Trip from Geneva to Pays de Gex, France
Created in 1996, the Pays de Gex community is a group of 26 French communes extending from Belgrade-sur-Valserine southwest of Geneva to Divonne-les-Bains which is 5 minutes from the Coppet exit of Swiss A1 motorway.
Probably the most important and popular tourist town in the Pays de Gex is:
For lovers of history and literature a visit to Ferney Voltaire is highly recommended. After years of wandering throughout Europe, the writer and philosopher, Voltaire, chose to settle in the hamlet Fernex. At the beginning of the 18th century, Fernex was a quiet country hamlet with 100 inhabitants. Between 1757 and 1778 Voltaire developed a new town, according to his personal vision and wrote what are considered to be his most thought-provoking and important works. In 1999, the State acquired Voltaire’s residence, the Château de Ferney, the place where Voltaire lived and wrote so much in defense of Human Rights. Guided tours are organised by the Tourist Office during the summer months for individuals and at other times with advance reservation.
Atelier du Livre
At the Atelier du Livre at 26 Grand Rue one can discover the art of printing in the 18th century via a reconstructed wooden press of the type which might have used to print the first edition of Candide. The “book workshop” is open between January and April and from October to December. Guided tours are available, but only French.
The Geneva F bus has stops at the Ferney Voltaire mayor’s office and at the Voltaire Château. By car use the route de Ferney. The trip will take about 20 minutes from downtown Geneva.
There is a modest selection of modern hotels in and around Ferney Voltaire. The Park & Suties Elegance is 10 minutes from downtown Geneva, has an outdoor swimming pool, satellite TV and free shuttle service to the Geneva airport if needed. Be prepared to pay around Euros 130 per night for a double room.
In winter, the Monts Jura is a popular local family ski resort with peaks ranging from 1000m to 1540 meters and slopes for all abilities.
Most of the Pays de Gex communes offer cheap bus service to this ski area and transportation to the different stations within the resort is free.
In the ski area almost every kind of accommodation can be found. However, during the winter season it is often necessary to book well in advance. This may be a good time to try out the French gite, a rural furnished French home offering self-catering accommodation. L’Etable in Lélex is a well rated establishment 300 meters from the ski lift and across the street from childcare facilities. Prices range from Euros 550 - 750 per week.