Tourisme Suisse

Switzerland

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Tourisme Suisse
Bateau de la CGN sur le lac Léman
To discover an region

French speaking Switzerland, also called Suisse Romande,
an ideal destination for your holidays.


Choose an region of Suisse Romande
Romandie : French speaking Switzerland

Gruyere / Pays d'Enhaut Prealpes region Valais region Lemanic Basin countryside of Suisse Romande Jura region
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French speaking Switzerland is inhabited by some 1.3 million peoples divided in 6 cantons:
Geneva     Vaud     Valais     Fribourg     Neuchâtel     Jura
 

What makes Romandie or Suisse Romande so attractive?

Romandie borders France and Italy in the South/South-West of Switzerland. Romandie includes all the beauties of this part of the world and even more…
The variety of its landscapes, like plains, mountains, lakes and rivers make it a little paradise in the heart of Europe.
French speaking Switzerland has deep lake traditions linked to its « Lac Leman », also called « Lac of Geneva » which is the biggest lake in Western Europe. Also a large Alpine tradition stems from the presence of the highest mountains of the Swiss Alps with more than 30 summits culminating above 4000 metres. Among those we find summits of worldwide reputation like the Cervin (Matterhorn), the Mischabel range, the Mont-Rose or the Dent Blanche.
High-tech means of transportation will take you to incredibly high altitudes. Warm and well equipped resorts, allowing for year around activities, welcome thousands of tourists every year.
You will not only find breathtaking sceneries, but also a quality of life recognised by the large number of travellers visiting every year. Culture, gastronomy, sports, warm and friendly welcoming as well as security make it equally a destination appreciated by business women and men, showbiz and political personalities.
Suisse Romande is recognised worldwide as being the cradle of the Swiss watch industry and the centre of micromechanics. It is also home of multiple international sports federations. Among those the IOC or International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, the UEFA or Union of European Football Association in Nyon. Many headquarters of NGO or Non-Governmental Organization as well as international governmental agencies are located in Geneva. Among these, let’s name the most famous like UN or United Nations, WHO, ILO, WTO, ICRC, IATA.
 

Let your heart speak…and a region of Romandie will be yours

The Lemanic Basin

Choose this region for:
Ideal for activities linked to the lake, to the proximity of large cities like Geneva and Lausanne, to the cultural life and of course to shopping in the most famous boutiques. It is one region and four different worlds i.e. city-rural-mountain-lake over two km2 only.
 
Canton(s) forming part of this region:
Your holidays in the Lemanic Basin

The Valais region

Choose this region for:
It is the paradise of the mountaineer, with its breathtaking peaks, its scenic valleys, its charming and typical villages, its sports resorts, its chairlifts and other modern and safe means to the top as well as its landscapes. All this makes it one of the world favourite tourists’ destination.
 
Canton(s) forming part of this region:
Your holidays in the Valais region
 

The Gruyere / Pays d'Enhaut

Choose this region for:
A green or snow covered nature depending of the season, all types of sports which can be practiced year around; ski areas with easy access for all and the proximity of Lake Leman make it an ideal destination for your holidays.
 
Canton(s) forming part of this region:
Your holidays in the Gruyere / Pays d'Enhaut

The Jura region

Choose this region for:
When snow is covering the valleys and the mountains, winter is favourable to long treks on skies or snowshoes. The rest of the year you can explore walking, on bike or on horse. You will discover a well protected nature strolling through small valleys, pastures, woods, lakes and rivers.
 
Canton(s) forming part of this region:
Your holidays in the Jura region
 

The Prealpes region

Choose this region for:
To ski or to stroll in the permanent snow in the morning and to swim in the Lake Leman in the afternoon is a must. A green or snow covered nature depending of the season, all types of sports which can be practiced year around; ski areas with easy access for all and the proximity of Lake Leman make it an ideal destination for your holidays.
 
Canton(s) forming part of this region:
Your holidays in the Prealpes region

The countryside of Suisse Romande

Choose this region for:
Far away from the excitement of the big cities and tourist resorts, but close to the Alpes after all, it is a region for quite, smooth and ecological holidaying.
 
Canton(s) forming part of this region:
Your holidays in the countryside of Suisse Romande


Canton of Vaud

The Canton of Vaud (pronounced [vo]; French: Vaud) is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland and is located in the south-western part of the country. The capital Is Lausanne.

