Lake Geneva – or Lac Lemán – is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe and is divided between Switzerland and France. The area around Lake Geneva is a popular holiday destinations thanks to its beautiful nature, warm climate, and many vinyards.
On the Swiss side, you can find many beautiful castles around Lake Geneva. From Medieval castles that have been turned into museums, but also many castles that can be visited for wine tastings. In this post you will find the best Swiss castles around Lake Geneva, to soak up a bit of history on your travels (or wine of course, lots and lots of wine).
Château de Chillon
Chillon Castle is an waterside castle on Lake Geneva, between Montreux and Villeneuve. The site on which the castle stands has been occupied since the Bronze age. The current castle was developed over centuries of building and remodeling.
The history of Chillon Castle can be divided into three periods: The Savoy Era (12th-16th century), The Bernese Era (16th-18th century), and The Vaudois Era (18th century-today). From the 18th century, Chillon Castle has been popular with writers and poets. Lord Byron, Victor Hugo, and Gustave Flaubert all visited the castle. And the castle has been written about in works such as: “The Prisoner of Chillon” by Lord Byron and “Daisy Miller” by Henry James.
Chillon Castle is now a museum showcasing archaeological object from the castle site, furniture, paintings, weapons, and architectural features.
Chillon Castle opening times: the castle is open all year round (except December 25 & January 1). You can buy your ticket online.
Address: Av. de Chillon 21, 1820 Veytaux, Switzerland
Palais de Rumine
Palais de Rumine is a late 19th century palace in Florentine Renaissance style in Lausanne. The palace was built when Gabriel de Rumine – a son of Russian nobility – left the city 1.5 million Swiss Francs to erect a building for public use. The building is design by Gaspard André and now houses four museums (Museum of Archeology and History, Cantonal Museum of Geology, Cantonal Museum of Zoology, and Museum of Money) and a library.
Palais de Rumine opening times: the museums are open Tuesday-Sunday (and Easter Monday, Whit Monday). It’s closed on January 1 & 2 and December 25. Visit the website for opening hours.
Address: Palais de Rumine, Place de la Riponne 6, CH – 1005 Lausanne
Château de Vullierens
Vullierens Castle is a French classical castle built between 1706 and 1745. Some parts of the old medieval castle that stood in its place have been preserved in the new chateau. The interiors are unique for their Chinese decorations and because the furnshings and layout haven’t changed since it construction. The estate has been lived in by the same family for 700 years, therfore the castle interiors aren’t open to visitors. The castle has beautiful gardens that are famous for its 50.000 irises.
Château de Vullierens opening times: the gardens are open April-October. There is also a café and winetasting. See the website for current opening times.
Address: Les Jardins du Château de Vullierens, 1115 Vullierens, Switzerland
Le Château de Coppet
Le Château de Coppet is a castle around Lake Geneva. The estate was founded in 1280, of the Medieval castle only one wing remains. The castle we see today was built in the 17th century, later additions include a Gothic Revival chapel and an Egypt Empire style library. In 1784 Jacques Necker – former minister to Louis XVI, King of France – bought the castle as a summer residence.
The castle gave name to the Coppet Group who where a group of intellectuals from Europe, who meeted at the castle in the early 19th century under the aegis of Madame de Staël.
Le Château de Coppet opening times: the castle is open from April 1st to October 31st; Tuesday to Sunday. Visit the website for current opening hours.
Address: Rue de la Gare 2, 1296 Coppet, Switzerland
Château de Prangins
Château de Prangins is the largest 18th-century building open to the public in Switzerland. The castle was built in 1732 and has been te home to many notable figures such as Voltaire, Joseph Bonaparte (older brother of Napoleon), and US suffragist Katherine McCormick.
Today the castle is part of the Swiss National Museum and host permanent and temporary exhibitions on Swiss history, identity and culture. Surrounding the castle is a park, a meadow orchard and the largest historic kitchen garden in Switzerland.
Château de Prangis/National Swiss Museum opening times: the museum is open Tuesday-Sunday all year round.
Address: Château de Prangins, Avenue du Général Guiguer 3, 1197 Prangins
The oldest part of Aigle Castle was built around the 12th century by the family of the Knights of Aigle. Over the centuries it has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. And in the 1970s it became the home of the Vine and Wine Museum. The museum has exhibitions that will delight wine lovers, as well as families who can discover this culture while having fun.
Château d’Aigle opening times: the castle is open all year (Tuesday-Sunday). In July and August it’s also opened on Monday. The castle is closed on January 1 and December 25. Visit the website for current opening hours.
