Geneva Festival, Thonon and Evian fireworks: where to watch?

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

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.)

Geneva Lake festival map

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 cities of Evian and Thonon in neighbouring France commemorate the 16th of August 1944, when they were liberated from the invading Nazi troops.

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.

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