Week-end in Evian: what to do ?
We spent 2 exceptional days in Evian this summer. It is a multi-faceted destination: on one side the city, with the softness of Lake Geneva and on the other side, the mountain which is very easily accessible from the center.
Located about 2 hours from Lyon and very close to Switzerland, Evian-les-Bains is a perfect destination for a weekend, or more if you like. You all know Evian for its water or its thermal cures. So, you may imagine Evian like this:
Or like this :
But it is not! Discover our “What to do in Evian” guide which is organized in two parts: activities in town, followed by activities in the mountains! You will also find the sections Where to Eat/Where to Sleep at the end of the article.
What to do in Evian : the city center
What to see in Evian ?
The city center of Evian is rather old, so it’s very nice. The main streets are pedestrian, so it is nice to walk around. Moreover, the city is bordered by the Lake Geneva – the largest lake in Western Europe – which multiplies the possibilities of activities!
Activities on Lake Geneva
In summer, many activities are available on Lake Geneva from Evian. We tested the paddle at the Club de Voile. The price is 12€ per hour. You can also try windsurfing, catamaran and dinghy.
For those who prefer to go for a walk, the Agrion cruise is perfect to discover the shores of Lake Geneva around Evian. It costs 9,50€ per adult for 45 minutes. Boarding is at the kiosk located on the Casino pontoon (quai Blaron de Blonay). Find all the rates and schedules on the website. Please arrive 15 minutes before the departure of the boat.
Finally, for those who like to relax, the place to be is the Evian swimming pool, with its incredible view on the lake. It is a real nautical center that has been developed around the pool. You can enjoy two pools, a slide and other activities (ping-pong, water skiing, volleyball…).
Wellness – SPA in Evian
We had the chance to test an unusual and unique experience: a massage on water! More precisely, a massage on a boat. It is Julien from the Institut by Julien who wants to propose this experience, after having tested it on us. We can say that we validate 100%!
The Institut by Julien is located in the center of Evian and offers many treatments to feel good in your head and body. For a well-being interlude during your weekend in Evian, it is ideal!
The history of Evian water
You cannot go to Evian without learning about its famous water! Behind the discovery of the spring lies a true story. (WARNING SPOILER TO FOLLOW) In 1789, a count took a spa treatment in a nearby village to cure his kidney stones. However, his recovery was not satisfactory. Passing by chance in Evian, he tasted the spring water located in the garden of Gabriel Cachat. Little by little, he realized that the water from the Cachat spring was improving his condition. Thus, after medical analysis, Evian water started to become famous.
It is therefore essential to go to the Source Cachat to taste the water, which is located in the city center. You can also visit the Evian water factory to learn more about it.
Go see an exhibition at the Palais Lumière
For art lovers, great exhibitions are proposed at the Palais Lumière. They are renewed regularly. On each occasion, a lot of work is put into the setting.
Where to see the sunset in Evian?
To finish your day of visit in beauty, we suggest you to see the sun setting behind the Jura mountains. We were able to admire this beautiful spectacle while eating at the restaurant Les Cygnes. From their pontoon, the view is splendid. Yes, the restaurant is located on the lake and it is possible to get to your table by boat (classy!). Special mention for the excellent perch fillets from Lake Geneva with their homemade tartar sauce
If you do not want to go to the restaurant, the sunset is magnificent from any shore of Lake Geneva.
What to do in Evian : nature side
Visit Evian : in the mountains
Sensations in rafting
We had the chance to do our first rafting experience with AN Rafting, only 10 minutes from the center of Evian. The team is really friendly and very professional, they are very strict about safety but accompany you with enthusiasm and good mood! In summer, the water is regulated by the dam, so there are no surprises and few risks. The descent lasts 1 hour in the Dranse, with many rapids and two stops to jump if you wish. This activity is reserved for people who know how to swim and for those over 10 years old. The price is 40 euros per person.
Hiking and exceptional views of the lake
For the hikers and nature lovers, you have a lot of choices! There are many hiking trails in the vicinity of Evian. One of the most famous is the ascent to the top of the Dent d’Oche, which offers an exceptional panorama on the Lake Geneva. On the other hand, you need to have a good level because this hike is known to be difficult (the ascent to the summit takes a little more than 3 hours). For the other possible hikes, we advise you to go to the tourist office of Evian to get a free guide.
With Sevan, the creator of Alpes Moments, we did a hike followed by a picnic at sunset. This was our favorite part of our stay in Evian. To get a great view of the lake, we climbed up to the Col des Pertuis for about 1h30. Once up there, Sevan had prepared us a picnic with regional products: cheeses, cold cuts, sandwiches… it was delicious and so comforting after the effort. We let you appreciate this magic moment in pictures:
Spend an unusual night in the middle of nature
If you are looking for an original accommodation near Evian, Sevan from Alpes Moments has the solution! We loved sleeping in the middle of nature. It was so soothing to feel alone, in the middle of the forest, in our little bubble. This accommodation is defined as an eco-bivouac. It is an ethical experience and very close to nature: no electricity, no shower, only dry toilets and drinking water cans!
If you stay overnight, Sevan offers dinner packages with regional meals (extra charge). The breakfast is fabulous, you will taste 100% local products (included in the price). Price : about 130€ per night. For booking, contact Sevan at 06 31 52 46 27.
Getting high in Thollon les Mémises
After a nice night in the middle of the forest, we took the cable car to Thollon les Mémises. While walking on the ridges, you will have on one side an incredible view of Lake Geneva, and on the other side the mountains with the ski slopes. Besides hiking, you can also try paragliding from up there! Discover all the activities in Thollon Les Mémises.
Where to eat Evian ?
- Restaurant Les Cygnes, for a moment at the edge of Lake Geneva. Original vintage decoration and excellent home-made cuisine.
- Restaurant Le Chalet du Golf, which offers a view on the magnificent Evian golf course. Good quality/price ratio for the standing of the place.
Where to sleep in Evian ?
- Lodging near the city center : Hotel La Verniaz 4*, renovated and old Savoyard farm of the 18th century. Charming establishment, price : from 140€ / night
- Unusual accommodation in the middle of nature: Alpes Moments‘ eco-bivouac, price: around 130€ / night (experience described above)
For other activities around Evian: here!
Our stay in Evian was made possible by a collaboration with the Evian Tourist Office. This does not change our experience sharing and our editorial freedom.