Julius Caesar referred to the lake as lacus lemanus in 58 B.C., as he set off from Geneva to combat the Helvetians. Most commonly known as Lake Geneva in English, its French name is Lac Léman.
Formed by the retreat of the Rhone Glacier some 15,000 years ago, Lake Geneva is the largest lake in Western Europe, with a surface area of 583 km2 and a volume of 89 km3. The lake is bisected from east to west by the Rhone River, and its maximum depth is
Passenger transportation on the lake
Transportation via the lake between France and Switzerland is provided all year round by the Compagnie Générale de Navigation or CGN (), which boasts one of the finest fleets of paddle steamers in Western Europe.
Daily links between Lausanne and Evian in 35 minutes. Other French companies offer coastal cruises during the summer months.
The fish of Lake Geneva
The most famous and delicious are undoubtedly the arctic char (whose local name is féra), the perch and the lake trout. But the lake is also home to roach, pike, burbot and crayfish.
The birds of Lake Geneva
Located along an important migration route between the Jura and the Alps, Lake Geneva is a favourite stopover for a great many birds. More than 150,000 birds winter on the lake. Among the lake's sedentary species, one finds the seagull, the black-headed gull, the grey heron, the mallard, the great-crested grebe, the moorhen and, of course, the swan.