Autumn In and Around the Alps, a Photo Essay

Posted on 19. Oct, 2011 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, France, Photo Posts, Switzerland

Ahhh, autumn. It’s always been my favorite season of the year, way above spring flowers, summer drinks and in my case, snow shovel in winter. I don’t know if it’s the taste of apple crumble, the sounds of the leaves under my feet, the romantic afternoon light, the cozy scarves…  but mixed with the dramatic Alpine scenery, it doesn’t get any better!

I went on yet another road trip this weekend: around Lake Leman. I knew it was going to be magnificent, but I truly never expected anything like this - and I was treated with amazing sights of autumn in the Alps.

First, I had a mandatory stop in Annecy to get my fondue fix (I know most people would’ve waited to get to Switzerland, but Le Fréti is just too good to pass).  And Annecy is such a lovely town, every little stop is worthwhile.

Jardins de l’Europe in Annecy

On the road to Switzerland

Then I was off to western Switzerland. I was really excited to visit the towns around Lake Leman because it had been on my bucket list for a long time, and because I am obviously a sucker for autumn scenery. As usual, I only had a few days to cover the area so I cramped in as much as possible, especially in Lausanne, where I only stayed an afternoon (but I will definitely be going back eventually, because it is one cool city!).

Around the Lausanne Cathedral

Saturday morning market in Lausanne

Then it was off to drive through the famous Lavaux terraces. The scene is quite something to take in from the road down by the lake, but it gets even better as you drive up the steep hills and put your manual transmission lessons to test. Between the yellow vineyards, the shiny Lake Leman and the distant outline of the Alps, you just never know where to look. Lavaux terraces were definitely one of the highlights of my Swiss trip, and I would be curious to know what it looks like in the spring or the summer.

Lavaux terraces - autumn in the Alps doesn’t get any better, does it?
autumn in the alps, lavaux terraces

Lavaux terraces

Shortly after, I headed to the western tip of the lake in Montreux, more precisely at Château de Chillon. I have visited countless European castles and I have to say, Chillon is one of my favorite ones so far. The castle was holding a “witch hunt evening” after hours that night, with actors, candles and Halloween-themed food, and although I didn’t stay until the end, it was a lot of fun (and as a person who is death-scared of masks, I was truly petrified when one of the weird creatures came running after me).

Scary costumes in Château de Chillon

The next day, it was time for some serious mountains - namely the Mont-Blanc. The drive to Chamonix, on the road cleverly called the “White Road”, was very pretty. If it wasn’t for the 3000+ meters mountains, I would’ve thought I was having a Sunday afternoon drive in Quebec! But you know you’re definitely experiencing autumn in the Alps when the Mont-Blanc appears before you, snow-capped and nothing short of massive. I walked around the beautiful village of Chamonix, which is filled with cafés, pâtisseries and alpine shops, resulting in a relaxed atmosphere.


Autumn deers in Chamonix

On the way up to Mont-Blanc

Where is your favorite place to enjoy the fall? Have you ever seen autumn in the Alps? Is autumn your favorite season to travel?

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19 Responses to “Autumn In and Around the Alps, a Photo Essay”

  1. Abby

    20. Oct, 2011

    It looks absolutely beautiful there!! Love the fall colors. We don’t get them where I live.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Laura

    20. Oct, 2011

    Lovely photos! And Chillon is one of my favorite castles as well. Probably are the mountains and the lake that create that magical atmosphere, but it was one of the places I felt best in Europe. Witch hunt, huh? Were they successful? lol:)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      29. Nov, 2011

      I have no idea - I was scared as hell as left quickly after, haha. I’m such a wuss!

      Reply to this comment
  3. JoAnna

    20. Oct, 2011

    Super gorgeous!

    Reply to this comment
  4. John

    21. Oct, 2011

    Some of my favourite places in Europe. I can’t wait to get back to Chamonix in mid December.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Fida

    21. Oct, 2011

    I am getting - a little - homesick. Thank you for sharing the pictures of Switzerland :)

    Reply to this comment
  6. Stunning photos — and love that dude’s costume… :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      29. Nov, 2011

      Thanks! But as a girl scared of marks, I HATED the costume, haha.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Suzanne

    31. Oct, 2011

    I was so ready to go until I saw the scary costumes. Maybe they’ll be gone by the time I visit. Awesome pics. What camera do you use?

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      29. Nov, 2011

      I use a DSLR Canon Reflex T2 with a simple 18-55 lens. Not very hard to use :-)

      Reply to this comment
  8. Donna Hull

    14. Nov, 2011

    Visiting the Alps in autumn is on my travel list, especially after viewing your photos.

    Reply to this comment


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