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Nyon was founded by the Romans between 50 and 44 BC, and grew to be one of the most important Roman colonies in modern-day Switzerland, with a forum, a basilica and an amphitheater that was discovered only recently, in 1996, when digging for the construction of a new building (not open to the public). It’s a steep town on a hill, with excellent views, including a perfect overlook on Mont Blanc. As towns go, it’s not large, and it’s popular with Geneva expats looking to be a bit out of the city, but with easy public transport access.

Most of our time in Nyon has been in transit – our favorite way to get out on the lake is the ***historic boat ferry, and crossing to Yvoire is a consistent hit with our guests. Do check route schedules in advance to make sure you’ve chosen a time that isn’t on a modern ferry. It’s a time commitment (about 3 hours each way from Vevey if you ferry the whole round trip route) 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.

If you do stop, a meal, a walk along the waterfront, and the local museums could fill 3-4 hours. In the town center, there are three museums covered by a single ticket:

  • *Chateau du Nyon, which dates back to 1272 (or earlier). It’s a fairly random and unremarkable collection, the most interesting being the jail in the top.
  • **Musée du Léman is charming! The winner of the trio, the boating ephemera is extensive, and we learned quite a few things about the history of the lake, sailing, sporting, and more. Give it about 45 minutes.
  • The last, the *Musée Romain de Nyon, is a very small, 10 minute affair. It’s fine for what it is, just a very minor stop.

A decent distance to the east (30 minute walk) is **Chateau de Prangins (the Swiss National Museum). It’s a pretty spot, nice castle, fairly low key experience. 

Food Options

  • **Hotel Le Rive is a good dining option, waterfront dining, modern and hip. Excellent mussels and burgers.
  • *Le Léman is just not great. It’s clearly popular with a local crowd, but it’s not something I’d seek out again, average execution, not cheap.

A bit further West, in Buchillon, ***Auberge des Grands Bois is a perfect way to end a trip to Ikea. Nice outdoor patio and cozy interiors, good Italian food.


Morges

Morges has suffered a bit from excessive, sprawling growth (Medtronic is in the area, and other larger employers). It has pretty moments and a lot of less appealing concrete and gridlock. Good views of Mont Blanc.

Galen particularly liked the **Musée du Château de Morges. It has a major cannon collection, and the largest collection of military uniforms we’ve seen in one place. Plus various other random collections.

Just past the Chateau there’s a pretty, crowded park known for its Tulip Festival (end of April/early May each year).

The surrounding countryside is quite lovely, a big wine growing region. We enjoyed the “winetouristic stroll” – a well marked, nearly flat, extremely peaceful 2 hour journey through vineyards, meadows, and quaint towns. The Castle of Vufflens is beautiful (not open to the public, exteriors only).


St Sulpice

***Le Débarcadère: Very good food, wide menu, lovely setting right next to the water.


Vuillierens

***Château de Vullierens – Jardins des Iris is really spectacular. The facility does a large business in weddings and corporate events, and in the summer you can visit the gardens & sculpture collection. It’s very crowded but worth it. Not covered by the Swiss museum pass. Give yourself about 2 hours to see everything.

The chateau, with its view over Lake Geneva and the Alps, is the precious guardian of 30 hectares of gardens. Open during the iris flowering season – from May to mid-June – the garden is a riot of colour with more than 50,000 flowers representing more than 400 varieties. Although the house itself is not open to the public, the gardens have a lot to offer, with a collection of about 85 sculptures which change every year, local wine tastings and a restaurant (which looked a little too crowded for our taste).

In summer, the estate is open from 16 June to 22 August 2021, Wednesday to Sunday from 12:00 to 18:00. In autumn, they are open every weekend from August 28 to October 31 2021 from 12:00 to 18:00. 

A quick drive away is the wonderful ***Café Restaurant Maison de Ville de Grancy. It’s family run, with fabulous food. Not a formal affair, roadside dining. Get an outside table.

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