From the French Alpine glaciers of the Mont-Blanc Massif, fresh and clear water springs create the Arve torrent. Other streams from the surrounding high mountains fall into the Arve systematically; through the valley, the Arve gradually turns into a river, which leaves France, crosses the Swiss border and flows into the Canton Geneva. Lake Geneva, which offers great views to visitors with its beautiful environment and charming towns, such as Montreux, Nyon and Yvoire is just next door.
Far from being calm, the Arve River is a cold (its water rarely gets warmer than 14°C) and tumultuous river. Its energetic Alpine nature is well-preserved even throughout the city of Geneva! Its sparkling character is indeed great for lovers of water sports, such as kayaking and rafting.
Besides sports, you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery that the Arve River has to offer by walking along its banks. There is a lovely path in Canton Geneva that goes along the river. The walk starts close to the nearby French border and goes through woodland, fields and vineyards. The area is rich in wildlife. There are several birds such as ducks, swans and herons, and other small animals like frogs and toads. The river, rich in fish of all sorts, is also a paradise for fishers. With some luck, you can catch a glimpse of a beaver swimming around its hut. A small island just outside Geneva, in Carouge, is entrusted to their protection.
Walking closer and closer to Geneva, the initial natural landscapes gradually turn into urbanised neighbourhoods, which still do not lack charm. The path takes you to the “Bout-du-Monde” sports centre, which translates to the 'End-of-the-World'. It is certainly not the end of the world as its name would suggest, but it is at least the most remote urbanized area in the east of Canton Geneva.
In Geneva, you can walk along either side of the Arve. The path changes into a footpath across several neighbourhoods of the city of Geneva: Carouge, Acacias, Les Vernets and La Gravière on the south bank of the Arve. The districts of Augustins, Plainpalais, Du-Bois-Melly and Ansermet opposite. All the way up to the Junction (Jonction).
The Junction is a place you must see if you are around Geneva. This is where the Arve and its sedimentary (grey/brown) waters join the crystal clear waters of the Rhône river, which comes straight from the neighbouring Lake Geneva. The scenery of blue and grey/brown waters merging together is simply exceptional. A great completion of this pleasant and worthy hike along the Arve.
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