This spa town founded between the shores of Lake Geneva and the Chablais Alps experienced its golden age with the development of balneology, still a major attraction here today.
The history of Evian-les-Bains
A simple fishing village until the 18th century, Evian underwent a ‘revolution’ with the discovery of the Gabriel Cachat spring and became Evian-les-Bains thanks to the mineral water at the root of its world-renowned reputation. The town thus expanded outside of its medieval walls to host the thousands of people who flooded here to take the waters, with hotels and villas appearing one after another to give this territory a new identity that lies at the root of its charm today. After the Belle Epoque, Evian became a small sized town that has drawn on its prestigious history to become a popular tourist destination.
The town centre and the shores of Lake Geneva
Although the hyper centre with its pedestrian street and its side streets is mainly composed of apartment buildings, a large number of villas can still be seen on Boulevard Jean Jaurès and Avenue de la Gare. The lakeside is scattered with large villas and comfortable buildings facing the waterside promenade and the marina, the second largest on Lake Geneva. Numerous architectural styles can be seen in Evian: classic French style with villas in the form of small châteaux adorned with various ornamental features, Italian Renaissance style with its rectangular buildings and wrought iron railings, regionalist style inspired by an array of territories, and Art Deco style from the 20s-40s with its more refined buildings. Many hotels have been transformed into co-ownerships and feature apartments with great character, including the Hôtel du Parc where the Évian Accords were signed in 1962, now the Résidence du Parc with a magnificent garden. The external environment in Evian is immaculately kept, public spaces are kept impeccably clean and the town is regularly rewarded for the quality of its flower features.
Living in Evian: a dynamic town
Evian has much to offer and can stake its name as a town where activities are never lacking, in addition to the events held throughout the year. The municipal infrastructure are of the highest quality: multimedia library, sports halls, parks, etc., and there is no shortage of shops and restaurants with a variety of cuisine served. The Palais Lumière, opened in 2005, has become a major cultural centre and hosts exhibitions by international artists (Picasso, Rodin, Chaplin, etc.). The town council has several revitalisation projects scheduled and plans to renovate the Buvette Cachat, formerly the town’s central point during the Belle Epoque. The train station close to the town centre runs a weekly TGV service direct to Paris and the pier in the town centre provides access to Lausanne in 35 minutes.