Just 8km from Geneva airport, St-Genis-Pouilly is a great base for exploring Geneva itself and the many resorts on the banks of Lake Geneva. It’s also home to several golf courses, and there’s some great skiing nearby in the Jura at Crozet. And don’t forget to visit the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
When you’re short of time but need a quick snow fix, head for St-Genis-Pouilly. Just 20 minutes from Geneva Airport, it’s just a 10-minute drive from here to Crozet, in the Jura mountains.
There, you’ll find 50km of lift-served pistes, access to Lelex, and 140km of cross-country trails. You will also be rewarded with stunning views of Lake Geneva, the Mont Blanc massif, and on a clear day, the Matterhorn.
Novices and intermediates will find plenty to keep them busy in the ski stations of Mijoux (40mins) and La Faucille (35 mins).
You're perfectly placed for exploring the Jura mountains when you stay in St-Genis-Pouilly: guides to the marked trails are available from the local tourist office.
Cable cars are open at certain times during the summer at Crozet and Lelex, and they accommodate bikes. Check the website for times and costs.
There is plenty of choice for golfers staying in St-Genis-Pouilly, with several courses within a short drive of the town.
Tees and greens are synthetic at this nine-hole course in the foothills of the Jura mountains, to ensure that it is available all year round. Designed by Yves Radal in collaboration with architect Hugues Lambert, each hole has two tee-offs, so that it can be played as an 18-hole course. There’s also a spa on site for those who prefer not to play golf.
This well-maintained nine-hole course is in an idyllic setting in the Jura mountains. Unusually for a mountain course, it’s only slightly hilly, and there are water obstacles (the Valserine river) and blind holes. There’s a small pro shop, a friendly clubhouse and a restaurant.
This nine-hole golf course is, for the most part, surrounded by trees, although a main road runs alongside the 8th and 9th. No membership is needed and visitors are always welcome, with green fees from €24-28. Coaching (English speaking) is available for all ages at the Albatros Academy.
An 18-hole golf wooded course on the Swiss border, where the first nine holes are less complicated than the returning nine. Reservations are compulsory from Thursday to Monday.
Keen scientists won’t want to miss a trip to CERN — the home of the Large Hadron Collider. It’s just 3km from the centre of St-Genis-Pouilly, and the exhibition centre, Microcosm, is open from Monday to Saturday.
Entry is free, but book well in advance for a free guided tour. Meet CERN physicists, follow the path of particles and explore the Large Hadron Collider. Parking is available, and all content is available in English and French.
There’s always something going on at Palexpo, Geneva’s congress and exhibition centre right next to Geneva Airport. As well as conferences and exhibitions, there’s also a packed programme of entertainment at the Geneva Arena.
The Arena regularly plays host to stars such as James Blunt, Nick Cave and Noizy, as well as shows like Disney on Ice and Cirque du Soleil. Check out the website for the latest events — and it’s all just 10km from St-Genis-Pouilly!
Billed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, Yvoire is on a peninsula on the southern shore of Lake Geneva.
It was fortified in the 14th century, and today retains its medieval architecture. Enjoy its cafes, craft shops and beautiful views out across the lake. The turreted castle, which sits right on the edge of the lake, is private, but its beautiful garden is open to the public.
The medieval town of Annecy lies on the southern end of Lake Annecy, said to be the cleanest lake in Europe.
The canals that run through the town are reminiscent of Venice, and the lakeside beaches are a perfect place for a swim, a picnic, or water sports. If you time your visit well, you may catch one of the many markets — local produce, antiques, or bric-a-brac. If you have time, catch a boat and visit one of the spectacular lakeside villages such as Talloires, Veyrier or Menthon-St-Bernard.
Come face to face with dinosaurs, llamas, kangaroos and other prehistoric and exotic animals and birds at this jungle-themed park.
There is also a fascinating variety of tropical plants to marvel at. Open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, all year round.
This fascinating city doesn’t have to be a place you just fly in to and out of: it has far more to offer.
The botanical gardens have more than 12,000 species of plants from around the world in a series of beautiful themed gardens, as well as a popular animal park. Enjoy a swim at the Bains des Pâquis lakeside pool, followed perhaps by a fondue or a sauna. Discover the cultures of the world at the Musée d'Ethnographie de Genève, where entry is free, or stroll around the historic old town. For 10 days in August you can catch the Fêtes de Genève — a feast of pop-up restaurants, concerts and parties culminating in a fabulous lakeside firework finale.
There is a Carrefour supermarket in St-Genis-Pouilly, and an Intermarche, both of which are open on Sunday mornings. For more shops, there is a large shopping centre at Val Thoiry.
For fresh meat, try the butcher Au Boeuf Charolais, at 17 Rue de Geneve.
For delicious chocolates and pastries, go to Sébastien Brocard at 9 Rue de Lyon.
There are some fabulous restaurants in this area. From top end dining to foods from around the world, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Try some of these top tips:
Belgian — Leon de Bruxelles for great mussels, steaks, salads and a range of Belgian beers. leon-de-bruxelles.fr
Indian — Les Jardins de Malyar, 1 Route de Crozet - food to eat in or take away. lesjardinsdemalyar.com
Fine dining — At the Shamwari at Jiva Hill, Route d’Harée, Crozet, you can choose from the a la carte menu or the five (€78) or eight course (€110) menus - dress code, closed Sundays. Fabulous views of the mountains from the terrace in the summer. jivahill.com
Spanish — Make sure to book in advance at Rita & Albert, in Sergy, as it’s very small and popular. Albert is the chef and Rita is front of house. ritaetalbert.com
If you love the cinema, then here you don’t need to miss out while on holiday. With a choice of cinemas, often showing English language films, you can be sure to see new releases and true classics.
Gex Le Patio — Website
Balexert (CH) Pathé — Website
For up-to-date information on public transport options in and around St-Genis-Pouilly, please visit http://www.saint-genis-pouilly.fr/transports-de-saint-genis-pouilly
If you’d like to find out more about this part of France and the range of activities on offer here, please also take a look at these websites: