Switzerland is dramatically beautiful with its plunging, snow-capped mountains and turquoise sparkling lakes. However it’s one of the most expensive holiday destinations for families in central Europe. The perfect budget answer is therefore camping in France, along the border and travelling into Switzerland to visit! This post is all about Camping near Lake Geneva – although I do include some campsites around the Swiss side of the lake too.
Understanding Borders of Lake Geneva
Close to The Alps, Lake Geneva is one of the largest lakes in Europe and the waters are shared between Switzerland and France.
59.53% of the lake comes under the jurisdiction of Switzerland and 40.47% to France. This equates to roughly 85km of lake line along the Swiss side and about 70km on the French side.
With so much lake-line, there is therefore plenty of Camping near Lac Leman (Lake Geneva) and the ones we’ve found here are budget friendly for families.
What’s In a Name?
Following the rise of Geneva (financially) the lake became known as Lac de Genève (translated into English as Lake Geneva). In the 18th century, Lac Léman was revived by the French and used to proclaim their share of the lake.
A note on pronunciation:
- English: Lake Geneva
- French: Le lac Léman or Le lac de Genève – which is pronounced Jenev
- German Swiss: Genfersee (German Switzerland)
Camping on the French Side
Camping on the French side of the border is slightly cheaper than camping in Switzerland but then of course you must factor in the cost of petrol and driving over to Switzerland.
Food in France is cheaper than Switzerland, you can use NUMBEO to compare the cost of every day items. If you’re on a shoestring budget, picnics are going to be your friend.
Buying picnic supplies is much cheaper if you shop in local markets, failing that, shops like Lidl provide good picnic foods at a budget price. Fresh bread from boulangeries is cheap and tastes delicious (although yes it isn’t very good for you)
Camping Relais du Leman
A 3 star family campsite that sits in 3.5 hectares of land, on the shores of Lake Geneva. With pretty chalets, it has an indoor swimming pool, a snack bar and entertainment during the summer. The site benefits from a good location being only 20 minutes from Geneva and Evian les Bains. Lots of local shops nearby.
Campsite starting at €19.50. Large family huts – €500-900 for a week.
Camping Mathieu is a very small, basic and cheap campsite near the Yvoire castle and botanical gardens. Pitches with electricity start at €12 per night.
Camping Les Chants D’oiseau
This small and basic 2 star camp site is situated in this shady orchards of a 19th century farm.
Tarrifs starting at €11 and electricity can be purchased for extra.
Described as a hidden gem inside a magnificently calm, century-old tree park. Near the private, uncrowded beach area are numerous trails and bike paths.
Camping Municipal de la Baume
Municipal camping located 200m from the lake and 500m from the river.
Pitches start at €3.30 per day.
Camping Les Myosotis
Renowned for its prime location giving brilliant sunset views over Lake Geneva, this 55 pitch camp site is open all year.
Family pitches start from €13.70
Camping Huttopia Divonne les Bains
Situated on the north-west of the Lake in France, this country campsite offers chalets, bell tents & mobile homes as well as natural pitches. A swimming pool compliments this beautiful wooded site.
Prices start at €15
Camping on the Swiss side
Camping des Cheseaux
High up in the country, surrounded by the Jura, sits this small and almost locals only site, overlooking the lake. There is no shop or bar but it’s all very personable.
Pitches start at 15 CHF.
Camping de Rolle aux Vernes
Right next to Lake Geneva this is a simple but child friendly site with rentable pedalos, ping pong tables, a play park and petanque park. It has 100 pitches so is much bigger than some listed above.
Prices start at 10 CHF
TCS Camping Genève Vésenaz
This site has mixed reviews but I’ve included it because the campsite offers a free public transport ticket with bookings and the bus stop is just 400m away.
Bread is sold at the reception and there is a small shop on this grassy camp site by the lake. The site also benefits from a playground, small pool, trampoline and sandbox.
154 CHF for 7 nights camping standard includes wifi and parking and electricity.
Family pod glamping starting at 455 and rising to 805 CHF for a week.
Website Website only in German, Italian and French
Camping de Vidy
Open all year round, the Vidy Campsite offers camping sites and bungalows for up to 4 people adjacent to Lake Geneva. Nestled into a small site surrounded by trees there’s a shop and a restaurant with quite a big menu.
Camping prices starting at around 26 CHF and bungalows 101 CHF per night
Right next door to the Aquaparc, this camp site has a good reputation for busy families who don’t mind a bit of noise and night life, although the rules here are strict. No larger parties than 5 and no BBQ’s. It benefits from a lakeside plot as well as access to La Petite Camargue Lake.
Prices start from around 25 CHF for camping per night and 800 CHF for a bungalow per week.
Camping de la Maladaire
A cozy campsite on the lake with a small cafe. Pitches for tents and campervans and make sure you book well in advance as it gets full quickly.
Free transport ticket for the region with every booking.
Camping Le Bivouac Ch
A mountainous and rural site with a small restaurant, playground and swimming pool. All pitches surrounded by trees.
Starting at 22.50 CHF for camping per night
Map of Camping Locations: Camping near Lake Geneva
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