Walking is the best way to immerse oneself in the beauty of Dézaley. The vignerons in the appellation area have made a lovely and easy loop that takes about 1 hour and 50 minute, featuring five metallic framed entryways. So many emblematic place names, spots that offer sublime viewing points which look out over the lake and the Alps, where you can discover these exceptional vineyards that are suspended between the Earth and sky.
The itinerary is easily reached on foot from the CFF/SBB rail stations in Cully, Epesses, Chexbres, Grandvaux and Rivaz. Or why not go to Cully and Rivaz by lake, on one of the sumptuous old CGN steamboats from the Belle Époque?
From the train station in Cully follow the yellow hiking trail signs for “Terrasses de Lavaux” on the north side of the rail tracks, heading in the direction of Vevey. After a few hundred metres the path begins to climb. Below the village of Epesses, you cross the trail that leads to the Epesses train station. Carry on straight along the Chemin du Calamin, which quickly takes you to the first door, Porte 1, which marks the intersection of the Chemin du Calamin and Chemin du Dézaley, the only two AOC Grand Crus in Canton Vaud.
From Rivaz (reached by the CFF rail station or the CGN dock) you climb to the village, up to the central Place; when you have found the school and its bell, you head west. After a small descent, over the bridge that crosses the Forestay stream, you climb again to the entrance to Dèzaley, where the Chemin du Dézaley and Chemin de la Dame meet (Porte 2). You also have the option to rejoin Porte 2 from the Vinorama, where a lovely staircase will take you to the departure point, going along the Forestay and its waterfall – at times quite powerful.
The Lavaux vineyards owe their fame to the “three suns” that provide the vines with light and heat. The first comes from the sky, the second is its reflection by the lake and the third is the heat absorbed by the stone walls during the day and diffused during the night.
We recommend that you use good protective creams against these three suns and make sure you have enough water to last you the length of your walk!
Time: 1 hour 50 minutes. Easy hiking level. Change in elevation: 238 metres.
By train to Cully, or by CGN boat during the operating season. Return by train or boat.
From Lavaux, or get the regional map, available in the Montreux-Vevey Tourism Office. Also downloadable at www.montreuxriviera.com