Vaud, as the western Switzerland canton of Waadt is often called, stretches from Lake Geneva in the south to Lake Neuchâtel in the north. It is a large region with great scenic diversity: in the northwest it houses some portions of the Jura, in the southeast the Alps and the midland in between. In areas where there are no mountains and Jura ranges, Vaud has an undulating, green hilly landscape. With the exception of the canton of Bern, Vaud is the only canton that is spread across all three major Swiss regions.
The highest elevation is in the Diablerets: the highest point of the “abode of devils” is 3210 m above sea level. The long mountain lake Lac de Joux is situated in a gentle Jura valley at 1000 m above sea level and is a popular destination for excursions as a natural gem in the sparsely populated Jura.
The most important lake in this canton is Lake Geneva, which more or less forms the southern border of the canton and gives the canton of Vaud not only an incomparable riviera with a southern flair and a view of the French Alps, but also wonderfully sunny vineyards.
A trip to the vineyards in the Vaud riviera is something special: the terraced vineyards of Lavaux, where, for example, Chasselas grow, produce not only the best wines, but are also a UNESCO world heritage site. Montreux, Lausanne and Vevey are beautiful gems by Lake Geneva. The Chillon Castle, the most visited historical building in Switzerland, is worth seeing. The moated castle near Veytaux sits enthroned on a rock in the lake not far from the shore.
Those who like Charlie Chaplin films can visit the Charlie Chaplin Museum and the statue of the same name in Corsier-sur-Vevey, where the unforgettable actor, director and comedian spent the last 25 years of his life. In Vevey, one must visit the wine festival called Fête des Vignerons. It takes place on the Grande Place, the second largest marketplace in Europe. If you like flowers, don't miss the annual tulip festival in Morges; music fans shouldn't miss the world famous Montreux Jazz Festival.
There are many cities that enchant with their beautiful historical city centres alone. Yverdon-les-Bains at the foot of the Jura and at the southernmost tip of Lake Neuchâtel is well worth a visit. More so because the thermal springs of Yverson-les-Bains, which were also popular among the Romans, offer relaxation and recreation.
The cuisine of Vaud is famous for Kabis and Kohlwurst, cabbage soup and leek stew. One mustn’t forget potatoes with bacon and fondue and courgette cakes with mint and L' Etivaz cheese. The latter is produced from raw milk in the Vaud Alps from spring to autumn and over an open fire.
Of course, Vaud also produces excellent wines: after the canton of Valais, Vaud is the largest wine producer in Switzerland. A variety of Chasselas grows in the vineyards of the UNESCO world heritage site Lavaux on Lake Geneva.