Refreshing in Evian-les-bains
Article & Photography by Michael Morcos
Evian-les-Bains, also known as just Evian, is most famous for the curative property of the waters and the bottled water it exports around the world. But the area offers more than a drink, as it is filled with enough history, luxury and Haut-couture to captivate any world traveller. Modern facilities are placed side by side with hundred year-old buildings, creating a wonderful mix to enjoy.
Any visit would be incomplete without tasting Evian water from the source!
We drank from a fountain in the city. The water comes from the Alps and is said to filter naturally through the mountain rocks and soil for over 15 years. Evian water is processed at a nearby factory and gets all its water from one of the many natural sources. Not far away we could see the mountain used for the iconic Evian water logo label!
Evian has also built its reputation on the healing properties of their springs. Created in December 1859, the Cachat mineral waters SA (Société Anonyme des Eaux Minérales de Cachat) began the transformation of this small town into a spa-center. Nowadays, the spas in town are filled with top of the line equipment, and a new health center for therapeutic message and cleansing of the body.
Due to these spas and Evian’s location, the town has become a hotspot for the rich and famous, as witnessed by the stylish boutiques, restaurants, wine shops and the Evian town hall, which is a marvellous stone building that rivals any in Paris! The Palais Lumiere Evian is another grand old building that once served as a spa, but has now been turned into a museum. Aside from the spas and waters, there is also a full casino where the rich come to play in luxury cars and amazing yachts anchored in the port!
On top of everything, there is also good outdoor fun, including downhill skiing, swimming and hiking. Once you are tired out, enjoy a lovely trip on an old clog train that starts at the bottom of the town and takes people to almost the highest point in town. It is offered for free and is a wonderful way to take in the view of the entire city and its lake.
There is also a short (all electric) boat ride which tours a reclaimed natural water garden built on a lot that was once the property of a wealthy Parisian banker. The garden is a true example of how nature can take care of itself when left alone. If you are lucky, you can also enjoy a Farmer’s market and feast on fabulous wines, sausages and French fromages!
This small and charming town sits on the shores of Lac Geneva (the French call it Lac Leman). Evian is situated in a perfect spot in Europe, as it is across the lake from Lausanne, Switzerland, home of the Olympic committee (IOC), and has a ferry crossing that operates all day between the two countries. Another short trip and visitors can find their way to Geneva as well!
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