Surprisingly dull. Go to Yvoire instead. If you are in passing through, ***Hôtel Restaurant Les Cygnes is worth a significant detour. It’s fairly out of town (to the east), very elegant, and has an excellent formal dining room and view over the lake. We loved the friendly dog who visited each table at lunch. The hotel has direct lake access for summer swimming.

If you do end up in Evian, a few sites:

  • **Palais Lumière – Evian: This is a nice little museum. They only have rotating exhibits (no standing collection). Worth checking first to make sure you’re interested in what they have.
  • **Hôtel Royal (5* Palace ) Evian Resort: Very fancy of the Beau Rivage style. Traditional buffet breakfast on the patio is nice.
  • ***Restaurant de la Verniaz (way up on the hill) is very fancy in an extremely 1950s Santa Barbara way. Great food, excellent service. 

Yvoire (summer only)

Our favorite way to get out on the lake is the ferry to Yvoire. The ***historic boats are awesome and it’s worth confirming that you’ve chosen a time that isn’t on a modern ferry. It’s a time commitment (about 3 hours each way from Vevey) and I’d recommend just doing it in one direction and training the rest (which is about ½ the time). The views are really great, a lovely way to see the area.

As a faster option, just train/drive to Nyon and take the direct ferry to Yvoire.

In ***Yvoire:

The town is well known for its medieval buildings and summer floral displays: lovely, super pristine, and small. The **Jardin des Cinq Sens is impressive and interesting, very pricey and rather small  – skip unless you really like gardens).

Make reservations for lunch in advance. We liked ***Le Pré de la Cure: Really good food, and a bit removed from the tourist madness (but still with a nice view). Request a patio seat.

On the outskirts of town, there’s the *Musée de Préhistoire. Skip – for younger children and fairly sporadic hours. The adjacent Fire Truck Museum appears to be summer only.

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