Length 8.6 km (5.3 miles), terrain: flat with one easy hill, gain 68 meters
Geneva running routes:
Geneva Old Town / Rive Gauche route
Geneva Rive Droite / UN route
For more running routes, see Route List.
Geneva has so much going for it: a beautiful lakeside, an old town, two rivers, mountains to the east and west, sailboats and steamers gliding past on the lake... You really have to get out and enjoy the water views.
So this run does just that, following the northern shore of the lake, plus an extra turn inland to head through the botanical garden and take a look at the United Nations campus up the hill.
|Rive Droite runner|
So, don't leave out this route if visiting this beautiful town!
We'll start in the heart of downtown, right near the lake, at the Place du Molard, lined with restaurants and the Globus department store. One of the old town-wall towers still stands at the north end of the square.
So turn north, run past the tower and continue over the zebra stripes to the water just a few steps ahead, with its Promenade du Lac.
The waterside Lacustre Restaurant and a water-taxi landing are right there, along the promenade.
NOTE: The yellow water-taxis are part of the Geneva public transportation system, and are included with your visitor's free transport card. Make sure to ride them!
|The waterfront at Molard, with water-taxi|
To get to Rive Droite, we need to cross one of those several bridges to either side. Let's turn left and take the first bridge to that side: it's for pedestrians only, and nice and quiet.
So run along the Promenade du Lac, right next to the water till the bridge, then turn right and cross the Pont des Bergues, with its little defensive fort, L'île Rousseau.
At the far side, turn right and start running along the Rive Droite. Normally you can take a little sidewalk under the next loud street and bridge (Pont du Mont Blanc), but some construction blocked it when I was there last week, so I had to cross at the traffic light above.
|Quai du Mont-Blanc|
|A steamboat heading off for a lake tour|
At the 1-kilometer-mark, you'll pass the next water-taxi landing that connects to Rive Gauche across the lake.
|The lighthouse at night|
You might want to run out to the little lighthouse and take a look!
Now the lakeside takes a turn to the left and you continue northwards along Quai Wilson along the promenade past another marina, with great views to the Alps across the lake during nice weather.
|A runner along Quai Wilson|
|In Parc Mon Repos|
|Greenhouse in the Botanical Garden|
Exit onto Avenue de la Paix, a busy street with a lot of new UN buildings on the other side.
Turn right and continue uphill along Avenue de la Paix, heading under the train tracks at Sécheron station. Right after that, the main UN campus lines the right side behind a stout fence, at the 4-km-mark. This was originally the League of Nations headquarters, the precursor to today's UNO.
|The broken chair|