About 2 hours drive, northeast of Lyon is the city of Nyon in the country of Switzerland. The beauty of France is that it is so close to so many other countries that a few hours drive in a variety of directions will net you Italy, Germany, Spain and of course England via the ‘Chunnel’ – the underwater tunnel that joins England and France.
The cool thing about driving to Nyon is that you have to go through the super diverse city of Geneva to get there. But buyer beware – there is an expensive fee of 40 Swiss Francs that must be paid for an annual vignette that will be applied to the inside of your driver’s side windshield…but you can then drive in and around Switzerland for the year, unless you’re just there for a little bit, then 40 S.Fr. is a good chunk of change ($53 CDN or $40 USD). Another little warning about Switzerland is that it’s expensive as fffff!
Enter Nyon, Switzerland – that shares Lac Léman/Lake Geneva with France – it’s actually kind of weird because you enter through Switz then you’re back in France and then back into Switz again…so onto Nyon, the halfway point between Geneva and Lausanne. Founded in and around 44-50BC, Nyon has been under many a rule including the Celtic Helvetians and everyone’s favourite conquerers; the Romans. It was finally settled under Swiss rule in the 16th c. and the history of Nyon runs deep with landmarks from the old rules that are still visible in and around the city including the Colonia Iulia Equestris – remnants of the old Roman colony/fort or ruins from a Bronze age settlement.
Other highlights include the Nyon Castle, an amazing boardwalk and a port with views of neighbouring France across the water and also beside…it’s so weird trying to explain the layout of this part of Switz! Any way, make sure you go up to the Nyon Castle and out to the large back terrace – you get a panoramic view of the building tops, lake and land across & it truly is breathtaking and a treat to see and learn about another historical city in an intersting bi-country setting.