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Vaud Area Guide

Buying properties in Vaud

Those who want easy airport access and good international schools generally choose Geneva or along the lake, Lausanne has a richer cultural scene and more authentically Swiss feel. For those who want space and lawns that lead down to the lake, ‘La Côte’ between Nyon and Lausanne in the Vaud canton is better for affordability, tax and it is still within easy reach of Geneva.

Buying, owning or selling properties in the Vaud

The region immediately surrounding Montreux alongside Lake Geneva and certain nearby ski resorts are designated as a ‘holiday zone’ so this means that a non-resident may buy in this area. The rest of the canton however, does not permit a purchase without a residents permit.

Living in Vaud

Lake Geneva, the bluest of Switzerland’s lakes, is ringed with villages, castles and stunning landscape. This is wine country, with vineyards covering the gentle hills that rise directly from the lake shore, the most famous being the steeply terraced Lavaux vineyards. The Lavaux is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Genteel small towns such as Nyon and Vevey, either side of Lausanne, offer a soothing lifestyle. And in welcome contrast, nearby Montreux, with its opulent villas and world famous jazz festival, offers a glittering and vibrant outlook.

Whilst the area surrounding Nyon is famous for the larger estates within the entitled ‘La Côte’ area, the area around Vevey and Montreux is referred to as The Riviera, due to the micro climate and palm trees that grow around the lake path. The lakeside villages of Mies, Founex and Coppet are most in demand as they offer ease of access into Geneva, plus the advantages of lakeside living.

Its capital, Lausanne, is a welcoming and cosmopolitan city, more a centre of intellectual and cultural life than of banking or business. It is clearly much loved by its university students and its residents, who enjoy the scenic views of the lake and surrounding alpine scenery.


There are numerous excellent public and international schools within Lausanne and in the surrounding Vaud communities including Aiglon in the resort of Villars-sur-Ollon, St. George’s School in Clarens and La Rosey in Rolle, one of Switzerland’s most prestigious boarding schools.

A defining feature of Lausanne is its international student population, attracted by Switzerland’s most prestigious university, the Federal Institute of Technology. Lausanne is also home to numerous excellent private schools such as The International School, Champitet School, GEM at Etoy and Ecole Nouvelle.


Skiing, horse riding, golf (courses at: Lausanne, Lavaux, Gland and Bougy), sailing, water skiing, hiking – there are some especially beautiful trails through the Lavaux vineyards that stretch along the southern-facing shore of Lake Geneva.


Home to CHUV (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois) arguably the most famous hospital in Switzerland and numerous prestigious private clinics: Cecil, Bois Cerf, La Scource and Montchoisi.


Lausanne is an important centre for art and entertainment with a worldwide reputation for dance (especially the ballet troupe directed by Maurice Béjart), theatre and music. As well as a thriving underground arts and club scene. The municipality of Vidy, part of Lausanne, houses the International Olympic Committee – making it the world capital of the Olympic movement, whilst Nyon houses the Headquarters of UEFA. Montreux is the most frequented resort on Lake Geneva. Its sumptuous palaces and villas are reminiscent of the French Riviera. A truly vibrant and important cultural city it hosts many festivals and major world events.


Overland: Switzerland is well connected by high-speed trains, famous for their cleanliness and efficiency, from across Europe.

By air: Geneva is the most convenient international airport approximately 29km away.

Lausanne boasts its own private international airport about 30km.

(All distances are approximate)

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