Views for days at Les Paccots panoramic trail

Living within a short walking distance from the biggest Swiss lake (and one of the most beautiful ones, might I add) makes for pleasant walks even in times of a pandemic confinement. But despite counting this as an absolute blessing, I find myself yearning for the mountains as the work week comes to an end. And while I keep a (long) list of hiking trails waiting for me to explore them, a lot of them include a multi-hour drive/train ride to the starting point - which I rarely mind, as crossing Switzerland on any mode of transport is almost as scenic as the hike itself. But sometimes you just need a quick mountain fix, at the sweet spot of not being too far, but far enough to feel extraordinary. 

After a quick research, the Les Paccots panoramic trail seemed to rise to the challenge: a 1h40min train ride from Geneva for a 4-hour scenic hike, bringing me back to town just in time to meet my friends for a rainy late afternoon glass of wine by the lake (socialising in the pandemic has a cold price tag).

As it happens often in Switzerland, Les Paccots - a place I never heard of before last Sunday - turned out to be a picturesque village full of quintessential Swiss chalets. The trail was eventful - from rocky forest paths to open pastures, offering views of countless Alpine peaks. It wasn't too busy as it was off-hiking season, but that also meant that the huts that would normally be open for refreshing beverages and soups were closed.

Although there's a fair amount of elevation gain, the diversity of the trail makes the ascents less painful. The ratio of PPC (peaks per climb, and yes I literally just invented this) is definitely favourable: it's rare that the Alps near and far seem so close on a hike with such little difficulty.    


  • Time of the year: I hiked in early November.  
  • How to get there: Train from Geneva through Palezieux and Chatel St Denis, then a short bus ride to Les Paccots - Les Rosalys. 
  • Hike time: Around 4h of hiking time (excluding stops) 
  • Hike length & ascent: Around 13km circular route, 720m elevation gain.
  • Hiking gear needed: The usual hiking footwear.
  • Difficulty: Easy (but a fairly good fitness required as there is quite a bit of elevation). 
  • Hike directions: The panorama trail is marked with green signs and the number "366" - however, it gets quite confusing at times. Click here for a map, or follow my descriptions: From the bus stop Les Paccots - Les Rosalys, hike straight up passing by the chalets, turning right at the restaurant and into the woods, following the yellow marks. Once you reach the road, turn left to reach a big parking lot. The signs for the panorama trail will point in three different directions: first hike up the hill to reach Lac des Joncs - it's more of a pond than a lake, but it's only a 5-minute walk, so might as well check it out. Then walk back down to that same crossroads, and up into the woods, now following the yellow marks. Once you reach the top of the hill - what turns into a ski slope in the winter - follow the sign for gourmet path, which will take you slightly down and then up a steep hill again, until you reach a hut. From there, turn left go up the hill again, until you reach a plateau with some nice views, and then turn right to go up into the woods, until you reach a lovely open pasture. There at the first yellow signposts turn right, and shortly after take the path downhill. After 15 minutes of a slightly muddy path, you'll reach the asphalt road - continue straight on for a short while, until you see a yellow sign taking you up through a pasture. Take a lunch break there - the views are worth it! Then continue through the woods, passing by the hut Viepuy, and then crossing the asphalt road go down on the gravel road and then basically follow the road until you reach Les Paccots - Les Rosalys again. The last part takes you on the asphalt road maybe 15min (turn left when you come from the woods onto the asphal road).


2 komentarji:

  1. Really informative article. Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.
    post story to instagram from pc

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


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