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Immerse yourself in Swiss tradition on this walking tour exploring Switzerland’s Pays d’Enhaut and Saanenland regions. Experience classic Switzerland in one week-long adventure; fantastic hiking trails, wooden chalets, rich cheese, world-class milk chocolate and countless Alpine cows!
Start in the hilltop town of Gruyères. Wander the medieval streets and visit La Maison de Gruyères to watch the master cheese makers at work. Follow a peaceful riverside path to the Cailler Chocolate Factory— this area is a foodie’s paradise! Continue to Rougemont, a typical Swiss village with flower-lined chalets and views of La Videmanette mountain.
Finish in famous Gstaad. Despite its high-brow reputation, the town is remarkably down to earth and is rightly proud of its agricultural and traditional ways of life. A vibrant town full of outdoor enthusiasts, visitors and locals, it’s the perfect place to end your adventure.
Gruyères is an easily accessible town in the French-speaking Pays d’Enhaut region of Switzerland. It can be easily reached from Geneva airport by train in about 2 hours.
A well-preserved medieval town, made famous due its cheese production of the same name, Gruyères is a true delight. Popular with day-trippers, spending a little more time here and exploring the area on foot is a great way to get to know a place that most people visit only fleetingly.
Wander the cobbled streets, taking in the views of the surrounding Alpine foothills, and visit the castle or church, both architectural gems. Gruyères also has a small but eclectic collection of museums, a H.R Giger museum (a Swiss artist whose work was heavily used in the Alien films) and a Tibet museum. There are also plenty of restaurants to choose from for dinner, unsurprisingly, most dishes are based on cheese! Delicious!
Today’s loop walk takes you from Gruyères to Moléson-sur-Gruyères Alpine Cheese Dairy. Starting and finishing at La Maison du Gruyères, you will have ample opportunity to learn about the art of traditional cheese making.
Follow paths through Gruyère’s lush green pastures, passing herds of Swiss cows and traditional alpine chalets with shingle roofs. Arriving at Moléson-sur-Gruyères, if you are early enough, watch cheese being made as it was in the 17th century (demonstrations at 10am), over a wood fire in a typical Alpine hut. If you don’t make it in time for the demonstration, you can still visit the hut and have lunch there if you have worked up an appetite! Head back to Gruyères on foot, or catch a bus if you prefer.
Walking: 13 km, 560m/560m ascent/descent
After a relaxing breakfast, take a peaceful flat path alongside the Sarine (Sanne in German) river, to the neighbouring town of Broc- home to the famous Cailler Chocolate Factory. Chocolate is an important part of Switzerland’s culinary heritage, and a visit to the museum is ideal for those interested to learn more about how it is produced. Linger in the tasting room, enjoy a rich hot chocolate in the café and stock up on some presents from the factory shop.
If you prefer to save your appetite for later, or the factory is too busy (it’s a popular place!), walk to the beautiful Gorges de la Jonge, which is located just behind the factory.
Take a train to Rossinière or Château-d'Œx (depending on how far you would like to walk), from where you will follow an easy riverside path to Rougemont. A traditional Swiss village, this quiet town is really chocolate-box perfect, and is a great contrast to both Gruyères and Gstaad which are bigger and busier.
Walking: Gruyères to Broc: 6km, 40m/160m ascent/descent
Rossinière to Rougemont: 13km, 215m/130 ascent/descent
Today’s walk crosses the ‘Roestigraben’ (roesti-ditch), the name given to the cultural and linguistic border that separates French and German-speaking Switzerland. Passing from the canton of Vaud to that of Bern, follow country roads out of Rougemont past wooden chalets and farmland, to reach the town of Saanen. Drop down through the village, another impressive example of well-preserved traditional architecture, to reach the Saane (Sarine) river once again. Follow the river the rest of the way until you reach Gstaad, your stop for the next three nights.
