Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, Switzerland
The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces blanket the lower mountain slopes along the northern shores of Lake Geneva. Each autumn, the 2,050 acres of ancient vineyards—established by Benedictine and Cistercian monks in the 11th century and protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2007—attract hikers who walk and taste their way along the 21-mile Grand Traversée de Lavaux from Ouchy in Lausanne to Chateau de Chillon Castle. Yellow arrows mark the main path, which leads though working vineyards (Chasselas is the region’s predominant wine grape variety) and medieval villages, facilitating frequent refueling stops at local wine cellars, pubs, and restaurants. Saturdays through October 15, the Lavaux Panoramic wine tasting tourist train rolls—on tires, not tracks—through the villages of Chardonne, Chexbres, Rivaz, and St-Saphorin. A crisscross network of public and private railways makes it easy to explore the entire Lavaux region on foot or by bike. Or, if you’re up to the challenge, join the thousands of runners expected for the Lausanne Marathon on October 30, which follows the shore road between Lake Geneva and the terraced hillsides.
Pictured here: A couple walks through the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces along Lake Geneva in Switzerland.