Updated: Jul 25, 2022
Being in nature makes us feel good. We know that intuitively. The sound of swaying trees in the wind, the touch of dewy grass, the scent of fresh alpine air, the feel of warm sand between the toes... There’s nothing like nature to connect us deeper with ourselves and find peace in our everyday lives.
With exceptional natural beauty right on the doorstep of Geneva, why not take your mindfulness practices outside? Finding your own oasis in a new city will help you form a connection and make it feel like home. Grab a blanket or a cushion and head to the great Swiss outdoors. Here are our favourite al fresco meditation spots in Geneva that will have you chanting ‘om’ in no time.
La Promenade de la Treille
Perched on the hill south of the Old Town of Geneva, La Promenade de la Traille is home to (arguably) the longest bench in the world. Built in 1767, with 180 wooden boards, the bench measures 126 metres and meanders around the chestnut tree-lined square.
Find a sunny spot on the bench for your morning meditation. Sit, breathe and take in the spectacular views of the Salève and Jura mountains in the distance. It is said that when the first bud of a very famous chestnut tree in this promenade blooms, it means that spring has officially arrived in Geneva. When trees talk, we must listen!
Cimetière de Plainpalais
If you’re in the mood for a slightly offbeat spot to meditate in peace, head over to Cimetière de Plainpalais (also locally known as Cimetière de Rois). Yes, it’s a cemetery. Constructed in the 15th century, it’s the final resting place for international luminaries and Genevan personalities such as Jorge Luis Borges, John Calvin, Ernest Ansermet, Frank Martin and Jean Piaget.
A sanctuary of serenity in the heart of a Swiss neighbourhood, it’s a naturally contemplative place to reflect on life, plan for the future or simply be present. Practice mindful walking meditation through the cemetery and stay attuned to the surrounding nature. Life is a beautiful journey. Be grateful for being alive and healthy.
Parc de La Perle du Lac
When the sun’s out, so are the Genevans. You’ll find them sprawled out on their picnic blankets in their favourite lakeside beaches and parks in Geneva. As its name suggests, Perle du Lac Park is the “pearl of the lake”, boasting fantastic views of the cityscape, Lac Léman (also known as Lake Geneva), the Jet d’Eau fountain and Mont Blanc in the background. There’s also a semi-hidden beach nearby where locals love to go.
Come for sunrise or sunset and seek out a conscious corner for your practice, be it on the grass in the park or on the beach. Tune in to all of your senses and observe the changing colours in the sky. Close your meditation with a brave plunge in the glacial water for a natural energy (and mood) boost. Congratulations, you’re officially a local!