Gstaad is perhaps best known as a ski-resort for the rich and famous, but there is much more to it than that! The Gstaad region is home to the most Swiss cows than any other region in Switzerland, a fact which hints at its traditional roots, something that the inhabitants are rightly proud of and work hard to preserve. It is also a vibrant summer destination with many exciting events taking place, such as volleyball tournaments and music festivals, as well as being a hiker’s paradise!
Walking: 10km, 265m/215m ascent/descent
Fill up at the breakfast buffet for a day on the trails high up around Gstaad. Take a bus to Col du Pillon at 1,546m. Ascend to Lac Retaud at 1,685m (and back into French-speaking Switzerland!). Continue to ascend to Col de Voré (1,918m), the entrance to the Tschärzis valley and the highest point of today’s walk. Descend gently to Arnensee, a picturesque lake, complete with a shore-side restaurant for a refreshment. Or take a picnic to enjoy on the banks. The wildflowers here are particularly beautiful (in full bloom in July). Continue to the village of Feuterseoy where you can catch a bus back to Gstaad.
Walking: 13km, 420m/830m ascent/descent
Take the cable car to Wispile at 1907m to start today’s walk. From here, follow the ridge line and take in fabulous views over the entire Saanenland region. Descend steeply to the Chirnepass (1659m). The path undulates, before a steady descent to serene Lauenensee, also a nature reserve. Enjoy a break on one of the many benches-perfect for a picnic– before starting the descent to Lauenen village where you can take the bus back to Gstaad.
Should you decide to take a break from the trails. There are plenty of other options to keep you busy in Gstaad. Take the bus and cable car to Glacier 3000, where on a clear day you will have views to 24 summits over 4000m high such as Mont Blanc or the Matterhorn. Enjoy a taste of the high-life by going for a dip in the luxurious Gstaad-Palace hotel’s outdoor pool. The 50m pool is open to the public and is a great place to unwind.
Walking: 10km, 115m/650m ascent/descent
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and begin your onward travel arrangements. If you would like to discover more of what Switzerland has to offer, consider our Bernese Oberland or Lucerne Lakes and Mountains trips. Both areas are easily accessible from Gstaad. Just ask one of our Destination specialist for more information!
Stay 6 nights in high-quality, friendly 3* hotels. Some examples of accommodations we typically use are listed below. These accommodations are subject to availability and therefore alternatives of an equal standard may be offered.
You can add on extra nights in any of the overnight locations on this tour.
Please be aware that twin & double rooms in Switzerland are typically 2 single mattresses side by side in one double bed frame with two separate duvet covers and pillows.
Why not treat yourself to an upgraded hotel in Rougemont and/or Gstaad? Upgrades are to 4* hotels and an example of the upgraded accommodation can be found below.
This trip is available to solo walkers and a supplement is payable as some of the costs are not shared. Single rooms are available should some of your party wish to have their own room and again, a single supplement is payable.
6 continental breakfasts are included. This is usually in buffet form and there are many filling breakfast items available which are perfect for hikers; e.g. boiled eggs, ham, cheese, fresh bread and muesli.
Lunch is not included and can be picked up at local supermarkets, ‘Backerei/Boulangerie’ or restaurants along the way.
Dinners are not included, leaving you free to choose from the various options each day. There are restaurant choices at each overnight location, and most hotels will also have an on-site restaurant.
Food in Switzerland is hearty and traditional, with cheese being one of the dominant ingredients, particularly in this area! Fondue and raclette are popular and a must try. Roesti is another classic which is a bed of grated then fried potato, with various toppings like cheese, bacon or fried eggs.
If you have a sweet tooth, prepare to be in chocolate heaven! The Swiss love their chocolate and proudly claim theirs to be the best in the world. Milk-chocolate is undoubtedly the favourite and there is a dazzling array available in just about every supermarket. A popular dessert in the canton of Bern is meringue served with Gruyère double cream and fruit. The ultimate treat!
Well situated in the medieval section of Gruyères, this rustic and comfortable hotel is traditionally furnished yet has all the modern facilities needed for a pleasant stay. Relax in the newly-installed spa and fitness area after a day of walking. Rooms have balconies with views to the Château de Gruyères and the Alpine foothills.
