19: Rolle to Coppet

The lake is not for everyone



We divided the course into several sections to make it easier to see. For each section, the maps show the course, the slopes found on the course, and the state of the roads. The courses were drawn on the “Wikilocs” platform. Today, it is no longer necessary to walk around with detailed maps in your pocket or bag. If you have a mobile phone or tablet, you can easily follow routes live.

For this stage, here is the link:


It is obviously not the case for all pilgrims to be comfortable with reading GPS and routes on a laptop, and there are still many places in France without an Internet connection. Therefore, you can find a book on Amazon that deals with this course.

If you only want to consult lodging of the stage, go directly to the bottom of the page.

The lake must remain accessible to all. The general public naively believes that there is a law for this kind of business. Nay! what the law says, on the stepping stone of 1926? It expressly says: “On all the shores of lakes of Geneva, Neuchâtel, Morat, Joux, Brenet, and Bret, it must be left, along the bank and over a width of 2 meters, a space free of any construction or other obstacle to traffic, for the towing of boats and boats, the passage or step of the boatmen and their helpers, either for all other needs of navigation as well as those of fishing”. But the law only applies in favor of boatmen and fishermen, because the owners of riparian funds who are burdened with this restriction can oppose other people using it and entering their properties. if not permitted by law.

Because the general public confuses running board and walking. However, there is no law for walking, in other words on the right of passage of pedestrians at the edge of the lake. In other words, the right does not give a right of access to the public on private plots. The riverside route must be created by creating public rights of way. And this fact is the domain of the communes and the city councilors. Thus, from Lausanne to Rolle, generous municipalities have offered extended access to boatmen, fishermen and walkers. From Rolle to Geneva, the municipalities have instead favored the expansion of the rich and their properties, a welcome source of large taxes, limiting public access to the lake as much as possible. All this to tell you that today you will see the lake from the heights. Obviously, everyone understands that it is not a question of making tracks covered with roses for pilgrims and walkers. There are economic and geopolitical realities, we understand. But the many weekend hikers are not far from thinking like us…

Difficulty of the course: Slope variations (+217 meters/-217 meters) are still derisory today. Come on! Let’s say it’s flat, almost all flat.

It will be, alas, an almost complete day on the tarmac. What do you want? It is a fairly dense population region:

  • Paved roads: 20.4 km
  • Dirt roads: 9.5 km

Sometimes, for reasons of logistics or housing possibilities, these stages mix routes operated on different days, having passed several times on Via Podiensis. From then on, the skies, the rain, or the seasons can vary. But, generally this is not the case, and in fact this does not change the description of the course.

It is very difficult to specify with certainty the incline of the slopes, whatever the system you use.

For “real slopes”, reread the mileage manual on the home page.


We have divided the route into several sections, to facilitate visibility. For each section, the maps give the route, the slopes found on the route and the state of Via Jacobi.

Section 1: A short passage on the quays before the countryside.


General overview of the difficulties of the route : course without any difficulty.


Via Jacobi starts today from Rolle Castle. This XIIIth century medieval castle, remodeled in the XVIth century, now houses most of the communal activities.
It runs along the magnificent flowery bank and large boulders to the port. Enjoy it, because the lake is over for today.
A stone’s throw from the shore floats Harp Island, which has little more space than a few tall trees.
At the end of the quay, Via Jacobi arrives near the pier and continues its route to the marina. Here, Nyon is announced at 4 hours’ walk.
Via Jacobi then slopes up towards the RN1, the Swiss Route, at the exit of the town. This road is the main axis, which with the highway runs from Lausanne to Geneva.

Here, the track is badly indicated, there is only a shell that has lost its color but you have to cross the RN1 road and slope up the small road that leaves into the suburbs.

Quickly, you will leave the suburbs.
As soon as you leave the suburbs, you quickly find the vines that will accompany you for a large part of the day.
But people don’t just grow vines here. There is also corn, fruit trees and vegetable crops.
A little further on, the small road passes under the railway line and continues towards the highway, which you can hear rumbling in the distance.
But, Via Jacobi does not go to the highway. It takes a smaller road that turns at right angles and runs into the countryside.
You are close to the noisy highway and the train which is no less and which circulates here at high speed.
Shortly after, the road approaches an undergrowth and the dirt takes the place of the tar.
In the undergrowth, where the spruces try in vain to compete with the beeches and maples, the pathway crosses the little stream of Gillière.
Coming out of the woods, it’s tar and corn again.
Via Jacobi will then flatten between corn and fruit trees, near the highway.
When you’ll see the high way rest area in front of you, the road will fork to find En Convers station.

