Private Thonon

Water, fountains, castles, churches and chapels, hamlets, verdant areas and vineyards are as many secret attractions of a city taking care of its heritage.


Ripaille castle - Thonon
Ripaille castleRipaille castle


Ripaille castle


On the shores of Lake Geneva, Château de Ripaille majestically takes centre stage among the vineyards. Originally, in the XIIIth century, it is just a wooden lodge on hunting grounds of the Counts of Savoy. In 1431, Amédée VIII Duke of Savoy builds a palace comprising 7 towers surrounded by a large park and protected by a port and galleys. This castle becomes the midpoint of a busy and a great life. Painters, musicians, writers can meet kings, princes and cardinals who come to visit the Duke of Savoy. People enjoy the wine of Ripaille and eat well.



Ripaille port - Thonon
Ripaille port


Ripaille port

It is the secret side of Thonon: a small lakeside town is hidden between Ripaille forest and the Dranse river delta.






Saint-Bon chapel - Thonon
Saint-Bon chapelSaint-Bon chapel


Chapels, fountains and washing places

Chapels, fountains and washing places can be found everywhere in the city. They give Thonon its very spirit. The city does deserve its designation as city of "waters". In the summertime, 25 fountains, 8 washing places and 9 water jets cool streets down. Even in ancient times, aqueducts were feeding the fountains and thermal baths. At the mushroom shaped fountain, in Versoie area, you can freely collect mineral water. (Several pictures of chapels, washing places and fountains.)




Saint-Hippolyte church - Thonon
Saint-Hippolyte churchSaint-Hippolyte church


Saint-Hippolyte church

Built between 1010 and 1050, original church is followed by a Norman style building in the XIIth century. In 1441, it is mainly reworked in the Gothic style. It becomes Cappella Papale under Amédée VIII Duke of Savoy, elected pope as Félix V. In the XVIIth century, the church is enlarged and changed into a baroque style structure. Inside, it is decorated with stuccos in the Italian style. It is now regarded as a masterpiece of baroque art.




Delta de la Dranse
Delta de la DranseDelta de la Dranse

Dranse river delta

The Dranse river is impulsive and can show violent high water surges. It empties into Lake Geneva. It appeals to rafting and river fishing lovers. Its mouth, shaped again and again at the whims of high water surges, draws a delta where a 53 hectare nature reserve was created. It has been recognized as a special protection area for flora and fauna. It is one of the last wild areas of Lake Geneva.







Chablais Aviron Thonon

Base Nautique des Clerges,
74200 Thonon-les-Bains, France

Phone : 04 50 70 23 52
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