It was in the middle of the 19th century that this village in the Jura developed into an alpine spa, being given an additional boost in 1916 with the construction of the railway. The narrow-gauge railway follows a pretty route over 20 km from the shores of Lake Geneva in Nyon, twisting round numerous bends up to Saint-Cergue and then on over the Col de la Givrine as far as the Swiss border at La Cure, the end of the line.
Saint-Cergue is a popular hiking area in the middle of the virtually untouched Vaud Jura Park, a large protected area of national importance, covering 75 km2 between the Col de la Givrine and the Col du Marchairuz. From Saint-Cergue, a popular walk leads through the sunlit Jura woods to the Col du Marchairuz. Between the woods are colourful meadows of wild flowers. The park-like scenery and the splendid views of Lake Geneva and the Savoy Alps are the main attractions of this walk along the Jura Alpine trail. The traditional mountain inn on the Col du Marchairuz offers refuge if you encounter stormy weather – the interesting Park information centre is lower down in St-George.
Another popular hike takes you up to the summit of La Dôle. As well as walking, there are also a number of other less well-known activities available in Saint-Cergue such as grass skiing, grass scootering ("Trottinherbe"), swin golf (a rustic version of golf with a three-sided club and a larger ball) and archery. Last but not least, the area is a paradise for riders and mountain bikers. There is also a via ferrata (fixed-cable climb) for those who like to tackle mountains vertically.
The broad upland valley of the Col de la Givrine is a popular cross-country skiing area with 80 km of tracks and links to the French network of tracks. Some ski-lifts, mainly on the north-west slopes of La Dôle, take alpine skiers up to the skiing area. Though small, with 20 km of easy slopes, it is the largest area for night-time skiing in western Switzerland.
Winter hikers and snow-shoe walkers will find footpaths and trails in the deep snow of this extensive area. Saint-Cergue is an important centre for rearing dogs for dog-sledging, and visitors have the opportunity to take a thrilling ride in a dog-sledge.
- La Dôle (1677 m) – a mighty rocky peak with almost alpine vegetation and a lovely panorama over Lake Geneva and the Valais Alps, as far as Mont Blanc.
- The Vaud Jura Park – 75 km2 of sunlit woodland and meadows of national importance, with beautiful viewpoints. Information centre in St-George.
- Nyon – small town by Lake Geneva with a charming Old Town and interesting museums in and around the town. It can be reached by the narrow-gauge railway from Saint-Cergue.
- Lake Geneva – 580 square kilometres of water for water sports and boat rides to some of the nicest places in the region.
- La Garenne zoo in Le Vaud – a glimpse into the extraordinary European animal world, with wolves, lynx, foxes, reptiles and a large number of European birds of prey in attractive grounds.
- Paléo Festival in Nyon – Switzerland's largest open-air festival, with about 200,000 visitors, music of all kinds (July).