Section 2: Among the winegrowers of La Côte.


General overview of the difficulties of the route: course without any difficulty.

The road then quickly arrives at the small station of En Convers, a station that must be used a lot by local market gardeners.
Via Jacobi passes under the railway line and runs through a small semi-industrial area.
Further on, it arrives near a roundabout where the symbolism of the winegrower is essential. In the canton of Vaud there are two major wine regions, the Lavaux between Vevey and Lausanne, and the Coast, in all this region that the route crosses today.
The wine-growing village of Bursinel is just down the road. But of course, it’s not just winegrowers who live here on the coast.
In the middle of the village, a road descends through the vineyards to the lake. In the days of great weather, the show here is worth the trip.

The road passes in front of the castle, a building from the beginning of the XIXth century, hidden under the trees in a large park. We know that Churchill smoked a few cigars here.

Further ahead, the road runs through the center of the village, in a country where the vine and the winegrowers are omnipresent, and where everything breathes clean.

You would put your suitcases here, right?

The entrance to Dully is indicated as soon as you leave Bursinel and the two villages are contiguous. You’ll walk still on the wine hillside.
Dully is an extended village, from the lake to two of its hamlets which are St Bonnet and Bourg d’Amont. The road first runs through St Bonnet. Here too, you navigate between winegrowers’ houses and prestigious villas.
Along the recent villas, the road passes further to Bourg d’Amont.
Further on, the road reaches the center of the village of Dully.

It passes near the garden of the castle, which is in fact only a very large manor house, the view of which moves away from the gaze of passers-by. It is a double XVth century castle transformed since the XIXth century into a Gothic part and the other in Renaissance style. It is private property.

Now let’s move on to another time of the year, in early spring when the leaves begin to grow on the trees.

The road descends into the fields, after having made a detour towards the bottom of the village.

Further down, Via Jacobi fairly quickly reaches the undergrowth of La Lignière on a small road. Here the wild grass runs in a humid undergrowth where small streams frolic.
It first finds the Dullive brook which it crosses.
Shortly after, it slopes up beyond the bridge a hundred meters before finding a pathway that slopes down back to the Dullive brook.
There, the pathway finds a bridge where the Lavasson stream empties into the Dullive brook.
The pathway then undulates through the deciduous undergrowth, along the Lavasson brook, which it will follow on the side of the hill, to the exit of the wood. The beeches here reach impressive heights. You also see some oaks and some spruces emerging.
Shortly after, at a place called Les Hiboux, the pathway leaves the stream, climbs a little more and widens on compact dirt.

Section 3: The bleak crossing of Gland before another small miracle of nature and men.


General overview of the difficulties of the route: course without any difficulty.

The pathway still stays a bit in the forest, before finding the fruit trees along the undergrowth.
Here, the pathway will alternate between grass and dirt, through orchards, vineyards and fruit trees before reaching the nearby suburb of Gland. In good weather, Mont Blanc is right in front of you in the eternal snow.
Take advantage here of the magnificent panorama opened on the vineyard and the lake, from the Alps to the Jura, because the crossing of Gland will not offer you only joy and pleasure.
Much further, Via Jacobi arrives at Gland in the Montoly district.
Two words about Gland. Today it is a city of more than 13,000 inhabitants, which has grown like a mushroom in recent decades. The small original town has grown to accommodate the many commuters who work in the Geneva basin. It is also a region of refuge for the great stars of the people, artists and renowned sportsmen. You won’t see these people prowling near the station. Moreover, the richest of them live near the lake, in a region rarely accessible to walkers.

A road then runs through the characterless suburbs until it arrives at the station.

Pay close attention here! Do not go under the station. The track has been changed. In the past, Via Jacobi passed on the other side of the railway tracks, passed through the large suburbs then reached the Côte aerodrome before reaching Prangins. It was quite a boring course, using mostly roads with occasional traffic.

Thanks to the organizers of Via Jacobi 4 for suggesting a better route. But, they could still have put a panel that is hardly bigger than a pocket square. If you don’t know where the course is going, you can be easily mistaken.

