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Five beautiful Swiss villages just a short trip from Geneva

Live in Geneva and want to get away but don't have too much time? These five beautiful villages are less than an hour away, making them perfect for a day trip.

The Swiss village Bursins (VD). Photo: Association “Les plus beaux Villages de Suisse”
The Swiss village Bursins (VD). Photo: Association “Les plus beaux Villages de Suisse”

Just a few kilometres from the diplomatic capital of Switzerland, there are little gems to be discovered any time of year. 

These five villages have been selected by “Les plus beaux Villages de Suisse” (The most beautiful Villages in Switzerland), an organisation which aims to protect and promote those villages and small towns that have a distinct architectural, landscape and historical beauty.

Whether you seek to discover them in just one day or combine them together, a pleasant journey awaits you!

Don’t live near Geneva? Check out the following links for more beautiful Swiss villages. 

Five beautiful Swiss villages located less than an hour from Zurich

Six beautiful Swiss villages located near the Austrian border

Five beautiful Swiss villages located less than an hour from Basel

Dardagny (GE)

Not far from the chaotic city of Geneva lies this magnificent village with its rich history, reflected in its imposing castle. The surrounding nature invites you to rest and reflect.

Dardagny has a lot of charm: in addition to typical winegrowers’ architecture and a beautiful landscape, the village offers an exceptional quality of life, reflected in a strong community spirit, proud producers and a dynamic association system. Located in the heart of its vineyard, Dardagny is an enviable example of a small, rural, autonomous and attractive settlement.

Must see: The imposing castle, the lovely Malval chapel.

The Swiss village Dardagny (GE). Photo: Association “Les plus beaux Villages de Suisse”

The Swiss village Dardagny (GE). Photo: Association “Les plus beaux Villages de Suisse”

Bursins (VD)

The village lies gently sloping amidst extensive vineyards, while Lake Geneva and the surrounding peaks offer a romantic backdrop with postcard views.

Its romanesque church is a real gem.

Halfway between Geneva and Lausanne, the picturesque village of Bursins sits on a promontory in the Jura, overlooking an exceptional panorama where the vineyards seem to dip as far as the eye can see into the calm waters of the lake, with the Alps and the imposing Mont Blanc as a background.

Must see: The beautiful romanesque church and Château Rosey.

The landscape surrounding the Swiss village of Bursins.

Romainmôtier (VD)

In the mysterious Vallon du Nozon lies this village with its romanesque monastery, one of the oldest in Switzerland, and its medieval houses such as the Prior’s House. Romainmôtier is not limited to its main jewel, the 10th-century abbey church, modelled on the church at Cluny.

The village is full of life and stories, beautifully presented thanks to the guided walk “Romainmôtier, the unsuspected”. The village is located in the Jura Vaudois Regional Nature Park, recognised as being of national importance since 2013.

Must see: The 10th century abbey church and the Prior’s house.

The Swiss village Romainmôtier (VD). Photo: Association “Les plus beaux Villages de Suisse” and ©Michel Gaudard

The Swiss village Romainmôtier (VD). Photo: Association “Les plus beaux Villages de Suisse” and ©Michel Gaudard

Saint-Saphorin (VD)

The Provençal soul of the village is evident in the thousand colours and fragrances that waft through its alleyways. A walk through the famous vineyards of Lavaux is a unique experience for the eye and the nose. You can enjoy an aperitif on the historic village square and yellow gold still flows from the old wine press.

A charming village where the traditions are alive and the fascination enduring. As a neighbour, Charlie Chaplin used to walk there with his family, hitting the pavement with his legendary cane and enjoying the Provençal air that prevails in the stone village.

Must see: The beautiful gothic church and the famous vineyards.

The Swiss village Saint-Saphorin (VD). Photo: Association “Les plus beaux Villages de Suisse”

The Swiss village Saint-Saphorin (VD). Photo: Association “Les plus beaux Villages de Suisse”

Moudon (VD)

The former capital of Vaud consists of two parts: the upper part with its “crumbling” houses, unique in Switzerland, and the lower part with stately buildings and the imposing Saint-Etienne church.

The high facades of the molasse rocks tower above the Broye, giving the upper town its typical medieval character. The town has two special attractions: the Vieux-Moudon Museum and the Eugène Burnand Museum.

Must see: The “crumbling” houses  and the Saint-Etienne church.

The Swiss village Moudon (VD). Photo: Association “Les plus beaux Villages de Suisse”

The Swiss village Moudon (VD). Photo: Association “Les plus beaux Villages de Suisse”

All of these villages and many more feature in the Les plus beaux Villages de Suisse free app available in English for iOS and Android. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

SWISS pilots threaten an October strike action

The Swiss pilots’ union could go on strike during Switzerland’s busy autumn holiday period.

SWISS pilots threaten an October strike action

The union, Aeropers, which has been negotiating salary increases and improved working conditions with Switzerland’s national airline, has rejected the carrier’s latest collective labour agreement (CLA) and is threatening to go on strike.

The  (CLA) is a kind of contract that is negotiated between Switzerland’s trade unions and employers or employer organisations. Generally speaking, they cover a minimum wage for each type of work; regulations relating to work hours; payment of wages in the event of illness or maternity; vacation and days off; and protection against dismissal.

READ MORE : What is a Swiss collective bargaining agreement — and how could it benefit you?

The pilots said they would cease flying on October 17th, which falls in the middle of school holidays in a number of cantons — the period when many families holiday abroad.

“SWISS has not sufficiently entered into the matter of the legitimate interests of its pilots”, Aeropers said, adding that if the airline doesn’t come up with a better offer, the union “will initiate the procedures for a strike”.

For its part, SWISS said in a press release that it offered its pilots 60 million francs more than on the previous CLA, but “Aeropers executive committee has rejected this latest offer as inadequate, and has made demands of its own totalling over 200 million”.

However, Aeropers head Thomas Steffen has denied SWISS’ claim saying the 200-million figure is “a fantasy number” that has no basis whatsoever. According to Steffen, the pilots’ demand was “significantly less than half of this sum”.

He went on to accuse the airline of “propaganda” at the detriment of its employees”.

He added that the strike would me a last-resort measure if the dispute on pay, which has been going on for a year, is not resolved within a month.

“We’ve negotiated for a year and made sure that our members are level-headed and fly safely and reliably, despite being without a contract,” Steffen said.

If the SWISS cockpit staff, which also includes its sister airline, Edelweiss, does go on strike, it will be the latest labour dispute in Europe’s aviation, which includes a strike by Lufthansa ground crew, which impacted Switzerland over the summer.

However, strikes by Swiss workers is relatively uncommon compared to other countries.

READ MORE: Why are strikes so rare in Switzerland?

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