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What’s the Weather like in Geneva?

A questions many people will ask when planning a holiday is “What will the weather be like?”. When it comes to picturing the kind of weather in Geneva, most foreigners who did not know better would immediately think of snow. After all, there are all those mountains and skiers.

While that is true to an extent, the weather is much more varied than that, with Geneva’s climate actually being classified as ‘temperate oceanic’ by meteorologists.

Winters are actually relatively mild in the city itself, despite Geneva being at high altitude. The presence of the lake helps to mitigate much of the cooling effect of the altitude though, meaning that autumn and winter are often mild and wet, rather than cold and snowy.

Of course, many places close to Geneva experience significant snowfall during the winter, which provides some of the best skiing in Europe. Resorts such as Verbier and Crans-Montana are usually well-covered with snow for winter sports enthusiasts to enjoy.

Another feature of winter weather in Geneva can be the ice storms which occur close to Lac Leman. A chilling north wind known as the ‘brise’ can also affect the city. Always be prepared for the cold if you journey to Geneva in the winter or autumn, and take clothes which will keep you dry too.

While the region is not especially known for wet weather, autumn can get very wet at times. Something like 115 days a year are marked by rainfall in the area.


The presence of Lake Geneva so close to the city also has benefits during the summer months. While summers rarely get very hot here, they are pleasantly warm, and visitors can enjoy the weather on one of the many beaches which line the lake shore.

Places such as Genève Plage and the Bains des Pâquis are especially well known, and visitors can swim, paddle and even participate in some water sports at some of these spots.

Geneva welcomes visitors all year round. While the winter is the season for skiers to visit Switzerland, summer’s sunny months are a superb time for exploring the mountains on foot, and anyone who enjoys hiking or mountain biking should think about booking a visit at this time of year.

Autumn and spring are mild, and ideal for visiting the historical monuments and shopping quarters of Geneva City. With some great lakeside views and mountain scenery to enjoy at any time of year, this part of Switzerland has much more to offer than simply some of the best skiing in Europe.

Activities in the Geneva Region

Activities in the Geneva Region

Geneva is a region where France and Switzerland join, providing visitors with a culturally rich travel experience. While winter is the time many people head to this Alpine wonderland, the city and the wider region have plenty to offer visitors of all types year round.

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While the attractions of the city of Geneva are very well known to many travellers, fewer people known what the city’s hinterland can provide in terms of interesting activities and places to visit.

One thing which many people might not associate with this part of the world, for example, is wine making. In fact, there are several vineyards quite close to Geneva where you can talk to wine growers and try their products. One tour, based around the town of Paquis, is conducted on electric bikes, which is a delightfully chilled out way to explore some fantastic scenery as well as wine.

Of course, one of the biggest draws here is the mountain scenery, which looks great either covered in snow in winter, or green and rocky in the summer. To get one of the best views possible of the Alpine countryside by Geneva, its a good idea to go paragliding.

A school on the slopes of Mont-Salève offers very accessible experiences of this kind, good for individuals or groups of travellers. All flights are conducted with instructors, so no experience is necessary. Safety is of course, of paramount importance to the instructors too.


Another activity in the Geneva region which remains popular with many visitors is hiking. The beautiful mountain landscape contains many intriguing and enticing routes to explore, and you can set off from a variety of different venues.

There are over 3000 kilometres of marked trails and routes to try out, catering for every ability and fitness level. The variety of landscape, with mountains, meadows, woods and vineyards to explore, makes walking here in summer a real pleasure.

One of the country’s most iconic exports is, of course, chocolate. The town of Carouge is a great place to visit for anyone who enjoys chocolate, and even for those who do not yet think that they do.

Here you can meet the master chocolatiers of the region as they prepare treats like truffles and pralines. Visitors can also learn about the magic of chocolate making and the history of the art. It’s probably a good idea to go hiking the day before though, to make some room for what you might get to sample.


Even without the great skiing and winter sport which surrounds the city, and its magnificent lake views, Geneva is a superb place to visit.

Geneva: A Winter Sports Haven

Geneva: A Winter Sports Haven

There are many reasons to visit Geneva in winter/spring, when a dusting of snow can make the place look like something out of a fairytale or off the front of a chocolate box. Views across the snowy Alps make braving the lower temperatures worthwhile, and you can always warm yourself up after any sojourn with a well deserved fondue.

Certainly all of Geneva’s usual attractions are equally appealing during these seasons — losing yourself among the narrow streets of the Old Town, indulging in some world-class shopping, viewing the Jet d’Eau or exploring a museum or gallery — but there are certain activities which are actually enhanced by Winter’s embrace.

Just picture taking the Saleve cable car, with its stunning view of Mont Blanc, wrapped in a thick shroud of snow. And if you are a fan of winter sports, then you certainly wouldn’t consider visiting Geneva at any other time of year.


For it is during the winter and early spring that the ski resorts of this region come into full swing with reliably excellent conditions, good coverings of snow and crisp, clear mornings to enjoy. Geneva is one of the best bases into which to fly in order to access resorts in Switzerland as well as in France and Italy. It is just a short transfer away from a whole host of first-class places in which to indulge your passion for all things ski and winter sports.

Just an incredible one hour drive away in your Geneva car hire from the airport, you can find yourself in the French town of Chamonix — a historic ski resort on the prettiest side of Mont Blanc. In terms of ‘apres ski’ its bars and restaurants are lively year-round and it even boasts the world’s best lift-served vertical drop. It is open until May.

Also within an hour’s drive from Geneva and within Switzerland itself, is the lively resort town of Montreux where the excellent pistes are reachable from town via funicular railway. And there are a multitude of other options in the immediate vicinity of Geneva, including Rochejean and Flumet among many others.

If you are prepared to go a little further afield then the various resorts of France’s Grand Massif area will be at your disposal (just an hour and a half from Geneva), and within just two hours other top-notch French skiing destinations such as the modern facilities and extensive pistes of ideal family resort Valmorel.


Just three hours travel will take you to fine Italian resorts such as Monterosa or even to Switzerland’s Zermatt, regarded by some as the finest ski destination in the world with its glacier and epic views of the Matterhorn.

In short, those arriving in Geneva in winter/spring will find themselves spoilt for choice whether they intend to indulge their passion for winter sports, or simply enjoy the view.