Via Jacobi follows the railway line for a few hundred meters, in an industrial area, not very cheerful.
But as it is blocked by the industrial zone, it makes a detour towards the meadows.
At the end of a fairly long straight line, it turns at a right angle and returns towards the railway line.
It then runs along the railway line to find itself at the edge of the woods at Chemin des Toblerones, officially named “the fortified line of the Promenthouse”, erected between 1937 and 1941, for the defense of the country. The name Toblerones is due to the resemblance of these concrete teeth to the chocolates of the same name. More than 2,500 anti-tank concrete blocks were introduced from the lake to the Jura, isolating Geneva, which was considered indefensible. A track still runs on this long section of more than 10 kilometers. It’s beautiful and magical here.
It is then a good kilometer of walk along these walls from another age that nature has colonized with moss and ivy.
The pathway thus runs under the beeches, slightly overhanging the river, sometimes visible under the trees, sometimes calm, often a little more agitated.
Further on, the pathway heads to the Guigier module farm, at a place called Les Avouillons. This large farm dates back to the origin at the end of the XIXth century.
The walk along the toblerones ends when the pathway arrives at the electricity plant of the Coast, at the level of the Swiss Road.
Here Via Jacobi passes under the bridge and climbs by stairs at road level. Be very careful here, because you will be tempted to follow the yellow arrow. No, because this is the direction of Via Jacobi 3. Via Jacobi 4, on the contrary, starts in the other direction over the bridge.

Section 4: A very small piece of lake and a beautiful castle.


General overview of the difficulties of the route: course without any difficulty.

Beyond the bridge over the Promentouse River, Via Jacobi follows the Swiss Route for a hundred meters before branching off again towards the undergrowth.
It is then again a gentle stroll on a pathway that winds under the hardwoods, close to the river, which is no longer visible here.
The pathway passes close to the Domaine Impérial golf course. Here, there is for wild nature lovers, a discovery trail which is not yours.
Via Jacobi stays a little longer in the undergrowth before landing on the wide plain among the market gardeners of Promenthoux.
Further afield, a road then leads to the large Priory complex in Promenthoux.
It bypasses the large complex, an assembly of farms and a large patrician residence.
In fact, it’s all that remains of a village that no longer exists today and which enjoyed hours of glory in the Middle Ages, with its priory. But, the leftovers are wonderful.
The road then runs briefly by the lake. Take advantage of this, as this is the only time on the trail where you walk near the lake. You have been warned that from Rolle to Geneva the lake does not belong to walkers but to promoters.
Beyond the lake, the road slopes up gently in the meadows where sometimes beautiful patrician residences are hidden. Quickly, you’ll see Prangins Castle.
Further on, the road reaches the first houses of Prangins, a little above the lake, near a psychiatric clinic lost in the trees. Here you are a 40-minute walk to Nyon.
Via Jacobi then heads towards the castle perched on a small hill.
Following the steep slope up the hill, tourism organizers are proud to announce here that Mozart stopped at Prangins on his journey through Switzerland, where he gave many recitals.
There was here since the Middle Ages a fortress belonging to the Dukes of Savoy which disappeared over the centuries. In 1723, the estate was acquired by the Parisian banker, of Swiss origin, Louis Guiguer, who built the current castle. Even Voltaire lived here during his exile. The castle then passed for a long time into patrician hands. In 1974, the estate was restored and offered to the Swiss Confederation to make it a national museum, evoking life in Switzerland in the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries, as well as themes of art, culture and society.
Via Jacobi then runs along the vegetable garden where heirloom vegetables are grown to reach the center of the borough (4,000 inhabitants), with a center and charming alleys.
It then slopes down along the old houses of the village to slope up on the other side, in the middle of new and opulent housing estates, protected from view by thick barriers of cedars cut as if to go to Sunday mass.

Section 5: Crossing Nyon before returning to the countryside.


General overview of the difficulties of the route: course without any difficulty.

Prangins and Nyon are almost contiguous. However, here a few rare vines dominating the lake mark the transition.
A small road descends shortly after to rejoin the railway line.
Further afield, a narrow-paved road runs along the railway track, to descend a little more a little further.
Down, the pathway leaves the track for a moment to cross a road on the side of the Asse stream and slope up just as much towards the station.
Shortly after, Via Jacobi then heads towards the station along the railway tracks.
Pilgrims will only know the station district of Nyon (20,000 inhabitants), unless they stop here. Nyon is still more oriented towards Geneva than towards Lausanne. Many inhabitants work in Geneva.

Via Jacobi therefore runs in front of the station and continues along the railway line to the inner suburbs.

It will soon leave the railway line and the villas in the suburbs to reach a little undergrowth.
There, in the undergrowth, flows the small Boiron of Nyon River, to distinguish it from the Boiron of Morges River.
A steep dirt road slopes up beyond the river in the undergrowth.
The pathway emerges from the woods and flattens to the locality of Bois-Bougy and its large farm.
It is above all market gardening and cultivation that is practiced here, when it is not viticulture on the hillsides plunging onto the lake. Here we raise the horse. Cattle are rare, except that horses are raised.
Beyond Bois-Bougy a straight road flattens along the undergrowth.
At the end of the straight line, Via Jacobi heads off at a right angle onto a dirt road in the Bois Neuf.
Further ahead, a small forest pathway crosses the wood. Here, it should be noted, there are more oaks than beeches, which are most often present as shoots. There are also spruces in this large forest, very pleasant to cross.

