Switzerland’s Lavaux Vineyard Terraces

The Lavaux region, with its terraced vineyards and continuation of traditional wine-making processes, has more than earned its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site. We rode the train from Lausanne to Saint-Saphorin and started our walk through the vineyards from there. The train ride itself gives you a small preview of the beautiful paths that are available to hikers throughout the Lavaux. After a short uphill climb from the train stop through the charming town of Saint-Saphorin you’ll find yourself suddenly standing among the terraced vineyards.

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Each of the small villages we passed through as we explored the Lavaux region were charming with small wine-tasting venues sprinkled throughout 

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There are lookout points like the one seen here carved out along the pathway where you can stop and enjoy a picnic lunch after purchasing some wine from one of the local vineyards

We were surprised by how well-maintained the pathways were as we continued our walk through the vineyards. I suppose I had expected slim dirt aisles inserted between the vineyards rather than the wide, paved, pedestrian-friendly roads that we encountered! While the hills could make the region more difficult to tackle for some, the pathways themselves were easily accessible.

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Most of the grapes had been harvested by the time we visited the region in October 

 

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This image shows how steep some portions of the vineyards are

 

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Signs like these are posted along hiking trails throughout Switzerland, giving hikers an estimated amount of time between destinations 

We opted to hike from Saint-Saphorin to Epesses but the stretch from Saint-Saphorin to Rivaz is a nice distance if you’re looking for a shorter walk with some of the most impressive views of the vineyards! Before you start your hike, we’d recommend double-checking the train schedule for each station along your planned hike to help you plan your route. Although, this had to have been one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever sat waiting for a train.

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Depending on the season, you can also look into taking one of the boats that regularly cross Lake Geneva. If you’ve purchased a Swiss Travel Pass, you should be covered to use these boats and could opt to ride the train from Lausanne to the Lavaux and ride the boat back for a different view or vice versa.

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The La Suisse steamboat crosses Lake Geneva, making stops along the coastline

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The stretch from Saint-Saphorin to Rivaz places you right in the center of the vineyards while the portion between Rivaz and Epesses leads you along cliffside pathways very close to the lake  

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We were visiting during October as the vines turned yellow 

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