This family-run hotel offers traditional Alpine-style rooms with views to the flower-filled streets of Rougemont, or of the mountains. The relaxed friendly atmosphere, along with the brilliant home-made food really makes this hotel stand out.
Dating back to the 19th Century, the Posthotel Roessli is the oldest hotel in Gstaad and they have certainly perfected the art of hospitality over this time! Situated in the pedestrianised centre, the hotel is a firm favourite with visitors. The building is typical Alpine style with wooden interiors, lending to its authentic atmosphere and character. Enjoy dinner in one of their two restaurants, or walk along the promenade and choose from one of the many culinary offerings available in the town.
A friendly welcome awaits at this cosy and intimate 4* hotel. Designed in comfy Alpine style, relax in your spacious room, the lounge, library or even the cinema room! There is also a lovely indoor pool and spa area, great for relaxing after a day of walking.
This charming 4* Chalet-style hotel located in the centre of Gstaad. Decorated in typical wooden-alpine style, rooms are comfortable and spacious. Facilities include 2 restaurants and a spa with a Finnish sauna, an aroma steam bath, a massage shower and a solarium. The breakfast buffet is particularly good, with a range of cold dishes, and cooked eggs upon request. All food items are fresh and locally sourced.
This walk is available to start on any day of the week from mid June to the end of September.
This trip is available to solo walkers and a solo traveller supplement is payable. Single rooms are on request and again a supplement is payable.
This tour is graded as easy to moderate as there are some walks which can be considered easy with minimal ascent/descent (riverside walking to Broc and Rougemont and Gstaad) and other walks which involve quite a bit of ascent, which we would consider moderate. The paths are all well maintained and there are no technical sections involved. You should be comfortable using cable cars and be in good shape to get the most out of this tour.
Walking trails are generally very well signposted in Switzerland and together with our route notes, maps and the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone's GPS, you will have no problems finding the way.
Public transport is used on many of the walks in this itinerary. Swiss public transport really runs like clockwork. You shouldn’t be put off if a journey through Switzerland has a few connections, this is common due to the topography of the country, and it always runs very smoothly. Some of the rural services don’t run as often as some of the busier services, so you should always check bus/train/cable car times before setting off for a walk, so you can plan and time well to avoid any long waits. The Swiss railway website is excellent for planning and up to date information regarding travelling in Switzerland: www.sbb.ch (info available in English)
You can purchase a Gstaad card from the tourist office and some accommodations in Gruyères, Rougemont and Gstaad. This costs 19 CHF per person per day and covers free entry on most of the train, bus and cable car lines in the area. It also offers free entry to local pools, museums and village tours. You can find out more info about the Gstaad Card here.
Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example proper rain gear, sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes good waterproof gear, walking shoes/boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.
For general travel planning and information in Switzerland, please go to: www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/transport-travel/getting-around
Fly into Geneva, Zurich or Bern airports and then travel by train to Gruyères (2.5, 2.5 or 2 hours). The centre of Gruyères is about a ten minute uphill walk from the train station. So we recommend taking a local bus from the train station. This takes just a couple of minutes. Unfortunately there is no taxi rank at Gruyères train station.
Travel by train from Gstaad to Geneva (3 hours), Bern (2.5 hours) or Zurich (3.5 hours) airports. You can also reach any other Swiss destination by train, and other European destinations should you wish to continue your travels!Train and bus information can be found at the excellent journey planner: www.sbb.ch
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised so that we can secure the best accommodation options for you.
This tour is graded as easy to moderate as there are some walks which can be considered easy with minimal ascent/descent (riverside walking to Broc and Rougemont) and other walks which involve quite a bit of ascent, which we would consider moderate. The paths are all well maintained and there are no technical sections involved. You should be comfortable using cable cars and be in good shape to get the most out of this tour.
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
You can use public transport or a local taxi to continue to your next overnight stop. Your accommodations will be able to help with arrangements, or we are able to assist you from our UK office.