Where to end the winter of 2016/2017 better than in a magical town of Geneva, a gem hidden in the heart of the highest European mountains? Here are some ideas you can try during your residence there. When? Hmm…maybe even the next weekend!
1. Wellness break
Imagine a city that feels as relaxing as a warm, bubbly spa… Why wouldn’t you treat yourself to a relaxing weekend in Geneva and to a free massage?
2. Driving a scooter on snow in a beautiful landscape
In the evening, after the slopes close their gates, there’s another way to enjoy the snow: discover the joys of the snowmobile on a 20 km prepared trail. Following a short introduction, you’ll be accompanied by two guides on a 50 minute circuit.
3. Chocolate factory
La Maison Cailler welcomes visitors to one of Switzerland’s oldest and most important chocolate factories. During the factory tour visitors learn how chocolate came to Europe and how the Swiss refined the product. A small-scale, but still surprisingly large, chocolate production line can be seen in action while sampling is largely unsupervised. Chocolate workshops, also for children, may be reserved. A large Cailler shop sells the locally produced chocolate while a small café serves marvelous hot chocolate and small snacks. A nearby Nestlé Factory Outlet Shop has bargains on chocolates and foods produced by various companies in the Nestlé Group. The Cailler chocolate factory is family friendly and children enter free with adults.
4. Cable-car from Chamonix into the mountains
After 90 minutes from Geneva by coach, along the picturesque valley of the Arve river, you will arrive in Chamonix. In the streets of this mountain village you’ll certainly meet Alpine enthusiasts and lovers of its history and legends. In the centre of town, if you look up, you will see snow everywhere: Mont-Blanc, 4810m of rock, snow, ice and reverie – the highest mountain in Europe. From Chamonix, the highest cable-car in Europe will take you to the snowy heights to admire the Sea of Ice.
5. St Peter’s Cathedral
At the highest point of the Old Town, its towers offer a breathtaking panorama. And its vaults house the largest archaeological site north of the Alps. St Peter’s Cathedral, built in the 12th century underwent important transformations in the 16th century. During the time of the Reformation in 1535, the Cathedral became a place of Protestant worship. Visitors undaunted by climbing the 157 steps of the north tower are rewarded with an incredible panorama of the city and the lake. Don’t forget to visit the archaeological site below the Cathedral and admire its treasures dating back to Antiquity.
6. Skiing, hiking or sledging
With a panorama of over 24 peaks, more than 4000 metres high, both the Restaurant Botta 3000 and the Refuge l’Espace restaurant offer spectacular views. The glacier itself, alongside the ski runs, offers a wide variety of activities for its guests: winter hiking trails, cross-country skiing, a snow park, dog sled rides and the highest bobsleigh track in the world – the Alpine Coaster.
7. Fondue Cruise
Looking for an original and a friendly outing this friday night? Share a unique experience around a Cheese or Chinese Fondue aboard a boat! (Fondue Cruise)
8. Watchmaking factory
Discover the unique and exclusive world of Swiss watchmaking at one of the few independent, family owned manufactures, which still conceives, produces and assembles its manufacture movements in-house.
Alpina & Frederique Constant is a family owned watch manufacturer based in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva. Since its founding, the company is involved in all stages of watch production, from initial design, to final assembly and quality control. It’s an example of a unique Swiss Watchmaking success story, and today one of the few watchmaking companies, which develops, manufactures, and assembles its mechanical calibers entirely in-house.
The measure of the competence and innovation of this Manufacture is demonstrated by the creation of 19 in-house manufacture movements since 2004. The sports oriented Alpina and the elegant and refined Frederique Constant watches are defined by their uncompromising quality, beautiful designs and precision. Their intrinsic material, manufacturing and finishing values are the reasons of their success. The 32,000 square foot facility in Geneva is ultra modern and offers the best environment for its passionate watchmakers.
School or business trip, or a day out with friends? Sporting activity is accessible to all: hours of pleasure and joy while snowshoeing. An activity for a whole day, half a day or an evening. Tours on snowshoes are organised every day, I’m pretty sure you will find a company offering that on every corner of this town.
Red Cross Museum
One and only museum which is dedicated the work of Henry Dunant in the world. Emotion, discovery, reflection: the permanent exhibition of the museum offers a unique experience of the initiation of humanitarian efforts. The new scenography with the title ,,The humanitarian adventure’’ is divided into three separate areas, each developed by well-known exhibition architects with different cultural backgrounds: defending human dignity, restoring family links and reducing natural risks.
International Museum of the Reformation
The International Museum of the Reformation (IMR) is housed in the prestigious 18th century Maison Mallet at Cour Saint-Pierre, the site of the former St Peter’s Cloister. Thanks to a beautiful collection of items, paintings, books and manuscripts, this museum space, created in 2005, recounts the reformation movement, which was one of the great religious movements in Christianity. An interesting way to discover a part of Geneva’s history.
Patek Philippe Museum
The Patek Philippe Museum is located in the heart of the Plainpalais district. Founded in 2001, it showcases the most prestigious creations of the brand’s master watchmakers. Visitors can also admire an extraordinary collection of watches, musical automata and enamel miniatures from the 16th to the 19th centuries, created in Geneva, Switzerland and Europe. The museum also houses a library entirely dedicated to horology and its related subjects.
Bodmer Foundation – Library and Museum
The written heritage of the ,creations of the human mind’’ is united in this extraordinary permanent collection of works: papyri, medieval manuscripts, authors’ autographs, incunabula, first editions, art editions, archaeological documents and drawings. Among the approximately 300 exhibits are two Egyptian Books of the Dead, manuscripts of Dante and original editions of Shakespeare. This exceptional building is also of architectural interest, having been designed by Mario Botta!
Of course, don’t forget to visit the Geneva’s most interesting attractions! I have already written an article about it, you can find it here: Geneva
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