2017 dates here
GENEVA – ‘Tis the season of fireworks over Lake Geneva and this weekend is no exception.
First, the Fêtes de Genève, a 10-day open air carnival which culminates with the second-largest fireworks in Europe. Followed by fireworks in Thonon and Evian on the French side of Lake Geneva, which commemorate their liberation with a 4-day festival and fireworks.
At a cost of 700,000 Swiss francs, paid exclusively by hoteliers these are the longest fireworks in Switzerland and one of the best in the world. So where to watch the 12 August 2017 edition?
The glamorous options
- At any of the 4- and 5-star hotels over the Lake that offer dinner and drinks (CHF200-400 p/p at the President Wilson, Hotel d’Angleterre, the Kempinski, Hotel Beau-Rivage offering sailing and dinner, Le Richemond which offers a full suite starting at CHF850, on the rooftop of the Four Seasons Hotel or the Hotel Metropole; and the lower-priced options at the Bristol Hotel or the Mandarin Oriental stand at the Jardin Anglais, or offer yourself a cruise and dinner.
The popular options
- Most locals and tourists picnic by the Lake taking spots early-enough. Those in the know, sit by Isle de Rousseau where the crowds are thinner and the view is outstanding (you can even hear the music that accompanies the fireworks).
The red arrows below indicate preferred (and free) areas from where to watch the fireworks. (The Bains de Paquis is unfortunately closed for the 2017 edition.)
Do not drive into the city centre. The Mont Blanc bridge is closed, therefore, the park-and-ride option is the best bet.
Meanwhile in France
The festivities which last four days, end with fireworks in both towns.
- Buses to Evian and Thonon depart from the Geneva bus station or Gare Routiere; beware, bus service is spotty. Train service is not recommended.
- Think also of taking a CGN dinner cruise from Lausanne.