What better way to while away a summer afternoon than wandering through the spectacular vineyards of the UNESCO heritage Lavaux region. Located between Lausanne and Vevey, on the northern shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, it's one of the best known wine producing regions in Switzerland. Covering 800 hectares, Lavaux is the largest contiguous vineyard region in Switzerland, and its daringly constructed hillside terraces have been protected by UNESCO since 2007. Here the steep slopes, charming stone farmhouses and terraced vineyards with stone walls dating back to medieval times, rise up high over the lake, requiring courage and stamina from hikers, tourists and workers alike. The effort is well worth it for the panoramic lake views with mountain backdrop.
Wine has been produced in Lavaux since Roman times but the famous terraces were first built by Benedictine and Cistercian monks during the eleventh century. Despite the use of very modern production techniques, the vineyards are not irrigated nor are many chemicals used, part of the reason the area has earned its UNESCO World Cultural heritage distinction in 2007. In these picturesque villages with their steep slopes and ancient stone walls, you might feel that time has stood still for centuries.