The vineyards of Lavaux offer one of the most spectacular panoramic views in the world. Don’t take our word for it – hop on the Berne-Lausanne train and see for yourself! This train ride offers a breathtaking view of the rolling terraced vineyards, Lake Geneva and snow-covered mountains. An important cultural landscape whose beauty has been carefully preserved by generations of winemakers.

Lavaux, vineyard terraces © FDFA, Presence Switzerland
Facts & figures


Lavaux, vineyard terraces stretching from Montreux to Lausanne


Canton of Vaud, Switzerland

UNESCO inscription



Exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition. Outstanding example of a landscape which illustrates significant stages in human history and of human interaction with its environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change. (Criteria 3, 4, and 5 of UNESCO Operational Guidelines).


The 30-kilometre vineyards along Lake Geneva are not only a bountiful gift of nature but are also testament to centuries of backbreaking human toil. For generations, winemakers have terraced these steep hillsides, building stone walls to protect their vines. The winemaking tradition in Lavaux dates back to the 12th century when Cistercian and Benedictine monks controlled the land. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the region encompasses 14 municipalities and six certified winemaking sites - Lutry, Villette, Saint-Saphorin, Epesses&Calamin, Dezaley and Chardonne. Lavaux greatly contributed to the development of the city of Lausanne and its surrounding areas. Yet, this creeping urban sprawl would leave the region vulnerable. The measures that were introduced to protect Lavaux and the committed backing which they received from the local community were exemplary.

World Heritage and Swissness

Good food and good wine are a marriage made in heaven. So, it is not surprising that winemaking regions tend to have a few culinary surprises in store too. This is definitely true of Lavaux, the canton of Vaud, as well as many other regions in Switzerland generally. Tradition, taste, authenticity and trust are the order of the day here. In 1999 legislation was introduced to protect traditional 100% Swiss-made products. Ten years on and the list of certified Swiss produce is impressive. It includes, among many others, raclette cheese and Roggenbrot from Valais, air-cured beef from Graubünden, saucissons from Vaud, and bratwurst from St. Gall. Check out our Swiss Specials and Culture section to discover more about culinary traditions and customs in Switzerland.

Virtual tour

UNESCO world heritage - Lavaux, vineyard terraces
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA