"Medieval gem" Top 5 Page for this destination Yvoire by Dabs

Yvoire Travel Guide: 56 reviews and 152 photos

Yvoire is a delightful medieval city, located very close to Geneva Switzerland on the French shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman). I had never heard of Yvoire before, this was an unscheduled stop on our recent trip to Switzerland but I'm glad we "found it" when we pulled out the map to see what was nearby Geneva. As we scanned the shores of Lake Geneva, we contemplated going to Lausanne but then saw the medieval city of Yvoire on the French shore and thought it looked like a more relaxing way to spend the afternoon than driving up to Lausanne which was quite a bit further.

Yvoire sits on Lake Geneva, between the "little lake" and the "big lake", a strategic point back when it was founded some 700 years ago. In the 1500s, the area was occupied by the Bernese and lost it's military significance, the castle was burned by the Bernese and sat roofless for 350 years.

Yvoire then became a quiet fishing village but is now known for it's flowers, received a designation as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France" and is hardly quiet anymore, the streets are crammed with tourists but is mercifully car free.

Glenn (Bwana_Brown) forwarded this quote from Swiss writer Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz from his book "Un coin de Savoie" and I thought it described Yvoire perfectly (thanks Glenn!):

"You must stop at Yvoire. It is a fortified village. At the end of its point and
dominating the lake, it is still narrowly enclosed in its lost city walls ; I
mean it does not dare to cross the [fortification] line, today fictitious, but
prefers to stay in ambush behind the two towers which protect its two gates. You must enter below their ogival archway ; then you reach the steep slope of small stony roads, a huddled fall of small houses with yellow-tiled roofs, and finally the fort commanding the port : a big stone cube, with a terrace, and with peaceful wild vine hanging on its warlike walls and floating in the wind."

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Visually stunning, nice daytrip from Geneva
  • Cons:Very crowded in August
  • Last visit to Yvoire: Aug 2007
  • Intro Updated Sep 6, 2007
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Reviews (8)

Comments (9)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2008 at 3:26 AM

    What a gorgeous town to visit.

  • Tripack's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2008 at 12:58 PM

    Yes... I confirm over crowded in August, but worth the visit. What a bloomed medieval village ;-)

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2007 at 12:05 PM

    I loved Yvoire and the drive is delightful from Geneve.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2007 at 5:39 PM

    Isn't it wonderful that sometimes an unexpected "find" turns out to be delightful. Enjoyed your descriptions and photos of lovely Yvoire.

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2007 at 1:56 PM

    I loved our stay in Yvoire. It's a beautiful little village. The Garden was interesting but I prefered to stroll along the streets. Thanks for bringing back some nice memories.

  • MATIM's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2007 at 10:57 AM

    Tim could hardly walk when we visit Yvoire, when he saw the steep road, he sat on his bottom and "walked"futher down on his bottom!

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2007 at 8:22 AM

    Yvoire's castle is intriguing--I wonder why no one took advantage of its history to restore it...I imagine it would take thousands and thousands of dollars to do it properly. But, what a great tourist site it would make! Pretty little town....

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2007 at 10:37 AM

    Yvoire definitely looks like a picturesque little find and a great way to fill in a day! My wife and I like taking the backroads too so we can stumble across something interesting and OTB track!

  • barryg23's Profile Photo
    Aug 27, 2007 at 2:55 AM

    Haven't heard of Yvoire before but it sounds very nice and the castle looks great.


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