Everything you need to know about hiking the Swiss Wine Trail in Lavaux

by | Oct 10, 2021 | Europe, Switzerland, Travel Guides | 0 comments

Hiking the Swiss Wine Trail in Lavaux
Hiking the Swiss Wine Trail in Lavaux

True, Switzerland might not be world-famous for its wine. But grapes have been growing in Switzerland since Roman times, and the country produces approximately 100 million liters of wine every year. Only a small amount of that wine is being exported because the Swiss drink nearly all of the wine they make.

What better way to taste some Swiss wine than by visiting one of Switzerlands wine regions!

Wine is mainly produced in 6 grape-growing regions in the south and west of Switzerland. And the most famous of these regions is the UNESCO world heritage site of Lavaux on the shores of Lake Geneva.

In this post, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about hiking the Swiss wine trail in Lavaux and everything else you need to know about this spectacular corner of Switzerland.

Hiking the Swiss Wine Trail in Lavaux

The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces

The sunny Lavaux is the largest vineyard are in Switzerland. It’s located in the french-speaking part of the country, roughly between the cities of Lausanne and Montreux, set above the shores of Lake Geneva.

Terrace after terrace of family-owned vineyards are crisscrossed by narrow alleyways and walking paths, dotted with classic winemakers houses, and charming villages. Meanwhile, Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps also make a stunning backdrop.

Hiking the Swiss Wine Trail in Lavaux
Hiking the Swiss Wine Trail in Lavaux

How to get to the Lavaux

The easiest way to get to Lavaux is by catching a train to Lausanne. Coming from Geneva, it’s about an hour to Lausanne, whereas, from Zürich, the train takes about 2.5 hours. From Lausanne, you can jump on a regional train to Montreux, Vevey, or one of the many villages in the Lavaux.

You can find up-to-date timetables and buy tickets online here.

Hiking the Swiss Wine Trail in Lavaux

Hiking part of the Swiss Wine Trail is the best way to explore the Lavaux vineyard terraces. Catch a train from Lausanne to St-Saphorin, a small village is nestled between the vineyard terraces and Lake Geneva.

From there, the well-signposted walking leads up and down through the vines, and past charming little villages. Throughout the whole hike, you’ll get to enjoy stunning views of Lake Geneva, the surrounding terraces, and the Swiss alps in the background.

It will take you about 3 to 3.5 hours to walk the 11 km from St-Saphorin to the medieval town of Lutry, from where you can catch a train back to Lausanne. But be sure to add some extra time, because you will definitely want to stop a few times along the way.

Many of the small villages along the Swiss Wine Trail have a train station or bus stop, so you can just walk for as long (or short) as you want!

Along the way, you can enjoy a glass of Swiss wine at one of the many wine cellars and wine bars in the villages. You will also come past a few restaurants, or you can bring some lunch and enjoy it at one of the picnic areas along the way.

If walking is not your thing, you can hop on the Lavaux Express instead. The little train runs through the vineyard terraces on 4 different, one to two-hour-long routes.

Hiking the Swiss Wine Trail in Lavaux

The best time to visit the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces

The best time to visit the Lavaux wine region and hike the Swiss wine trail, are the autumn months, when you can witness the harvesting of the grapes, and when the wine leaves slowly turn a golden yellow. Between September and October, the weather is usually still quite sunny and warm.

Summer is my favorite time in Switzerland in general, and it’s also a great time to hike the Swiss wine trail in Lavaux. Temperatures in summer can be anywhere between the low twenties (or lower) and the high thirties.

If you get lucky with the weather, you can end your day with a refreshing dip at Lake Geneva.
Hiking the Swiss Wine Trail in Lavaux
Hiking the Swiss Wine Trail in Lavaux

What to pack for your trip to Lavaux Wine region

The trails crisscrossing through the Lavaux wine terraces are tarred. You will not need trekking shoes or hiking boots but I would nevertheless recommend wearing trainers or sneakers, rather than sandals.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, temperatures can vary quite a bit in Switzerland. If you visit the Lavaux region in autumn, definitely bring some warm clothes. In summer, just make sure you check the forecast before heading out.

Wearing layers is key for hiking in Switzerland!

You will come past some restaurants and wine bars along the Swiss wine trail. But opening hours can vary, especially on Sundays. Definitely bring some snacks and water, if not a full picnic, which you can enjoy with a spectacular view of the surrounding wine terraces.

And lastly, don’t forget to bring your camera, if you like taking photos because the opportunities are aplenty in the Lavaux wine region!

Have you hiked the Swiss wine trail in Lavaux before or do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments. And don’t forget to pin this on Pinterest to save it for a future trip!
Hiking the Swiss Wine Trail in Lavaux
Hiking the Swiss Wine Trail in Lavaux

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Welcome to my world!

Hi, I’m Sara, a twenty-something Swiss on a mission to become a full-time travel writer and digital nomad.