‘Pearl of the lake’ – This medieval fortified village was founded in the 14th century on the French side of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). From a simple fishing village in 1900, Yvoire has become today an essential tourist attraction in Haute-Savoie, classed as one of the « Loveliest Villages in France ».
History : For half a century from 1324, the village played an important military role which gave its inhabitants certain rights and privileges. It was during the 16th century that Yvoire was subjected to the fiercest attacks in its history when the top of its ramparts were removed and the castle set on fire by the Bernois; it remained without a roof for 350 years. Great plans to make it into a stronghold of major importance in the 17th century came to nothing and the village was plunged into anonymity, which protected it from any unwelcome changes : for a very long time it was nothing more than a modest farming and fishing village.
Garden of the 5 senses
The Jardin des 5 sens (Garden of the 5 senses) is a key place to visit during a stay in the medieval village. Meticulously designed over more than 30 years, it offers a unique plant world in which each area reveals often-forgotten plant secrets. Visit the garden with 1,500 varieties of plant at your own pace to enjoy an amazing sensory experience.
The garden is made up of 2 parts. One half has garden ‘rooms’ with different themes : an alpine meadow echoing the surrounding Alps, undergrowth with shade-loving plants, a Renaissance-inspired garden and a cloistered arbour for meditation. The lower part of the garden is a maze of 4 small gardens separated by hedge tunnels and staked apple trees, devoted to sight, touch, taste and smell. The 5th sense, hearing, is represented by the sound of trickling water and birdsong.
Some of the attractions of Yvoire :
Guided tours of the medieval centre
Maison de l'Histoire
Domaine de Rovorée - La Châtaignière
De Rive en Rêve : dreams and visions beside the water - Domaine de La Châtaignière
Maze - Jardin des Cinq Sens
Galerie d'art Véronique Ziminski
Cruise aboard the new solar-powered pleasure boat – Aquarel
Cruises around Lac Léman