Section 6: In the Vaud countryside.


General overview of the difficulties of the route: course without any difficulty.

At the exit of the wood, Via Jacobi finds the paved road back.

It crosses the scattered houses of Bois Neuf. It is almost always so. The richest arrive first and they have beautiful homes with a view over the lake. The others will be content with new housing estates in the plain, without any view of the lake, but of the Jura mountains opposite.
Further on, the road passes between the vines and the new housing estate, bypassing it, on the Jura side.
At the exit of the housing estate, Via Jacobi leaves at right angles on a pavement in the direction of Crans.
Crans is a stone’s throw away, in the meadows.
At the entrance to the village, do not be surprised. Via Jacobi 4 turns left towards the castle, as there is another track that runs to the right.
It runs along a large quadrangle of greenery…
…before passing in front of the castle esplanade. Built at the end of the XVIIIth century, it was later restored. Classified as cultural property of national importance, the castle is the seat of a vast wine estate.
Via Jacobi then heads towards the village. Crans is a charming and harmonious little village, with many old houses and beautiful fountains. On a small plateau, the village, perched on the hillsides covered with vines, overlooks the lake. Of winegrower origin, these villages are increasingly invaded by people working in the Geneva basin.
On leaving the village, Via Jacobi takes the direction of Céligny on the road, discreetly crossing the little stream of Nant de Pry, lost in the wild grass.
A small strip of land has been drawn at the edge of the road until you find a small pathway that threads behind a hedge.
It’s not that the traffic is heavy, but this little pathway, very short, allows you to avoid the road, and above all to remember that above there is a magnificent lake which you hardly take advantage of.
The pathway joins the road at the entrance to Céligny, passes in front of Garengo Castle. The castle looks like a XVIIth century mansion, surrounded by gardens and crossed by the small Brassu stream. Next door is another mansion, the Petit Elysée, where the Russian pianist Nigita Magaloff lived. All these residences are considered cultural assets of national importance.
Céligny is very special. It’s quite anachronistic, but it’s still an isolated part of the canton of Geneva in the canton of Vaud. And to make it even stronger, one of these enclaves also includes a piece of the lake. This is the whole history of Switzerland, with all the divisions that have operated over time.

Here, as often on the course, the large patrician houses, nestled at the bottom of the parks, remain protected behind the railings.

Even for the less fortunate, the village has a lot of charm, in the middle of the stone fountains, present in abundance throughout the region, most of the time with undrinkable water.

The Brassu stream is also visible in the village. Formerly the village, but also all those in the region, was exclusively agricultural or vinicultural. But Geneva is just a stone’s throw away. As a result, over the years they have become more and more residential.

Further ahead, Via Jacobi leaves Céligny, heads to the cemeteries, because there are two, the new and the old.
A small narrow pathway then descends to visit Le Brassu brook and immediately climb back up on logs under the beeches. The passage is very brief.

Section 7: Gradual return to the lake.


General overview of the difficulties of the route: course without any difficulty.

At the top of the stairs, the pathway runs through the grass along the undergrowth.
Shortly after, it reaches Bossey estate Castle, a former XVIIIth century mansion.
Madame de Staël, living in Coppet Castle, bought this castle for her son, and the residence passed over the centuries through many hands, later even becoming a college for young American girls, a camp for Poles during the Second World War and again. an ecumenical center. Today, while still an ecumenical center, it is a conference center, hotel and restaurant. The estate is surrounded by calm and tranquility in a huge park, near a tiny pond.
Beyond the estate, a wide pathway runs around part of the walls of the property.
At the exit of the property, near what looks like an old guard tower, today more like a manor house, there is a direction sign where you have to pay attention. You are going to Coppet, it is true, but in no case follow the direction of Coppet. Always follow Via Jacobi 4 and not the alternative which also leads to Coppet.
A wide avenue of dirt then descends gently between two leafy hedges. It descends until it forks out of the trees into the countryside.
Shortly after, the dirt road turns at right angles in the meadows, today the rapeseed fields which are barely rising, and the fruit trees.

On the stretch, the view is beautiful over the lake and the Alps.