Geography

The canton stretches from Lake Neuchâtel in the north, where it borders the canton of Neuchâtel to Lake Geneva in the south, bordering the canton of Geneva, Haute-Savoie (lake border with France) and canton of Valais. On the Jura ranges in the west, the canton borders the French departments of Ain, Jura, and Doubs. In the east, it borders canton of Fribourg and canton of Bern. The total area is 3,212 km².
In the north, there is an exclave containing Avenches surrounded by canton of Fribourg and Lake Neuchâtel. On the other hand, there are two enclaves of the canton of Fribourg, as well as two enclaves of the canton of Geneva, that are surrounded by the canton of Vaud.
The areas in the southeast are mountainous, part of the Swiss Alps. The Diablerets Glacier, peaking at 3,210m, rests in these mountains, which also host several popular skiing destinations such as Villars, Les Diablerets and Leysin. The central area of the canton, in contrast, constitutes of moraines and is thus hilly. There are plains along the lakes.

History

Along the lakes, Vaud was inhabited in prehistoric times. Later on, the Celtic tribe of the Helvetia inhabited the area. The tribe was defeated by Caesar's troops in 58 BC and as a consequence the Romans settled the area. The towns of Vevey (Viviscus) and Lausanne (Lausonium or Lousonna) are two of the many towns established by the Romans.
In 27 BC the state of Civitas Helvetiorum was established around the capital of Avenches (Aventicum). There are still many Roman remains around the town today. Between the 2nd and the 4th century the area was repeatedly invaded by Alemannic tribes, and in the 5th century the Burgundians occupied the area. The Merovingian Franks later replaced the Burgundians. Their occupancy did not last long either, and in 888 the area of the canton of Vaud was made part of the Carolingian Empire. In 1032 the Zähringens of Germany defeated the Burgundians. The Zähringens themselves were succeeded in 1218 by the counts of Savoy. It was only under the counts of Savoy that the area was given political unity, establishing what is today in greater part known as the canton of Vaud. A part stretching from Attalens to the River Sarine, in the north, was absorbed by the canton of Fribourg.
As the power of the Savoy's declined at the beginning of the 15th century the land was occupied by troops from Bern. By 1536 the area was completely annexed. Reformation was started by co-workers of John Calvin like Pierre Viret, including a famous debate at the cathedral of Lausanne; but it was only decisively implemented when Bern put its full force behind it. The Bernese occupants were not popular amongst the population and the French Revolutionary troops were received with enthusiasm in 1798. The French troops were victorious and a Lemanic Republic was declared. This was soon turned into the canton of Léman, which in 1803 joined the Swiss confederation.
The current constitution dates from April 14, 2003, replacing the one from 1885. In the 19th century the canton of Vaud was an outspoken opponent of the Catholic separatist movement (Sonderbund).

Culture

Vaud shares a lot with its fellow French-speaking Protestant cantons of Geneva and Neuchâtel. It has still a strong rural component, protected by high subsidies, even if most of the economy and population are now urbanized, around services (finance, telecommunications, and tourism) and industry (packaging, tobacco, food-processing, watch making, pharmaceuticals &c). There are survivals of its own Franco-Provencal patois, around which an association was formed.
Quality of life is very high, but natality is very low and the Swiss population is being slowly displaced by immigrants (Germans, French, Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese) [citation needed]. Life expectancy is high. Education shares the generally high Swiss standards.

Economy

The capital Lausanne is the major city in the canton. There are light industries concentrated around the capital. In 1998, 71.7% of the workers worked in the tertiary sector and 20.8% in the secondary.
The canton is the second largest producer of wine in Switzerland. Most of the wine produced in the canton is white wine, and most vineyards are located on the steep shores of Lake Geneva. There is agriculture in the areas away from Lake Geneva. Sugar beet is important around Orbe, tobacco in din far the La Broye Valley and fruit is grown on the foot of the Jura Mountains. Cattle breeding and pasture are common in the Alps and the Jura mountains. There is a salt mine at Bex. Tourism is important in many towns along the Lake Geneva. Major lakeside resorts include Lausanne, Montreux or Vevey.

Demographics

The population is French speaking and has been overwhelmingly Protestant (Calvinist) since the early years of the Reformation.
The major population centers of the canton are: Lausanne (approx. 275,000 inhabitants in 2000), Montreux-Vevey (70,000 inhabitants) and Yverdon-les-Bains. The region around Nyon is often considered part of the agglomeration of Geneva. All of these are on Lake Geneva, except for Yverdon, which is on Lake Neuchâtel.
Other cities and towns include: Morges, Renens, and Rolle.

 
   
   
  | Tourism guide of the French-speaking Switzerland.