Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Belle Epoque steamers have traversed Swiss lakes for more than 100 years. Originally floating palaces, with etched glass and wooden figureheads, the paddle steamers now take some 1,200 passengers each on day trips.

Ride a steamer to Chateau de Chillon, a castle dating back to the 12th century, in Montreux. Or visit a cogwheel train up to Les Pleiades or the Swiss Chocolate Train to Gruyeres. Bikes can be brought onboard (no cars) the boats, but if you choose to just go along just for the views from the water, you won't be disappointed.

This lake is a favorite of Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor of IndependentTraveler.com's sister site, Cruise Critic: "The contrast between the Alps and the lake is gorgeous."

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