BATHING AND RELAXING IN FRONT OF THE WHITE LIGHTHOUSE OF THE BAINS DES PAQUIS IN THE GENEVA HARBOUR ON LAKE GENEVA, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Patrick Forget/age fotostock
These beloved baths are not just the site of a favorite swimming beach on Lake Geneva; they are a local institution. The baths are busiest in summer when the lake teems with swimmers and boats, but also stay active and open in winter months when local Polar Bear Club members plunge into the icy Alps-fed lake. After the bracing jump, it feels divine to warm up in the bath’s two mixed-sex saunas, and two hammams (one for women only). The facility is fully equipped with lockers, hot showers, and hair-dryers, as well as nooks in front of the large glass windows for soaking up the sun. Les Bains are also home to one of the city’s best fondue spots, La Buvette des Bains. Every September, after the summer season, some locker rooms are converted to a cozy dining room with wood stoves where diners dip bread into steamy melted cheese concoctions, and even take in a cultural performance or lecture on certain nights.