At the end of last autumn we finally hiked amongst the Vineyards of the Terasses de Laveaux in Vaud.
A zigzag path across the prestigious terraced vineyards of Lavaux, with breathtakingly beautiful views over Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) and beyond. The terraces are a UNESCO World Heritage site which makes this Swiss autumn hike even more special in my mind.
There are many different options to hike the Terraces de Laveaux, we opted for a stretch along the Swiss Wine Trail which runs between Saint-Saphorin and Lutry. By all means you do not need to be a wine loving person nor understand the art of winemaking to enjoy this beautiful Swiss Autumn hike in Vaud.
We simply went because of the autumn shades, the views over Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and the ease of the trail. Ideal for a leisurely Sunday afternoon hike. Although I have to admit we were a little too late to get the full intense autumn colours the Terraces de Lavaux is famous for, but never the less it was still a fantastic autumn hike within the Vineyards.
Where to start the Terraces de Lavaux Autumn hike?
The official marked trail is No113. From Saint-Saphorin to Lutry. Note, that this will be a one way hiking trail, therefore plan to catch a train or bus back to where you have parked your car.
We hiked the short 4km version – from Saint Saphorin to Cully.
Depending on whether you are arriving by car or train your starting point may vary. We parked our car along the road just after Saint-Saphorin and entered the Vineyards of Laveaux this way. You soon will pick up the dedicated path. (See map below )
From there on it is straight ahead, up and down along the vineyards de Laveaux and enjoy the views.
NOTE: We did see that there is also a parallel path further up the terraces but I am not sure how to get there, maybe you needed to start at Saint-Saphorin. It was pretty enough on our trail and we had fun playing amongst the empty vines.
Along the Lavaux Vineyard – Swiss Wine Trail
It is an easy trail mostly on a paved private road, so the cars are limited if any at all. You will find dedicated places for a picnic if you have packed one. But be prepared that these might already be occupied by a group and if there is a wine bottle on the table they may stay there for the day 🙂
We found a nice little shed within the vineyards, probably where the workers are keeping their utensils for the hard work within the vines, but it was perfect, away from the trail, with uninterrupted views.
Lunch was perfect!
You also can visit several Wine cellars along the trail if this is of interest. Depending on the day you are hiking the Swiss wine trail and visiting the Terraces de Laveaux, you may find some wine cellars have their promotional tables outside.
Heading down to Lac Léman – Geneva Lake
We heard that Cully is a nice little place along the Terasse de Laveaux and when we got there we had to agree. As it was such a lovely autumn day we also opted to shortcut the trail along the vineyard and head down to the lake shore. This has totally surprised us how pretty is was and made the whole experience on hiking the Terrasse de Laveaux Vineyards even more special.
First you will be walking along a small path right along the lake water before you are arriving in Cully, where a large park awaits and to the delight of the kids there was even a playground. You also have the option to eat here should you not have packed your home made picnic.
Fish Restaurants are highly recommended here, no wonder with their location right at the lake shore.
Hiking Tip: Depending on where you have parked your car, instead of taking the train or bus back, why not cruise along the beautiful Lac Léman. Or even go further down to Lutry by boat so you have done the full official Swiss Wine trail even if the last stretch was on water. The boats are running at different times depending on the time of the year you are visiting the Vaud region. Check out the boat time table on the official CGN website.
Alternatives to Hiking the Lavaux Swiss Wine Trail
Biking along the Terraces de Lavaux
Certainly an option to cover more ground in a shorter time would be to cycle along the Terraces de Lavaux. It is not an official bike path but bicycles are allowed. The official bike route follows the upper road and you can find more information on the lava bike path on the Swiss Mobility website.
Lavaux Express Tourist Train
And if you really want to experience the Lavaux Vineyards in style, then hop on the Lavaux Express tourist train. The train covers different routes, including the path we have just talked about above. During our trip we have not seen one of the great tourist trains therefore I have picked a picture from their website so you have an idea of what I am talking about. This would be a great option for those with small children or mobility issues. The train also has a cover for shade, great for really hot days. See current schedule on the Lavaux Express website.
Experience the Swiss Wine Culture in Lavaux
If you are visiting the Lavaux vineyard terraces because you are a wine loving person then here are some interesting facts.
A good stretch of about 30 km, the Lavaux vineyard terraces envelop Lake Geneva ( Lac Léman) between Lausanne and the Chillon Castle in Montreux. A beautiful region like this has the right to be under the UNESCO belt. During the 11th century, these vast hillsides belonged to Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries. And it was no other than monks who turned the area into productive vineyards which today are famous world wide. Not only for the earthy and high quality of the wine but also for the endless vistas one can experience when hiking along the vineyards in Laveaux. Wine tasting tours can be organised.
You may also like these Articles of the Region
- Valais – Autumn Hike along Bisse de Mont d’Orge
- Les Pléiades Narcissus Spring trail
- Gryon – Refuge de Solalex – Family Overnight at the Cabane
- Villars-Gryon – Les Diableret-The Perfect Family Winter Resort
- Château d’Oex – Pont Turrian and along to Cascade du Ramacle Also possible to BIKE
- Ormont-Dessous, Les Mosses – A family Hike to Lac Lioson – Lioson Lake
- Château-d’Oex, A family Weekend with Activities (included Espace Ballon Museeum & L’Etivaz Cave – Cheese making )
I hope that the information provided here will prove itself useful when planning your Autumn Hike along the Swiss Wine Trail at the Terracces de Lavaux.
If I have left anything out or you have a question, please ask your questions in the comments below so that other readers can join in the conversation and benefit from your queries also.
Thank you & Never Forget to Explore
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