Sailing and boating on Lake Geneva
Being the second largest lake in Central Europe, Lake Geneva is a great choice for sailing, but also there are various exciting activities all year round apart from renting a boat.
Hello Skipper’s Sailing Guides
The blog section of our Hello Skipper Marina Guide introduces all the major sailing regions – You can download the marina guide app with 700 harbours from the Mediterranean and major European lakes here.
About Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva is the largest lake shared by Switzerland and France and after Lake Balaton in Hungary, it is the second largest lake in Central Europe. The lake is divided into the Haut-Lac, the Grand-Lac and the Petit-Lac. The River Rhone flows through it from the Alps on its way to the Mediterranean Sea. The most important cities on the Swiss side are Geneva, Lausanne, Vevey and Montreaux.
Sailing conditions on Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva is a great place for experienced skippers, as a boating license is required for sailing on the lake. It is interesting that there isn’t much wind in the area of the lake. The most frequent wind, “Bise” blows from North and North-east, it is cold and dry, and typically blows for 3,6 or 9 days. The other major wind is called “Vent”, which blows from the South-east, and is steady and strong. Other winds here are “Joran” (blowing from the Jura mountain) and “Molan”.
If you are looking for a race to enter here, we would recommend Bol d’Or, or the Geneva Rolle. Geneva Rolle is organized this year on the 4th June and can be considered a prologue of the Bol d’Or, which takes place a week later. Bol d’Or is organized since 1939, and is one of Europe’s most prestigious freshwater regattas. The race starts from Geneva, and its shortest distance is 123 km.
Major Ports of Lake Geneva
Here are some of the biggest ports of the region we recommend visiting.
Port des Eaux-Vives
This is the biggest harbour of Geneva, it is close to the centre and has excellent facilities. It is right next to Jet d’Eau, so you will not miss it. If you are visiting Geneva, this is the place to stay to make the most out of your visit.
Port de Bouveret
It is the biggest port of Valais with excellent facilities. There is a big beach, plus the water park nearby, plus a little theme park with a small train.
Port des Mouettes
It is a large harbour, one of the best equipped around the lake. A great place to stay and discover the sights of Evian or enjoy (an expensive) spa treatment.
Port de Rives
It is probably the best port on the French side with modern facilities. There is a large and very lively square next to it, which fills up quickly in the summer. You can ride the funiculer to the old town.
Port de Vidy
It is a large harbour located in Lausanne. The highway is nearby yet it is a really pleasant place to spend a day or a few hours. Great parks, sport opportunities, camping are nearby.
Find these and 700 other harbours in our Hello Skipper Marina Guide App which you can download from here.