Exploring the quaint little town of Yvoire in France

Yvoire is a picturesque little medieval town in southeastern France located on the shore of Lake Geneva. The charming town looks more like a flower garden than a town with every possible balcony and window adorned with colorful fragrant flower pots. Yvoire is among the ‘Most Beautiful Villages in France’.

On a visit to France, Paris definitely tops everyone’s list fascinated by the sparkling Iron Lady. The art museums and cafes of Paris are equally enticing but France has much more to offer. The rustic medieval villages with quaint and well-preserved bygone charm are sure to leave anyone in sheer awe.

Based out of Geneva in Switzerland the lovely town of Yvoire was just an hour away. One can drive all the way to Yvoire or take a ferry from Nyon port which is a 15-minutes train ride away from Geneva. The weather was warm and bright so we decided to take a ferry to Yvoire hoping for some wonderful views around the lake.

Day Trip Yvoire France

We tagged along M a family friend of us. M is a crazy fan of Casino games. He plays casino games in online casinos and he also visits real casino whilst traveling. He insisted on visiting the Montreux town instead, which has a popular casino. Montreux is around an hour by train from Nyon we decided to visit it after our Yvoire tour.

Our journey back in time started as soon as we walked out of the station. A huge flea market was set up around the station which was jam packed with people along with street musicians and hawkers. We made way through the crowd asking directions for the port. Soon we could spot a glimpse of blue belt hovering over the town roofs.

Day Trip Yvoire France

Tickets for the ferry can be bought at the port. We didn’t have to wait for long as the ferry arrived soon. It wasn’t much crowded still, all the passengers climbed onto the deck for views. We chose to stay down for it was easier to manage Chhavi. The seats were mostly unoccupied and Chhavi had it all to herself to run around.

Day Trip Yvoire France

As we sailed further the towers of white washed Nyon castle rising amidst the red tiled roofs of the beautiful town of Nyon became more prominent. As the town of Nyon faded away in the distance we were surrounded by perpetual blue waters on all sides.

Day Trip Yvoire France

We cruised past several colorful windsurfers enjoying the warm sunshine. The lush green hills sloped down into dense tree line along the azure shore in the background. The vistas were awe-inspiring.

Day Trip Yvoire France

Soon we sighted a sprawling quaint town in the distance with a cluster of yachts at the shore and the medieval houses popping out of the green landscape. A fairytale town along a beautiful marina from a fantasy storybook had emerged out of nowhere.

Day Trip Yvoire France

Day Trip Yvoire France

The port was connected to the main square of the town through a wooden causeway embellished with the colorful flower boxes. Several yachts and fishing boats stood lined along the shore on one side of the walkway.

Day Trip Yvoire France

And on other stood a big Hotel ‘Restaurant du Port’ with its balconies and windows adorned with flower plants. There is a kiosk at the port where one can get information on key attractions of Yvoire.

Day Trip Yvoire France

A steep winding road from the restaurant connected to the center of the town. But we were more enthralled by the stone houses perched on a hill in front of us. We chose the way up to the hill through a flight of stairs that subsequently connected to the town center.

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The town of Yvoire has some of the remarkably well-preserved stone houses some of which dates back to 14th-century. The adornment with flower plants on each of the houses left us spellbound.

Day Trip Yvoire France

Day Trip Yvoire France

Yvoire is a fortified town, which is evident from several of the gates and ramparts dating back to middle ages. The ramparts once the defensive walls safeguarding the town of Yvoire today make for the soul of the pretty town.

Church of St Pancras

The church of St Pancras is believed to be from 11th-century. The most striking feature of the church is the silver colored steeple with an onion-shaped dome in Savoyard and Piedmontese style typical of the 19th century. The historical monument has undergone several changes and renovations.

Day Trip Yvoire France

Garden of the Five Senses

Unfortunately, the entry to the garden had closed by the time we reached.Β The garden is situated in the former kitchen garden of the Yvoire castle. The garden houses a variety of plants and flowers that can stimulate the five senses. Exploring the garden would be fun especially for the kids as there is so much to learn from them. Colors, fragrance, textures and sounds and so much more make for a unique experience. Learn More here.

We had a couple of gelatos at the corner of the street of the garden of five senses and wandered exploring more of the quaint town. Yvoire has received several awards in horticulture and for a well-kept village.

Day Trip Yvoire France

Day Trip Yvoire France

Yvoire Castle

The imposing 700-year-old castle of Yvoire dominates the town along the shore of the Lake. The castle tower was once a watchtower to guard the town of Yvoire. The castle is not open to the public.

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The town center has several restaurants, cafes, boutique shops and art galleries where one can spend time marveling at the medieval architecture.

Day Trip Yvoire France

We sighted some of the exotic and vibrant blossom all along the way through the alleys of Yvoire.

Day Trip Yvoire France

Like all beautiful stories come to an end so was our fairytale of Yvoire too.

