What to do in France

6 French towns near the Swiss border

Swiss border: Top 6 destinations to visit

As a multicultural land of varied scenic backdrops and diverse landscapes, Switzerland attracts a large number of visitors every year. If, however, you'd like to visit Switzerland while staying in France, here's a selection of six must-visit towns close to the Swiss border.


Chamonix, nestled in the French Alps, is a destination renowned for its breathtaking panoramas, mountain activities and picturesque atmosphere. Dominated by the majestic Mont Blanc, the town offers spectacular Alpine scenery, attracting adventure-seekers all year round. In winter, Chamonix transforms itself into a paradise for skiers and snowboarders, with renowned ski areas. In summer, hiking, climbing and mountain biking enthusiasts flock to explore steep trails and towering peaks.


The charming town center is packed with boutiques, Savoyard restaurants and lively cafés. Chamonix is also the departure point for the famous Montenvers Train, offering panoramic viewsof the Mer de Glace. This Alpine destination embodies the perfect marriage of outdoor adventure, natural beauty and Alpine charm.

Divonne les Bains

Divonne-les-Bains, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, is a charming commune renowned for its peaceful ambience and picturesque setting. Nestled at the foot of the Jura mountains, the town is famous for its thermal springs, ideal for relaxation and well-being. The thermal waters of Divonne-les-Bains are renowned for their healing properties and are used in the local spa, Domaine de Divonne, offering relaxing treatments.

Divonne les Bains

Lac de Divonne, surrounded by lush green countryside, adds a touch of serenity, offering peaceful strolls and soothing views. The typical town center is home to lively markets, elegant boutiques and excellent restaurants serving fine local cuisine. Divonne-les-Bains is also known for its casino, golf course and elegant ambience, attracting visitors in search of tranquillity and well-being in an unspoilt natural setting.

Evian les Bains

Évian-les-Bains, a pearl on the shores of Lake Geneva, is the epitome of elegance and well-being. Famous for its world-famous mineral waters, the town is located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. Evian's refinement is evident in its belle époque architecture, well-kept gardens and panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Evian's spa park, surrounded by greenery, invites you to relax, while the mineral springs offer therapeutic benefits.

Évian les bains
The Palais Lumière, a former spa converted into a cultural space, reflects the city's elegant history. Evian is also renowned for its golf course, casino and classical music festival.. The lakeside promenade, with its terrace cafés, creates a soothing atmosphere. Évian-les-Bains is a destination that combines charmwell-being and art of living by the water.


Pontarlier, nestled in the Doubs department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, boasts a captivating blend of history, culture and natural landscapes. This charming town is known as the capital of the Haut-Doubs region, offering a picturesque setting between mountains and lakes. The cobbled streets of the town center invite you to discover the historic architecture, including the Horloge tower and the beautiful Saint-Bénigne church.

Pontarlier is renowned for its tradition of producing absinthe, the famous brandy. Absinthe lovers can explore the Musée de l'Absinthe to learn more about the drink and its history.


Located close to the Haut-Jura regional nature park, Pontarlier also offers hiking and outdoor activities. Surrounding lakes, such as Lac Saint-Point, add a touch of tranquility to the region.

In short, Pontarlier's cultural heritage, historical ambience and links with nature make it an authentic and peaceful destination.


Annemasse, located in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, is a dynamic, cosmopolitan town close to the Swiss border. At the heart of the Greater Geneva cross-border conurbation, Annemasse offers an attractive quality of life, with a balance between urban life and green spaces.

The town is a major economic hub, attracting businesses and shops. Its lively downtown area is packed with stores, restaurants and markets, creating a lively atmosphere. Parc Montessuit offers a pleasant green space in which to relax.


Thanks to its proximity to Geneva, Annemasse is a popular place to live for cross-border workers. Transport links, notably the tramway and bus lines, make it easy to get around the region.

Culturally rich, Annemasse offers events, festivals and cultural venues such as the renowned Château Rouge. With its economic prospects and international ambience, Annemasse continues to evolve as a modern, welcoming city.


Yvoire, a medieval gem nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva, embodies the timeless charm of its architectural and floral heritage. One of France's "Most Beautiful Villages", Yvoire is located in Haute-Savoie, near Evian-les-Bains.

The medieval village of Yvoire is famous for its cobbled streets, well-preserved ramparts and half-timbered houses, creating a picturesque atmosphere. Visitors can stroll through the village's flower gardens, where the colorful flowerbeds offer a breathtaking view of the lake.


Château d'Yvoire, built in the 14th century, bears witness to the village's rich history. Visitors can explore its towers, ramparts and rooms, immersing themselves in the medieval past.

Yvoire is also renowned for its medieval garden, a veritable floral oasis where aromatic herbs, medicinal plants and ancient flowers harmoniously coexist.

As well as being a popular destination for a romantic getaway, Yvoire attracts lovers of history, gardens and panoramic lake views, making this medieval enclave a must-see destination on the shores of Lake Geneva.

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