Thank you to Sally Freedman for writing this wonderful article on Nyon, giving us some gems and local experiences not to be missed and that can all be done in just 48 hours.
Nyon is a picturesque town nestled along the shores of Lake Geneva (or Lac Léman) just 15 minutes from Geneva by train and offers a blend of historical charm and breath-taking natural beauty. With 48 hours to explore this Swiss haven, you can enjoy quaint cafes, delectable restaurants, strolls along the lakeside, memorable hikes, and lots more!
Day 1: Exploring the Town
Start your day at the best coffee shop in town. “Ex Machina” is a local favourite known for its aromatic barista-made coffee and fresh, delicious food. The modern décor and free Wi-Fi makes it the perfect place to chill, chat and relax. Café Ex Machina is located 2 minutes’ walk from Nyon castle, so after you’ve enjoyed breakfast, why not amble along over there where you can go inside and take in some fascinating history. Whilst you explore the 5 floors, take in the stunning views of Nyon from up high. Be sure to go outside on the terrace where you’ll grab the Instagram money shot that will likely give all your followers FOMO!
Take a leisurely stroll through Nyon’s delightful streets, admiring the architecture and colourful facades. If you fancy some more history, take a visit to the fascinating Roman Museum where you can delve into the town’s Roman past – an intriguing glimpse into its historical roots. Be sure to take the time to stroll to the Roman pillars close-by. The views are spectacular!
If you’re visiting in summer, head down to the restaurant at the Nyon Plage where you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful lunch, with wonderful views of Lac Léman, Mont Blanc and France across the water! And if the weather is playing ball, jump in the freshwater lake for a refreshing and revitalising swim.
The “Promenade des Vieilles Murailles” offers a serene lakeside walk, perfect for enjoying the fresh air and stunning views. If the sun is shining and you fancy more water time, you can rent a paddle board or pedalo from Le Ponton next to the Nyon Ferry stop.
For a sophisticated dinner, Auberge de Prangins is a top choice. This elegant restaurant showcases refined Swiss cuisine with a modern twist. Enjoy a leisurely meal in a cozy and intimate setting.
Day 2: Nature and Adventure
Fuel up with a hearty breakfast at Tête de Course – their selection of food will gear you up for an adventurous day ahead. A trendy, modern café with a great ambience and conveniently located only a few minutes walk from Nyon train station. It’s also open on Sundays which makes it a great option if you are in Nyon over a weekend.
Option 1- Hike
Feeling like a challenging hike? There are plenty of options close by to Nyon. One of the most popular is in St-Cergue, a beautiful 40-minute train journey from Nyon up the mountain. When you arrive at St-Cergue, you can hike up to La Dôle, where you can enjoy a drink and the magnificent views at the top in the restaurant. Once you’re ready to head back, you can walk back down the other side to St-Cergue and hop on the train to Nyon.
How hard is it? According to the Nyon Tourist Office’s website, they classify it as “fairly easy”, but it is quite long, so take plenty of water, snacks and sun cream!
- Length 19km
- Duration 6 h
- Positive difference in height 881m
- Negative difference in height 718m
- Difficulty: Fairly easy
Option 2 – Boat trip to Yvoire, France.
Two countries in 48 hours? That’s easy when you are staying in Nyon! If you are feeling like a leisurely relaxed day, I’ve got you covered. From Nyon, you can jump on the ferry to France. Yes, France! In just 20 minutes, you’ll arrive at Yvoire on the other side of Lake Geneva. Yvoire is a quaint, beautiful medieval town which has delicious crêpes, ice cream and more. It’s a very small town, so you’ll only need a couple of hours to explore. You can meander the stunning streets while browsing the independent boutiques. When you’ve finished exploring, you can enjoy some delicious French cuisine. After your meal, it’s a simple 20 minute ferry ride back to Nyon.
If you love ice cream, make sure you make time to visit the infamous Gelateria Venezia ice cream shop, located opposite the Nyon ferry stop. It will not disappoint. If the sun is out, there will likely be a long queue, but believe me, it is worth the wait!
Luigia is located a few minutes stroll from Nyon train station and offers a relaxed, casual atmosphere and a wonderful, delicious extensive Italian menu. From pasta to pizza to salads, there’s likely something for everyone! For families with children, there’s a tiny little cinema room which might help keep the kids occupied whilst they wait for their meal. Note: Luigia do not take reservations.
48 hours in Nyon will combine history, nature, culinary delights and adventure. This charming Swiss town promises a getaway that will leave you with plenty of magical memories.
Let us know what your favourite things to see and do in Nyon are.