Bike / Bike Packing / Featured · September 19, 2022

Evian to Geneva via Yvoire

This post is part of the ‘Cycling Lake Geneva Series’ – a 5 day epic journey following Route 46 Cycle Route in Switzerland.

On this journey, we will be completing the last stage of the loop around Lake Geneva, taking in the medieval town of Yvoire then descending back down into Switzerland at the border town of Hermance and then gliding back into Geneva City Center.

Distance: 50km

Elevation: 317m

Time: 4-6hours

Leaving Saint Distille and towards Thonon-Les-Bains

Firstly, I’d recommend for this part of the route downloading some GPS waypoints, as the signage on this part of the route is very intermittent, and I got lost a number of times (reading online, so have many others).

I got lost and took the wrong path shortly after leaving Saint Distille and ended up on a hiking path along the edge of the lake. While this was beautiful, pushing my bike with 15kg of stuff up and over rocky ground was very difficult and took me over 1 hour to get just 3km.

This path was filled with tree roots and sharp rocks which getting a puncture on would have been a nightmare.  The correct path is shown here in Green. Don’t follow the path around the edge of the lake like I did 🤦

On the ‘real’ path

Thankfully, unlike yesterday, today you’re off the Rue De Nationale (National Highway) and cycling on back roads through to Thoron-Les-Bains and up towards Yvoire. 

Yes, what is this? A dedicated cycle path. Thank goodness.

In some parts, the signage is every 500m, then you won’t see a sign for a few km and you are busy checking your GPS route to ensure you are on the right path – if all else fails, follow the road signage for Yvoire.

Arriving in Yvoire

A beautiful medieval tourist town, one important thing to note is unless it is the peak tourist season, nothing is open here till at least midday. There is also no convenience store or supermarket, so if like me, you ran out of water yesterday it’s difficult to buy water to buy anything to eat here.

Pretty nonetheless and worth walking around the town to stretch your legs.

Breakfast was a rather disappointing cappuccino and the world’s smallest biscuit for EUR4.

Onwards to the Swiss Border

At this stage, I was looking forward to getting back to Switzerland. I am sure cycling in France is beautiful, but I don’t believe this route showcases the best it has to offer. I hope to write some future blog posts of wonderful French cycling experiences!

Soon, you’ll arrive in Hermance and immediately Swiss Cycle signage accompanied by wide cycle lanes appear like magic the moment you cross the border. Hooray.

I should note that this border crossing was EVEN easier than the French one the previous day as one just cycles through (I didn’t even realize till I noticed the color of the sign posts had changed).

On route to Geneva via the vineyards

Very quickly route 46 takes you uphill into the vineyards and away from the road, offering glimpses of the lake as you peer down the rows of vines.

Looking across is the town of Morges which we cycled through on our first day of the tour. 

As we get closer to Geneva the other side of the lake gets closer and closer and we begin descending downhill through small villages and the outer suburbs of Geneva.

Gliding back into Geneva

Soon you can start to spot landmarks along the lake such as the Jet d’Eau (large fountain) – one of the most famous landmarks of the city.

I arrived back in Geneva at around 12pm on a Thursday and the city was buzzing with office workers getting their lunch. It was quite an intense feeling after 4 days in the countryside being back in the traffic, the noise and the information overload of road signs, traffic lights, trams, but one that was well worth it.

The end of the journey

5 days on the road, quite an experience, covering 189km in total. I made it back in one piece with 100’s of micro-memories from the journey.

If you’re thinking about doing this entire journey around Lake Geneva, I strongly encourage you to go ahead and book it, make it happen.