Further on, Via Jacobi turns again at a right angle, this time on a tarmacked road.
The road then arrives at Founex.
It crosses Founex for its entire length. You will quickly realize that it is a big borough. It has 3,800 inhabitants, and it is a safe bet that the vast majority of the inhabitants do not live from the countryside or the vineyards but work in Geneva.
Telling you that there are fountains in the village, now you are used to it. Some date from the XVIIIh century.
But it’s not just the water that flows in the village, the wine too.
At the exit of Founex, you leave for a game which will bring you little pleasure.
Shortly after, you will find a sign telling you that you are in Coppet. But make no mistake, you are not there yet, at least still very far from the center of the borough. Via Jacobi will make a detour first towards Commugny.
You will therefore always walk straight on the sidewalk of the Route du Jura.
Further, you’ll walk along the college of Terre Sainte, which must include all the municipalities of the region, to see its importance.

Section 8: Back to the lake.



General overview of the difficulties of the route: course without any difficulty.


Beyond the college, Via Jacobi enters Commugny, passing near the college sports complex.
The road slopes up to the center of the village, near the church square.
The current church is a reconstruction of the XVth century, on an old Romanesque church. Originally dedicated to St Christopher, the church is now a reformed temple. It is as sober on the inside as it is on the outside.
Via Jacobi continues straight and does not go to Coppet. If you go to Coppet, you will come back here for the next stage. Here, a direction gives you the port of Coppet, 20 minutes from here. Because, it is necessary to stop one day, after such a long stage and that the accommodations are not present every meter.
The route to Coppet starts behind the church.
Sloping down to Coppet, the road crosses the little Doye stream.
Shortly after, the small road joins the road coming from Founex and arrives at Coppet station. Here you are less than 10 minutes to Coppet and the lake.
Going down to the lake, the road crosses the castle, which acquired great notoriety when Necker, finance minister of Louis XVI bought it. On his death, the castle became the place of residence of his daughter, Madame de Staël, who took refuge here, condemned to exile by Napoleon. And Coppet then became for some time a center of cultural life and resistance to Napoleon. All of this disappeared as if by magic when Madame de Staël died in 1817.
Coppet (3,100 inhabitants), whose feet plunge into the lake, is a very beautiful borough with its arcades, its historic houses, some dating back to the XVIth century, its temple which is an old Gothic church.

And then you found the lake back.


Lodging on Via Jacobi

Guestroom, breakfast Eliane Turn, Ch. Peccaudès 6 021 824 10 03
Hotel***, dinner, breakfast Auberge de Dully, Place du Village 9 021 824 11 49
Gîte, cuisine Gîte communal, Chemin de Montoly 1 079 578 01 57
Hotel*, dinner, breakfast Hotel de la Plage, Ch. de la Falaise 3 022 364 10 35
Hotel***, dinner, breakfast Hotel Glanis, Route de Begnins 2 022 354 16 20
Accueil jacquaire, dinner, breakfast Famille Andrey, Route du Curson 19a 022 362 04 82/077 496 33 53
Hotel*, dinner, breakfast Auberge communale 022 361 25 75
Hotel***, dinner, breakfast Hotel La Barcarolle, Route de Promenthoux 022 365 78 78
Accueil jacquaire, dinner, breakfast David Kohler, Ch. des Saules 10B 076 379 38 55
Guestroom,  breakfast B&B Baumgartner Vreni, Avenue du Bois-Bougy 9 022 361 25 03
Guestroom, breakfast B&B Bussy, Route de l’Etraz 34B 022 566 19 70/078 734 78 91
Guestroom, breakfast B&B Baumgartner Samuel, Ch. Du Bois Bougy 4 022 361 34 52/079 242 80 66
Hotel, dinner, breakfast Nyon Hostel, Chemin des Plantaz 47 022 888 12 60
Accueil œcuménique Château de Bossey 022 960 73 00
Accueil jacquaire, dinner, breakfast Carlos Conza, Route de Céligny 6B 079 785 10 84
Hotel, dinner, breakfast Auberge de Founex, Grand rue 31 022 776 10 29
Accueil jacquaire, dinner, breakfast Bernard et Claire Nicolet, Route de Founex 4 022 776 12 08
Hotel, dinner, breakfast Motel Le Léman, Route de Genève 11, Commugny 022 776 25 21
Hotel**, dinner, breakfast Hotel- restaurant Guillaume Tell, Route de Divonne 10, Commugny 022 778 11 67/079 436 72 19
Hotel**, dinner, breakfast Hotel d’Orange, Grand Rue 61, Coppet 022 776 10 37
I’s difficult to find accommodation at the end of the stage.  You can stop at Commugny if you do not want to go to Coppet.  Book anyway for security.
Feel free to add comments. This is often how you move up the Google hierarchy, and how more pilgrims will have access to the site.
Next stage: Stage 20: From Coppet to Geneva
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