Annual Cheese Festival in Gruyeres, Switzerland
Food & Culinary Adventure in Switzerland
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Enjoy the natural and beautiful landscape that Switzerland has to offer as you travel from the airport to a local Gruyères hotel. Once you arrive at the hotel, kick back and enjoy your first Swiss meal with your local guides. There will be plenty more where that came from!
Spend the rest of your day walking the quaint streets of Gruyères and speaking with your local guides. They may have some fun stories to tell about this little town that you’re visiting!
Take a tour of the Gruyères Castle, a cultural landmark that has many stories to tell and a lot of history to share. It has stood tall upon the hill overlooking the town since the 13th century. Your tour guide will happily tell of the history of the castle and that of the people who lived there. Witness storytellers in medieval costume telling legends of the castle and the town below.
Inside the walls of this historical landmark you’ll find artifacts, wall decorations, stained glass windows, and more features that trace the history back to the founding of Gruyeres. Explore the beautiful gardens and surrounding areas as you admire the view of the countryside. Being on top of that hill you will have a spectacular view of Swiss natural beauty.
It’s time to get into the spirit of cheese and what better place to visit than the local cheese factory, La Maison du Gruyères. Here, you’ll be able to watch the master cheese makers work hard at their craft, making massive rounds of their famous gruyere cheese. Learn the history of the cheese as well as the fine intricate details of how the cheese is made.
Afterward you’ll certainly be hungry so enjoy a meal at the La Maison du Gruyere restaurant! Pick between regional dishes and delight in the local cuisine.
The aroma of cheese permeates the air at the market in Rue du Borg as cheese makers come from across the region to share their local craft. Sample some cheeses, enjoy the festivities, and learn about the artisans and their creations. Watch the production of the cheese at the Restaurant Maison des Traditions while tasting alpine cheese fondue. See for yourself the wonders that nature and man can provide in a variety of different cheeses.
While exploring the festival, take in the beautiful architecture of the local buildings. The medieval town is filled with character and history that shows in the wonderful architectural designs. Keep an eye out for a display of tavillonnage, a traditional and artistic form of roofing which is a local art that decorates many facades in the town.
As you wander through the cheese market you’ll hear local musical groups, adding to the jaunty feeling of the festival. Peruse the market and explore local craftsmen’s and women’s creations. Enjoy the day feeling the sense of community that this little town has to offer.
Take a barge out to the Isle of Ogoz, a little island located in the lake of Gruyere. On this island you can explore a ruined castle and a restored chapel. The Isle of Ogoz was a high point that overlooked the valley of the Sarine river until the valley was flooded creating the island it is today. The Ogoz Island Association that preserves the ruins and the chapel is happy to enable the public to explore and learn from this little island.
Usually around or after the winter months, when the tide is at its lowest, the isle turns into a peninsula that’s 500 meters long! Pedestrians are able to enjoy a scenic walk to the island during this time. If the tide is still low during your visit, bring your walking shoes and take the pass instead of the barge!
It’s time for a sweet adventure at the Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory where you’ll learn about the ins and outs of chocolate. On this tour you will explore the history of chocolate making from the Aztec cocoa ceremonies to the modern chocolate creations we see today. Learn how the best ingredients are used to make the finest chocolates and experience the amazing flavors during a chocolate tasting.
In the chocolate workshop, chocolatiers will teach you the art of making your own chocolate creations as well as the craft of making ganache and tempering chocolate. Have fun making your own chocolate works of art and take them with you as a souvenir and try to resist the urge to eat them as a snack later.
Round out the visit to the Cailler Chocolate Factory with a trip to the cafe and boutique. Indulge in some delicious hot chocolate and other treats and desserts made by the chocolatiers of the factory. Shop around at the boutique and find their entire range of chocolates along with souvenirs to remember the visit.
Spend your last day in Switzerland chatting with your local guides and taking strolls through the historical town. After delighting in what the enchanting town of Gruyères has to offer, along with partaking in some delicious cheeses and chocolate, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the Gruyères culture and community.
With the wondrous high peaks of the Alps, the beautiful lakes, the historical villages, it’s no wonder Switzerland is a popular destination. Tucked away among the lush hills is Gruyères, an 800-year-old town that transports you back to medieval times. From the cobblestone streets to the castle sitting at the top of the town, you can’t help but feel enchanted by the character and the atmosphere.
Gruyères also happens to be the cheese capital of Switzerland and is where the annual cheese festival is held; this is where our journey centers. Any cheese lover will be enamored with Gruyères Switzerland. Along this adventure we will be exploring the history and culture of Switzerland and partaking in some local artisan cheesy delights.
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