The Vaud region known as “La Côte” along Lake Geneva offers a wide choice of walks among its vineyards with its vast surface area of 2000 hectares. Here we recommend a half-day excursion that will enable you to discover the quaint charm of three villages situated in this wine-producing region...
It starts out in the village of Gilly, which can be accessed by bus or by car from Nyon. It is from here that the “Vallon de Vincy” valley footpath takes you around a 2-kilometre loop between vineyards and forests. Marvel at the stunning view of the surrounding villages, Lake Geneva, and the alpine summits in the distance. Among the summits you will also see the Mont-Blanc, which stands out among them all with its permanent snow cover. Once you reach the forest above Gilly, enjoy the contrasting light and refreshing shadows of the high fir trees.
Upon your return to Gilly, walk to the neighbouring village of Bursins, a little less than 2 kilometres away. This should take you about 20 minutes. Starting out in this small village set in the heart of the vineyards of “La Côte”, set out to discover the 1,000-year history of this Cluniac site with a leisurely stroll through the village and the surrounding vineyards (allow for 1 hour). Do not leave without having seen the former Bursins priory and its gardens, where an information panel will provide you with details about the various buildings of interest.
Following this sightseeing, you have two options; the fit and energetic can walk to the village of Luins via the “Châtaignes” (chestnut) footpath indicated by marked arrows, which, depending on the footpath chosen, offers either refreshing shade or a view of the Alps. Indeed, the higher footpath, covering a distance of 2.8km, takes you to the village of Luins along a footpath through the forest via the village of Vinzel, whereas the lower lying footpath, covering a distance 2.2km, offers a view from above of Lake Geneva and the mountains with the vineyards in the foreground.
As for those who would love to taste the local wines, they can stay at their leisure in one of the multiple wine cellars throughout the region. There are many wine growers with an excellent range of wines available to you in Bursins and the other nearby villages such as Luins, Vinzel, or Begnins, along with a number of restaurants where you can enjoy local culinary pleasures.
If you do have some time to spare…
If the enticing splendours of the vineyards left you with the curiosity to see more, and you wish to explore another village, continue to Mont-sur-Rolle, located 5km away from Bursins, to walk along the “parcours des Cépages”. This village can be reached by bus from Rolle. A footpath through the vineyards, which covers a distance of 6 kilometres and includes information panels along the way, will enable you to get to know the various types of wines of this beautiful region. You will thus learn that monks who arrived from Bourgogne (France) in the 17th century cleared the hillside to plant the well-known grape variety known as “Chasselas”. Wine growers from Berne later developed the vineyards, as we know them today, with their sumptuous residences that give this village its quaint character. If you happen to be here in September, do not miss the wine growers festival, known locally as the “fête des cépages”.
Complete your excursion by visiting the Musée du vigneron (wine growers museum) in Mont-sur-Rolle, which displays an extensive selection of objects related to wine growing and wines, and which will give you detailed insight into the culture, tradition, and expertise of wine production. Please note that the museum is open throughout the year.