Scenic Lavaux

By John Reality, Cambodia, June 2011

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The beautiful sweeps of steeply sloping land along the shores of Lake Geneva between Lausanne and Montreux are home to terraced vineyards that have earned the admiration of wine aficionados and lovers of picturesque landscape the world over.

Since 2007, a considerable portion of the Lavaux (Bas-Lavaux) has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but several territories that are technically part of the region fall outside this protection. Happily, the Lavaux is so beloved domestically and romanticized abroad that the splendors of the area don’t currently face much in the way of ecological or touristic threats.

The region is accessible by plane, train, bus and automobile, but the
best ways to tap into its beauty are by boat, bicycle and on foot.
During the spring and summer, boat trips from the Ouchy on the
lakefront of Lausanne (or from Montreux) are stunningly lovely and
pleasant. It is even possible to make the journey through the Lavaux
all the way from Geneva by steamboat if you have the time at your
disposal to commit to the trip.

Ambitious trekkers with a taste for the grape will find travel on foot
or by bicycle the rival of Provence, Sonoma Valley, or anyplace else
on earth. Cyclists in particular had better take care to train hard
prior to making the journey, as the hills of Lavaux can be notoriously

Also noteworthy is the fact that the area is home to two renowned jazz festivals, the Montreux Jazz Festival (July 1-16) and the Cully Jazz Festival (March 25-April 2). Both festivals are justly famous, though the former is far and away the more prestigious.

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