With the winds off Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva’s 582 square kilometers offer plenty of space for leisure activities on water. For Geneva’s city dwellers, "their" lake is both a place for sporting activities and a recreational area, lifeline, inspiration. Or catalyst, at least for Justine Mettraux – because this is where the professional sailor today learned to play with the winds.


A lake for sailors

Justine Mettraux moved from her home in Versoix, about 10 km north of Geneva, to Brittany for her sporting career. But she thinks back fondly to her beginnings as a sailor: "The conditions on Lake Geneva are ideal for learning to sail," she says. To this day, the successful athlete is drawn back to the shores of her home, to the lake that sparked her passion for sailing again and again. "The lake has a reputation for being quite unpredictable, with the winds changing often." It’s these very conditions that make her so happy to return: "It’s always moving to be here."

A lake for athletes

As rough as the winds can be on Lake Geneva, the water is calm in the morning. "This is also where I often go stand-up paddleboarding." In the morning, she says, the lake is the perfect place for this because it’s virtually waveless so you can see right down to the bottom. In addition to stand-up paddleboards, kayaks or rowing boats, you will also come across numerous windsurfers on the largest inland lake in Central Europe, who play with the Lake Geneva’s winds, flying over the water with them. 

A lake for everyone

Just how closely the lake is linked to the city is shown by its landmark: the Jet d’eau, which watches over the city with its fountain in the lake basin. For many Geneva residents, the commute to work even takes them across the water. The "Mouettes" (English: seagulls), the small yellow boat taxis, take you from one shore to the other with four lines that run all year. This fast and efficient means of transport, along with the famous water fountain, are the people of Geneva’s pride and joy. These small ferries are also very popular with tourists. Departure: every 10 minutes.

The French refer to the lake as Lac Léman


Travelling by wind power on Lake Geneva

On the water with professional sailor Justine Mettraux.


A lake for everyone

The lake is as much a part of Geneva as the Jet d’eau.


Lake Geneva, a lake for sailors

The Société Nautique de Genève has been organising one of the most important inland lake regattas in Europe, the Bol d’Or, here since 1939.