Interesting facts about Lake Geneva

lake geneva

Lake Geneva is a lake on the north side of the Alps, shared between Switzerland and France.

Lake Geneva, known in French as Lac Léman or Lac de Genève.In German it referred to as Genfersee or Genfer See.In Italian, it can be either Lago Lemano or Lago di Ginevra.

Lying at an elevation of 72 meters (1,220 feet) Lake Geneva covers an area of approximately 580 square kilometers (224 square miles), has a maximum length of 73 kilometers (45 miles), a maximum width of 14 kilometers (8.7 miles), average depth is 154 meters (507 feet) and a maximum depth of 310 meters (1,020 feet).

About 345 square kilometers (134 square miles ) of the lake’s area are Swiss, and 235 square kilometers (90 square miles) are French.


Lake Geneva is the largest Alpine lake in Europe.

Crescent in shape, the lake is formed by the Rhône River, which enters it at the east end between Villeneuve, Switzerland, and Saint-Gingolph, France, and leaves it at the west end through the city of Geneva.

lake geneva from space

The water, unusually blue and transparent, is subject to remarkable fluctuations of level known as seiches, in which the whole fluid mass in the lake rhythmically swings from shore to shore.


The strait of Promenthoux, or Nernier, separates the lake into two well-marked divisions, the Grand Lac (east) and the Petit Lac, the special Genevese portion.

The largest city on the shores of Lake Geneva is Geneva.It is the second most populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland.


Lausanne, the second-largest city on Lake Geneva, other notable towns include Nyon, Montreux, Morges, and Vevey in Switzerland and Thonon-les-Bains, Évian, and Yvoire in France.


Lake Geneva Region is characterised by its great geographical diversity.

Ever since the 18th century, the Lake Geneva Region, reputed for its beauty, has grown to be a holidaying region, visited by the great personalities of this world who were enchanted by the peace that emanates from its landscapes.

If the visitor follows the shore of the Lake Geneva, he can admire the changing colors, the terraced slopes with their vineyards, the impressive mountains, picturesque villages and towns with their blend of past relics and modern activity.


The Chablais Alps border is its southern shore, the western Bernese Alps lie over its eastern side. The high summits of Grand Combin and Mont Blanc are visible from some places.

Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, the Lavaux vineyard terraces plunge into Lake Geneva.

lavaux vineyard terraces

In Veytaux, near Montreux, Chillon Castle (Château de Chillon) has stood proudly on its rocky island since the 12th century, appearing to float on the surface of Lake Geneva.

chillon castle

In 563, according to the writings of Gregory of Tours and Marius Aventicensis, a tsunami wave swept along the lake, destroying the fort of Tauredunum and other settlements, and causing numerous deaths in Geneva. Simulations indicate that the Tauredunum event was most likely caused by a massive landslide near the Rhône delta, which caused a wave eight meters high to reach Geneva within 70 minutes.

In the late 1960s, pollution made it dangerous to swim at some beaches of the lake; indeed, visibility under water was near zero.

By the 1980s, intense environmental pollution had almost wiped out all the fish.

Today, pollution levels have been dramatically cut back, and it is again considered safe to swim in the lake.

Yacht racing is a popular sport, and high-performance catamarans have been developed specifically for the lake.

lake geneva boat race

Lake Geneva has been explored by four submarines: the Auguste Piccard and the F.-A. Forel, both built by Jacques Piccard, and the two Mir submersibles.

The lake is not as rich in fish as the other Swiss lakes; there are known to be 20 indigenous species and 6 that were introduced in the 19th century.

Prehistoric lake dwellings have been found on the shores.

Evian is a brand of mineral water coming from several sources near Évian-les-Bains, on the south shore of Lake Geneva.

Tourism infrastructure in the Lake Geneva region is very well developed with excellent hotels and restaurants, numerous festivals, events, and sightseeing.

Actor Charlie Chaplin spent his final years and died in Vevey town on the north shore of Lake Geneva.