Day Trip Yvoire France

We were so much smitten by the beauty of the town of Yvoire that we completely forgot about the visit to Montreux Casino. M was a bit disappointment. We promised for another trip soon to make it to the casino but for now, he had to satiate himself with the casino games on his mobile.

At Dusk, the winds turned chilly and rays of sun pierced the overcast sky toΒ fall upon the brightly colored yachts. We relished the pleasant evening and heavy heartedly bid farewell to the lovely town of Yvoire.

Day Trip Yvoire France

Have you been to Yvoire or any other beautiful village in France? Do share with us in comments.

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20 Comment

  1. Hey, this article came very handy! Heading to France in a few weeks – definitely going to check this place out!

  2. arv! says: Reply

    The town looks so picture perfect. It’s so serene and peaceful. Lovely write with beautiful pictures.

  3. I’d never heard of Yvoire before, but it totally looks like a place I’d visit. I’m practically drooling over all the stone buildings! How picturesque and lovely! It’s too bad you didn’t get to see the Garden, but from your photos it looks like you still got to see some nice flora πŸ™‚

  4. Ess says: Reply

    Well written post. I feel as though I’ve actually been to Yvoire through your post . The architecture of the houses really stands out for me and how well preserved they are. What are some spots you’d recommend to have a bite or for lunch when visiting?

  5. Never been to France but would love to go! These pictures from Yvoire looks like it came straight out of a fairytale! I definitely need to add this to my European adventures bucket list!

  6. Wow, Yvoire looks absolutely adorable! The photos you took on the lake make the town look like it’s ripped straight from the pages of the fairy tale. Plus, I absolutely love the cute little houses around town — looks like the perfect little town to visit!

  7. Shane Prather says: Reply

    I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this elegant little coastal town. I haven’t seen many castles in real life so I’m intrigued to visit. A Fairy tale come true!

  8. I loved these colorful lanes and houses of Yvoire, just my kind of place! Medieval towns in Europe are so fascinating and so full of history. I feel like planning a trip to Europe already now πŸ™‚

  9. Oh my good! Yvoire looks so picture perfect. Captivating is the word! As if everything is placed to frame a perfect shot. And the flowers look amazing with their vibrant colors. The best part being the lovely variety of planters. I would love to take a one-way ticket to this place and stay there forever. I’m wondering how you could make up your mind come back from there πŸ™‚

  10. Yvoire definitely looks like a fairytale town. When you are spending time in such a town, it is easy to forget casinos. Hopefully your friend got to go another time. I was in Colmar last year and I felt that it was also a similar fairytale town. Hopefully they will open the castle to tourists one day.

  11. Yvoire is a town that seems to have been trapped in a time warp and still exists in the magical times of yore. Does look like a place that is beyond the realms of imagination. Very picturesque and has the typical charm of European Villages and towns. Europe is such a treasure trove of such undiscovered gems.

  12. Yvoire looks like a fairytale town. The 14th-century houses are quite well maintained and I loved flowers everywhere. The flowers might be painting the whole town in colors. From your pictures, this village seems to be a must visit in France.

  13. Yvoire really is a beautiful looking place and people miss out when they only go to Paris. We’ve actually never been to Paris but we’ve been to some smaller towns in France and they were lovely. Yvoire does look like it is a fairy tale like you said.

  14. Raksha says: Reply

    Yvoire looks like a quaint little town. Glad that I got to know about it. Thanks for the detailed guide. I’ll keep Yvoire in mind while planning a trip to Europe πŸ™‚

  15. Yvoire seems to be a really charming place πŸ™‚ France is one of my favourite countries, so it was a big pleasure to read your post. I haven’t visited this part of France, but I would love to. Thank you for an inspiration!

  16. This looks like a beautiful trip πŸ™‚ I love discovering hidden gems! Especially France has lots of lovely little towns off the beaten path! X

  17. Joanna says: Reply

    Yvoire looks so pretty with all those stone houses and the flowers hanging at the windows. I have visited a French village myself and I was surprised on how the cold stone of the houses is brought to life by the beauty of the colors of the flowers. The church looks so different than the rest of the city, which I find very interesting. I wonder what’s its story.

  18. Indrani says: Reply

    Such a beautiful part of France, an offbeat location, not heard of much. It helps to have friends who take you to places you never would have visited. I wish some friend of mine would take me to a casino. πŸ™‚

  19. Beautiful place little town. I like how you have been exploring these smaller places beyond the popular attractions. I though it was a sea when I saw the pictures but then realized that it is the lake Geneva. One of the great lakes that I’d like to visit one day.

  20. I have been in the area twice. First in Geneva and the second time in Chamonix. There really is a lot to see and several of these small beautiful towns like Yvoire around Lake Geneva. I especially like the possibility to combine a visit to a small picturesque town with seeing the Alps.

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