Address: Château d’Aigle · Place du Château 1 · case postale 453 · 1860 Aigle
Le Château des Morges
Morges Castle on the shore of Lake Geneva was built in 13th century by Louis of Savoy to protect the city from invasion. Today the castles houses five museum: the Military Museum, Swiss Historic Figurine Museum, the Artillery Museum, the Police Museum, and the Paderewski Museum.
Le Château des Morges opening times: the museums are open through the year Tuesday-Sunday (closed: December 19 to January 9)
Address: Rue du Château 1, 1110 Morges – CH
Château de la Sarraz
The castle dates back to the 11th, 13th and 15th century. For most of its long history the castle was owned by the same family. During these years a large collection of furniture and art have been collected which can still be seen in the castle today. The castle also hosts workshops and events.
Château de la Sarraz opening times: the castle park is open all year round. The castle and its collection is open in selected months, visit the website for current opening hours.
Address: Le Château 1, 1315 La Sarraz
Château de Nyon
Château de Nyon is a castle is the old town of Nyon. The origins of the castle go back to the 12th century. For three centuries the castle was owned by the Counts of Savoy, until the Reformation chased them out. The castle got its apperance you see today in the 16th century. Since 1888 the castle houses the town museum, the history and porcelain museum is still located in the castle to this day. From the observation deck you have a view over the Alps and Lake Geneva.
Château de Nyon opening times: the museum is open all year round on Tuesday-Sunday.
Address: Château de Nyon, Place du Château, CH – 1260 Nyon
Château de Rolle
Château de Rolle is a Medieval fortress built in the 13th century in the city of Rolle on Lake Geneva. Compared to other castles in the area, Rolle Castle is unique for its irregular shape and different towers. The castle interior cannot be visited, but the courtyard is open for anyone to enjoy the castle exteriors.
Address: 1180 Rolle, Switzerland
Château du Châtelard
Château du Chatelard is a Medieval castle, set upon a hill in Montreux. The castle overlooks Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps and it’s surrounded by vineyards. The castle now offers rental holiday apartments.
Address: Chem. de Planchamp-Dessous 1, 1815 Clarens, Switzerland
Castles around Lake Geneva that offer wine tastings
Surrounding Lake Geneva are many vineyards and therfore many châteaux that offer wine tastings.
Domaine Château du Crest
Crest Castle is a castle in Jussy. The castle was built in 1220 but in the 1590s it got taken and destroyed by Calvinists. Théodore-Agrippa d’Aubigné, a French noblemen, poet, and reformed French Huguenot squire of Henry IV acquired the castle and rebuilt it. In 1637 the Micheli family acquired the castle whose descendents own the castle to this day.
Address: Rte du Château-du-Crest 40, 1254 Jussy, Switzerland
Château de Glérolles
Glérolles Castle is a castle on the northern shore of Lake Geneva. The origins of the castle date back to the 12th century, though not much of the Medieval structure remains. The castle now offers wine tastings from Tuesday-Saturday.
Address: Rte du Lac 27, 1071 Saint-Saphorin, Switzerland
Château de Crans
Crans Castle is an 18th century castle that was built by the Genevian banker Antoine Saladin. The elegant castle is built in Louis XV style and is one of the finest castles around Lake Geneva. Wine tastings are on Thursday and Saturday.
Address: Rue Antoine-Saladin 8, 1299 Crans-près-Céligny, Switzerland
Château de Duillier
Duillier Castle is at the heart of a wine domaine which has been in the same family for thre generations. The castle dates back to the 15th century. In 1669 the castle was acquired by Jean-Baptiste Fatio, who installed a printing press in the castle. His two sons also left a mark on Geneva; Nicolas, an astronomer, created a complete map of Lake Geneva and Jean-Christophe, engineer and astronomer, took part in the construction of the fortifications of Geneva. Now the castle is owned by the Humbert family who also offer wine tastings at the château.
Address: Rue du Château, 1266 Duillier, Switzerland
Château de Luins
Luins Castle has always been a wine-growing and agricultural estate. The castle was built in 1612 by the families of Wurstemberger and Wyttenbach and it was later also acquired by a French count. Since 1984 the castle is owned by Esther and Rémi Baechtold whose son, Laurent, manages the prodiction of the wine.
The particularity of Château de Luins wines lies in their conservation. More precisely for out Chasselas – a grape variety known for being tasted at a young age – we vinify it so that it can be enjoyed several years after bottling.
Address: Rte du Village 23, 1184 Luins, Switzerland
Rochefort Castle is a castle near Lake Geneva that dates back to the 14th century. It’s the perfect place for oenotoerism in an picturesque village. The castle offers a full wine experience with wine tastings, events, a supper club, and bed and breakfast rooms.
Address: Pl. de l’ Eglise, 1165 Allaman, Switzerland