A questions many people will ask when planning a holiday is “What will the weather be like?”. When it comes to picturing the kind of weather in Geneva, most foreigners who did not know better would immediately think of snow. After all, there are all those mountains and skiers. While that is true to an extent, the weather is much more varied than that, with Geneva’s climate actually being classified as ‘temperate oceanic’ by meteorologists.
Winters are actually relatively mild in the city itself, despite Geneva being at high altitude. The presence of the lake helps to mitigate much of the cooling effect of the altitude though, meaning that autumn and winter are often mild and wet, rather than cold and snowy.
Of course, many places close to Geneva experience significant snowfall during the winter, which provides some of the best skiing in Europe. Resorts such as Verbier and Crans-Montana are usually well-covered with snow for winter sports enthusiasts to enjoy.
Another feature of winter weather in Geneva can be the ice storms which occur close to Lac Leman. A chilling north wind known as the ‘brise’ can also affect the city. Always be prepared for the cold if you journey to Geneva in the winter or autumn, and take clothes which will keep you dry too. While the region is not especially known for wet weather, autumn can get very wet at times. Something like 115 days a year are marked by rainfall in the area.
The presence of Lake Geneva so close to the city also has benefits during the summer months. While summers rarely get very hot here, they are pleasantly warm, and visitors can enjoy the weather on one of the many beaches which line the lake shore. Places such as Genève Plage and the Bains des Pâquis are especially well known, and visitors can swim, paddle and even participate in some water sports at some of these spots.
Geneva welcomes visitors all year round. While the winter is the season for skiers to visit Switzerland, summer’s sunny months are a superb time for exploring the mountains on foot, and anyone who enjoys hiking or mountain biking should think about booking a visit at this time of year. Autumn and spring are mild, and ideal for visiting the historical monuments and shopping quarters of Geneva City. With some great lakeside views and mountain scenery to enjoy at any time of year, this part of Switzerland has much more to offer than simply some of the best skiing in Europe.