Swooping down on the turquoise waters of Lake Geneva... Yvoire, a former fortified military place watching over the “big” and the “small” lake, is no longer on the defensive. Fishermen and yachtsmen sail to their heart’s content, while flowers and gardens magnify the medieval heritage of the town that is no longer called “sentinel” but “pearl” of Lake
Geneva. © Monica Dalmasso / hemis.fr
“A jumble of ugly shacks and hovels which look like pig sties…” Such is Alfred de Bougy’s description arriving in Yvoire on 29 September 1844, as night was falling. This floral village on the banks of Lake Geneva has since been listed amongst France’s Loveliest Villages. Surrounded by the lake’s waters, otherwise known as the “Pearl of the Lake,” the village enchants its visitors by its 700-year concentration of history, with its remarkable dungeon and fortifications built by Amadeus V, Count of Savoy, and its wisteria and geranium lined lanes. A strategic position that was long disregarded for this fishing and boating village. Since 1988, the Jardin des Cinq Sens is a must-see garden stop in Yvoire. Set in the castle’s former vegetable garden, it offers a unique sensory experience, bringing together the art and symbolism of medieval gardens. This journey through time inevitably leads to Lake Geneva, a natural gem whose turquoise water and exceptionally beautiful landscapes are an invitation to continue the exploration.