The Canton of Vaud – A region with many attractions

The Canton of Vaud

Martine Bernier

Health journalist, editor-in-chief

March 20, 2022

The variety of landscapes with the Alpine peaks and the lakeside towns of Lausanne and Montreux, but also the large areas of Jura and the authentic rural charm reflect all facets of Switzerland in this region. But what distinguishes the Lake Geneva region above all is its art of living. Whether local or internationally renowned events, sporting outdoor activities, regional know-how, renowned star cuisine, fine wines or living traditions – every corner of this region is worth discovering!

Located between Lake Geneva and the Alps, the canton of Vaud has a natural heritage that is second to none. Its breathtakingly beautiful landscapes are among the most enchanting panoramas Switzerland has to offer. The terraces of the Lavaux wine-growing region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reach down to the shores of Lake Geneva. Glacier 3000, the highest point in the canton, offers a magnificent view of the peaks of the Alps and their eternal snow.

To enable holidaymakers to benefit from all these panoramas in an exclusive setting, tourist transport has been created to combine comfort and fantastic views. A romantic voyage of discovery on Lake Geneva awaits travellers on board CGN’s Belle Epoche ships, while the classic or panorama carriages of the GoldenPass line accompany them from Lake Geneva to the Alps in a particularly pleasant way.

The canton of Vaud is one of the regions with the highest density of museums per inhabitant. With such an offer, every culture lover will find their happiness, whether they are interested in history, contemporary art or social issues. Art in all its forms is also showcased in many of Vaud’s cultural institutions. These world-renowned museums pay tribute, among other things, to the region’s beautiful landscapes, which continue to inspire painters and photographers.

Last but not least, social themes and famous guests deserve lively, interactive exhibitions. The Olympic Museum, Chaplin’s World and Chillon are some of the most popular attractions in the canton.

Beyond the natural beauty, interesting cultural sites, well-preserved historical monuments and culinary discovery tours must not be missing from the programme. The list is endless, but to get inspired, go to www.genferseegebiet.ch.

Discover gastronomy and wine in Vaud

The canton of Vaud offers everything your heart desires to relax, stroll, enjoy, treat yourself and discover new things. In the canton of Vaud, gastronomy and wines are very important. With its six wine-growing regions – including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lavaux – Vaud is the second largest wine region in Switzerland. With its well-marked hiking trails and tastings in the wine cellars, Vaud’s vineyards are an ideal wine tourism destination.

The dominant white wine grape, Chasselas, is used to make wines that harmonise wonderfully with the AOP cheeses L’Etivaz and Vacherin Mont-d’Or, as well as many other delicacies of the region. Inspired by this extraordinary diversity, famous chefs have settled in the region. The canton of Vaud boasts the highest number of restaurants in Switzerland awarded by the Michelin and Gault Millau gourmet guides.

But the canton offers more than just culinary delights: Lively shopping streets invite you to go shopping and wellness oases invite you to feel good. Guests can recharge their batteries in the spas of around a dozen luxury hotels, while the warm thermal springs of the resorts of Yverdon-les-Bains and Lavey-les-Bains beckon with relaxation and well-being.

With almost 4000 hectares under cultivation, the canton of Vaud is one of the most important wine-growing regions in Switzerland. Divided into six regions and eight areas with controlled designation of origin (AOC), it delights its visitors with a very wide variety of grape varieties and wines.

Viticulture, probably introduced by the Romans on the slopes of Lake Geneva and in the Alps, was further developed by monks throughout the Middle Ages. These gave way to winegrowing families during the Renaissance, whose descendants are still very attached to tradition. For to this day, wine is a very important part of the social, economic and cultural fabric of the canton of Vaud.

Thanks to very diverse sites, the region is suitable for the cultivation of numerous grape varieties. The most typical white wine is the Chasselas, whose delicious golden-coloured grapes produce crystal-clear white wines. They are appreciated both as an aperitif and as an accompaniment to whitefish fillets from the lake or cheese dishes. Other typical grape varieties to be enjoyed here are Mondeuse, Plan Robert and Pinot gris (Pinot gris).

Castle of Aigle

Magnificent landscapes

The canton of Vaud consists of six wine-growing regions and eight AOC areas: La Côte AOC, Lavaux (with the three AOC areas Lavaux AOC, Calamin AOC and Dézaley AOC), Chablais AOC, Vully AOC, Bonvillars AOC and Les Côtes de l’Orbe AOC. Each area has its own special features and magnificent landscapes invite you to stroll and discover the world of viticulture.

A comprehensive wine tourism offer awaits lovers all year round. It is highlighted throughout the canton with the “Vaud Œnotourisme” label, which guarantees quality standards in guest services. Easily recognisable professionals in the fields of wine, hospitality, tourism and the sale of regional products open their doors to all curious connoisseurs so that they can discover the canton of Vaud through its gastronomy. Whether it’s wine tastings, a guided walk through the wine terraces or a ride on the vineyard train, pleasure is always at the heart of all these experiences.

Gourmet restaurants listed in famous gastronomic guides and the diversity of regional specialities reveal the most varied facets of the canton of Vaud. Lovers of good cuisine are delighted and gourmets eager to try Vaud’s culinary specialities!

The exceptional gastronomic heritage of the canton of Vaud invites you on a real journey of the senses! Exploring the region from a gourmet’s point of view, you can take it in directly and authentically, enjoying a good meal outdoors or in the cosy atmosphere of a restaurant.

All our wine tourism and gastronomy offers are available at the click of a mouse! myvaud.ch/wine-tourism-offers

Vufflens and the castle

Vineyard walks in the canton of Vaud

These walks through the different regions of Vaud bridge the gap between tradition and modernity. Equipped with a smartphone and the free Vaud:Guide app, visitors discover magnificent landscapes, meet winegrowers and local producers, and are accompanied in an entertaining way by interactive games on the screen.

In the regions of the canton of Vaud, wine tourism has been elevated to an art. In each of the vineyard walks, the desire to share with visitors a passion for unique landscapes, regional specialities and typical wines is palpable. The Vaud:Guide app has succeeded in combining tradition and innovation in these walks specially designed for wine tourism. The app provides information about unmissable sights and offers interactive games during the walk. Whether or not they are mentioned by name in the walk, the Vaudois winegrowers look forward to welcoming you for a tasting break. Remember to register your visit. On your marks, smartphone at the ready, cheers!

After downloading the free Vaud:Guide app, it guides visitors along beautiful, often unknown paths. Around thirty entertaining learning games and quizzes make the discovery tours through the region particularly exciting. No internet connection and therefore no paid subscription is required to use the app. The vineyard walks are designed for a broad audience and are therefore also suitable for children as soon as they can walk on their own. With eight walks to choose from, there is plenty of variety, different horizons and adventure: Morges, Vully AOC, Lavaux UNESCO, Chablais AOC, Pays-d’Enhaut, Côtes de l’Orbe AOC (two circular walks), Vallée de Joux and Bonvillars AOC.

To find out more about wine and gastronomy in the canton of Vaud: artdevivre.region-du-leman.ch

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