle – Your timing is good because in 6 months, I will have figured out how to navigate the Alps with kids. Stay tuned on the blog, I’m going to do a steady stream of posts on resources and activities as I discover them. -Amie

  8. Hi Annie and congratulations on a successful relocation to Switzerland. We hope you will enjoy being an expat in Switzerland and will settle into Swiss and European life well. Lavaux is an amazing place to live – close to Lausanne and Lake Geneva, amazing scenery and great hikes. Here at Hello Switzerland we love the title of your article!

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