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Lavaux has been protected by UNESCO since 2006 thanks to the unique structure of its vineyards. The largest vineyard region in all of Switzerland, its vines climb up the steep hills bordering the shores of Lac Léman. Since the vine leaves grow increasingly golden as temperatures continue to drop, it’s one of the prettiest pockets of Europe to visit in November.
The medieval town of St Saphorin that sits right on the crystalline lake is renowned for its winding roads and 16th-century stone houses, so meander through it with an open mind and stop by any Swiss pub that takes your fancy.
The primary reason for visiting the area is, of course, the wine tasting. Hike through the terraced vineyards to take in the crisp surrounding views before stopping at one of the winemaking houses to sample a rich Chasselas vintage, which Switzerland’s Vaud region prides itself on. While the overall experience will feel positively celestial – bright blue skies, turning leaves and a bird’s-eye view over the lake and snowcapped peaks – it’s likely you’ll be among the first of your friends to discover Switzerland for its wine offering, and you don’t need us to remind you about the cheese to go with it.
Who to take with you
Make this a romantic weekend for two with ample time for leisurely mornings and afternoon-long wine tastings.
When to go
Anytime from late summer through autumn is perfect for hiking, catching the harvest season and sampling wine and cheese al fresco before winter strikes.
Most likely to bump into
People who work in the wine industry and Swiss couples enjoying the fruits of their local produce (Swiss wine is hardly exported, but locals are well aware of what a worthy competitor it is to the wines of neighbouring countries).
Essentials to bring with you
Pack a pair of shearling-lined booties that have enough grip to hike the terraced vineyards but will also look chic as you’re observing the lake with a glass of white wine in hand.
How to get there
Fly into Geneva and hop on the train in the country that’s mastered the art of efficient railway systems.
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