Tourist attractions in Evian
Evian-les-Bains is the perfect example of the French Belle Epoque. Its lakeside promenade, beaches, narrow pedestrian streets, terraces, golf course, casino, marina, bustling summer market and remarkable monuments that include the Villa Lumière, the former summer residence of the Lumière family, and the Palais Lumière, the former thermal spa and now a cultural centre.
Discover the secrets of evian water, the town’s history and its prettiest spots on a guided tour with one of the Sport & Culture department’s qualified heritage guides.
The town centre can be easily reached from the Hôtel Royal or Hôtel Ermitage on foot or by funicular railway.
The funicular railway runs free of charge from May to September. The departure station in the town centre is located behind the Palais Lumière.
The discovery of evian mineral water and its benefits by the Marquis de Lessert dates back to 1790.
The Evian Mineral Water Company was created in 1869. Water from the Cachat spring became increasingly popular and was approved by the Academy of Medicine in 1878, receiving an accolade at the Universal Exhibition the same year. This is how the town’s vocation as a spa town came into being.
THE CACHAT SPRING
The Cachat spring – the former Saint Catherine fountain – is the most famous of the many Evian water springs. Built in 1903, as was the pump room opposite, it flows non-stop 365 days of the year at a temperature of 11.6 °C. You can go and taste evian water directly at the spring. It is decorated with a superb mosaic created in 2015 by the Thonon artist Yves Decompoix.
EVIAN THERMAL SPA
Evian is to this day famous for its mineral water which is still used for treatments at Evian’s thermal spa.
By motor boat, sailing boat or on board the historic “La Savoie” ship, what better than a boat ride on Lake Geneva to discover Evian and admire the French and Swiss shores? The Sport & Culture department is able to organise boat trips for guests.
PRÉ CURIEUX WATER GARDENS
This garden is located on the west side of Evian, on the lake. It is a communications unit for wetlands and its exhibition and trail through the grounds present the various water ecosystems. It can only be reached by a solar-powered boat from Evian and the journey itself is enchanting.
Ponds, mountain streams, marshes, damp grassland and deltas. Guided visits take place from May to September.
This remarkable building, located on the lake shore in the heart of the town, is an example of spa town architecture, and in 2007 became Evian’s new Culture & Congress Centre. Each year it hosts leading art exhibitions.
A rich and varied programme presents a variety of themes: paintings, sculptures, photographs… In just a few years, the Palais Lumière has become a leading artistic and cultural centre in the Lake Geneva area. A cultural visit not to be missed by visitors.
2 July to 2 October: “Albert Besnard (1849-1934), Belle Epoque Modernities” in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museum in Nantes.
This sumptuous classic French-style villa inspired by the Renaissance is the former home of the LUMIERE family from Lyon whose sons Louis and Auguste Lumière invented cinematography. It became Evian’s town hall in 1927. Wooden panelling, bronzes, marquetry, natural silk… The “golden lounge”, which has retained much of its original décor, and the entrance hall can be visited on working days.
The Casino was built in 1911 by the architect J.A. Hebrard (who also worked on the Cachat pump room and the Hôtel Royal) on the site of Blonay Castle, bequeathed to the town in 1877 for the creation of a gaming house.
The neo-classical style theatre (1883-1885) was created by an apprentice of Charles Garnier (architect of the Paris Opera house). It can seat 298 and each summer it comes alive again with the Evian Musical Encounters and a series of boulevard comedies during the summer theatre festival.
Each year in December since 2007, the entire town of Evian is adorned with sculptures made of driftwood from Lake Geneva. For three weeks, it is totally transformed and invaded by storytellers, musicians, actors and circus performers… You can and we recommend following their trail to discover the legend of the Driftwood Villagers and immerse yourself in a world that is unique. The Driftwood Village is an original alternative to the Christmas market. A enchanted place where nothing is for sale, where dreams and imagination take over.