Place of Exception


Discovering Thonon-les-bains

Thonon, a city of all tones. A spa town and water sports resort, Thonon-les-Bains cultivates a unique art of living.

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Ideally situated on the shores of Lake Geneva and close to the Alpine peaks, the city flourishes in a privileged setting that has no shortage of good places to eat, be entertained, and explore the surrounding nature. To the delight of its inhabitants and visitors alike.

The History of the town of Thonon-les-bains

The third largest town in Haute-Savoie after Annecy and Annemasse with 35,739 inhabitants. Thonon-les-Bains experienced a boom during the Belle Époque. Attached to France in 1860, the former city of the Duchy of Savoy interested Napoleon III, who had the fortifications along the upper town destroyed, the port of Rives developed as we know it today and the funicular built to link the upper town to the lower town on the lake shore. The pride of Thonon, this funicular is the only one in Europe to have a curved route and the second in the world with the San Francisco funicular whose vehicles cross each other in a curve. The development of thermalism also dates from this period. Hotels and restaurants flourished to welcome summer visitors in a postcard setting. Renowned for treating rheumatological and digestive system problems and for joint rehabilitation, the Thonon thermal baths still welcome nearly 3,000 people every year and you can help yourself to natural mineral water at the "Champignon de la Versoie" fountain. 

Thonon, a town full of assets

Ideally located between the lake and the mountains, Thonon-les-Bains offers around forty water sports on the lake or in white water on the Dranse. It is even the first town to have obtained the highest level of labelling from "France Station nautique 4 étoiles". A small paradise which can be summed up as "summer on the water, winter on the slopes" because the first ski resorts, Thollon-les-Mémises and Bernex, are accessible in a few minutes, and less than an hour for Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz. The inhabitants of Thonon and the region love to take advantage of this privileged natural setting by walking or cycling on the many developed paths. This is an opportunity to discover architectural gems. From the castle of Ripaille, on the way to the picturesque fishing village on the banks of the lake, to the upper town to admire the church of Saint-Hippolyte and, next to it, the basilica of Saint-François-de-Sales. We invite you to read our article on the marina of Port Ripaille.

In addition to its natural and heritage assets, Thonon is also a dynamic economic centre. Because of its proximity to Switzerland: every morning, about 5,000 cross-border workers take the boat to go to Lausanne and as many go to Geneva by road. And by the presence of large companies such as Thales, Danone and Eaux d'Évian, which enhance the value of the region. Finally, and this is less well known, Thonon is the largest professional fishing port on Lake Geneva.

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