Camping at the foot of the Jura mountains with Lake Geneva on the doorstep and plenty to keep you occupied onsite
There’s a bit of an irony to all the facilities at Camping Divonne Les Bains on the Swiss-French border. Set within the edges of a thick forest that tumbles down one of the highest mountains in the Jura range – La Dôle – it has a magnetic location for all outdoorsy types. Yet, geared to accommodate family campers, as well as hardy backpacking folk, there’s a complete spectrum of onsite options too. A tennis court, heated outdoor swimming pool, volley ball court and pétanque pitch all leave you wondering, why the need to create such an elaborate onsite playground when the continent’s natural playground is right on your doorstep?
The resulting campsite is expansive, with almost 200 different pitches. Massed among the trees, however, each pitch still retains its own sense of privacy, while multiple wash-blocks – immaculately clean and well looked after – mean, wherever you choose to pop the tent, you’ll never have too far to walk. With so much on offer, there really is something for everyone and the campsite is a diverse mix of backpackers, rock climbers and mountain bikers, combined with friendly family groups, lounging by the poolside or warming up on the tennis court.
It’s away from your pinecone scattered pitch that the real benefits of this campsite are found, though. Right from the entrance of the campsite there are trails leading into the trees and up the angular sides of La Dôle – a summit of 1677 meters. If you’re feeling lazy, you can drive a few minutes into Switzerland and up the paved road in Gingins to Chalet de la Dôle just below the peak. If you’re walking it’s a great place to stop for fuel. From the top, the Alps spread away to the East, while Lake Geneva spreads below. It's here, on the waterside, that you can spend the rest of your days, boating, bathing and generally having a boon.
2465 Vie De L'etraz, SwitzerlandTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Huttopia F.Joined in December 2016
From the host
Choose a nature stay at the foot of the Jura mountains, just a few kilometres from Lake Geneva and at the gateway to Switzerland! On a 9 hectare site, tents, caravans and motorhomes can set up camp on terraced pitches, some of which offer unspoilt views of the lake and the mountains.
Under the trees or in the sunshine, there is something for everyone.
The Swiss border is just moments away in the car and it's a short drive to the shore of Lake Geneva (bring bikes if you have them for a pedal along the waterfront). In the campsite there are heaps of leaflets but visits to the European Centre for Nuclear Research is one in particular that the campsite can arrange and they also have a good relationship with the nearby adventure course (06 76 64 20 31) in the trees of Divonne – great spot for children. Voltaire Château (04 50 40 53 21; open April – Oct) is 17 km away in Ferney-Voltaire and, after a hard day walking, biking and exploring the Haut Jura national park, there's also a thermal spa and wellness centre (04 50 20 27 70) in Divonne-les-Bains.
Food and drink
The bar-restaurant onside serves excellent homemade pizzas, along with a host of other snacks and drinks best enjoyed out on the terrace. It's only open over the May public holidays and through July and August. Outside of those times there are still plenty of great eateries in Divonne-les-Bains.