32 Culture Yvoire, Medieval Lakeside Village and Garden of Five Senses®

Located on the French shore of Lake Geneva, Yvoire is a fourteenth century medieval village. It has retained precious elements from the past. Yvoire has received a national prize for its floral decoration, and is a member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of France. Nestled in the heart of this charming village, an exceptional private garden classified "Remarkable Garden". The Garden of Five Senses is inspired by the symbolism of medieval mazes and invites to a unique sensory walk where plants reveal their secrets.

Yvoire
 
This medieval bourg, ideally situated on the expanse separating the «little lake» from the «great lake», still possesses some of the essential elements of the fortifications of the 14th Century: the château, doors, ramparts... Known as a modest fishing village in the beginning of the century, Yvoire is now ranked as one of the International Laureates of Floral Decorations, and is a member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of France.
 
People lived here from distant Roman times on into the High Middle Age. By the XII century, Yvoire was already a lordly domain. In the early XIV century, military architects of the great Amadeus V, Count of Savoy, turned it into a strategic fortess. Essential elements of the fortified village remain: the castle, gatetowers, and crenellated ramparts. The layout of the streets has stayed unchanged; Indeed, some streets date from an even earlier period.
 
The garden
 
A garden of emotions and intuitions hidden on the heart of the charming village of Yvoire, on the shores of Lake Geneva. Inspired by medieval labyrinths, visitors are invited to discover several intimate gardens dedicated to the five senses and the treasures of the plant world. Humans and plants reunite in this wonderful jewel, which is maintained daily by a team of dedicated gardening enthusiasts who love sharing their knowledge. Trained fruit trees, medicinal plants, forgotten vegetables, flowers with evocative scents, surprisingly textured leaves... the garden’s diversity grows each year, to the delight of its visitors.
 
A private garden classified as “Remarkable Garden” by the French Ministery of Culture

Taking its inspiration from the Middle Ages, this garden elaborates the theme of the five senses in the maze and in the various green spaces. You are invited to smell, touch, contemplate, listen, and sometimes to taste!

From time immemorial, gardens have symbolized Paradise Lost. . .medicinal and aromatic herbs, fruit trees, vintage rose bushes, aviaries and fountains line a pathway where a collection of 1300 varieties of plants changes with the seasons.

As you round a bend in the pathway, you may meet one of our gardeners. With great passion and a deep respect for nature they take care of this plant kingdom nestled in the heart of a medieval village classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. You will share the gardeners’ motto, which is also that of the Bouvier d’Yvoire family, who created the garden: Festina lente, or “Make haste slowly”. A stroll that will enchant young and old, a journey of initiation to discover and understand the world of plants :
- 1300 plant varieties identified
- self-guided tour with descriptive map
- recommended duration of visit : 1 hour and more…
- funny quiz for children
Discover the garden with your five senses !

Route

Located in the centre of Yvoire village

By car: motorway A40, exit Annemasse (28 km) or exit Findrol (25 km) Bus parking in 300 m distance.

By train: railway stations Thonon, Annemasse, or Geneva (TGV stop)

By plane: Geneva airport

Regular CGN boat services leaving from Geneva, Nyon, Thonon, Evian, and Lausanne

Prices, packages

The garden
12 € Adult 
7 € Children (6-18)
31 € Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children)
3,50 € extra child 
8,50 € Student (-26 years old)
8,50 € Handicapped or attendant
One year season ticket 16€

Dates of availabilities

The village is freely accessible all the time.
 
The garden
Open all days from mi april to mi october.

Proposed visits and duration

The village
Guided tours all year for groups on reservation

The garden
Each visit starts with an explanation, in order to give you a key for visiting. There is also the possibility to watch a complementary 10 min video presentation. Additionally, a gardener is on the spot most of the time. If you should have any questions, do not hesitate to ask him! 

As an introduction to the garden is essential for a constructive and pleasant visit, we offer different questionnaires for children (depending on age) that have a guiding and supporting function while discovering the garden and thus finally also sustain the discovery of senses through the plants. The questionnaire also aids instructors and parent to prepare the visit in a way that the children may benefit a maximum (download questionnaires at www.jardin5sens.net). For each group of children, a hostess is at disposal during your stay in the garden, however, responsibility for the children stays with the instructors.

Groups should not be larger than 25, with at least one instructor per 8 children. It is also possible to split groups and to have alternating tours to the garden and the village. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

The garden
Count at least 1h and take time to touch, smell, taste, look, hear, and dream...

Spoken languages

The garden
We speak French and English
Our documentation exists in many languages (F, GB, D, E, I, NL, P, PL, J, R, S)

Description of services and / or proposed infrastructure

The picturesque village offers a great choice of hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops offering craftsman products and souvenirs.

The garden
Video presentation in French and English

English quizz for children


To discover