Visiting Gruyères was on top of my Swiss bucket list for a long time. It seems like it’s a perfect getaway to experience the so-called “Swissness”. You get to try the famous cheese and delicious chocolate, wander in a medieval old town and explore the romantic castle, see the snowy summits and valleys of La Gruyère and if you’re lucky enough, you get woken up by the sound of cowbells coming from the mountains.
We visited in early February and spent two days on exploring, tasting the specialities of the region and relaxing. Gruyères is 2,5 hours away from Basel by train, but it’s so worth it! Here is our two days itinerary for a perfect Swiss weekend.
We started our day with waking up at the Fleur de Lys, a hotel situated right on the main square of Gruyères. The building is over 350 years old and the atmosphere there brings the charm of old times.
We took the train to Broc-Fabrique and from there we followed the sweet smell of chocolate right to the Maison Cailler Chocolaterie – The Chocolate Factory. I was truly excited to visit this place and learn all about the history of chocolate and how it came to Switzerland. The best part of the visit was obviously the chocolate tasting! Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, marzipan and many many more. I felt like a kid in a candy store and I must have eaten over 5 pieces of that sample chocolate.
Following some shopping at the Cailler’s chocolate store, we went to Charmey, where after strolling around the cute streets of this town and a quick lunch at the local bakery, we headed to Le Bains de La Gruyère. We loved every second of the spa time. We swam in the indoor pool, then went to saunas and Turkish baths and after that we spent some time in the heated outdoor pool, where we could just relax and enjoy the views over snow-kissed mountains in such a quiet and romantic setting. (Taking pictures is not allowed there so I’m linking the website HERE so you can see how stunningly beautiful this place is .)
We came back to Gruyères right in time for dinner at our lovely hotel. We decided to have Fondue Vacherin (and we totally loved it! It has a more delicate flavour than the more famous moite-moite version yet very delicious!) and La Gruyère’s classic: double cream and meringues. That was a perfect end to a perfect day.
We spent the whole day in Gruyères and started our Sunday from walking around a bit and later visiting the Castle. It’s really beautiful and you must go there if you’re in Gruyères. While exploring it inside, you get insights into 800 years of history and art. It just feels like going back in time. Also… the views over the surrounding alpine countryside, seen from the castle are another reason to visit.
Next stop: HR Giger Museum. It’s just down from the castle so we decided to stop by to see the work of the Alien’s creator and Swiss artist. I must admit I have never seen the movie as it is a little bit too spooky for my liking, but it was quite interesting to see all the sketches, photographs and paintings. Plus, the house where the museum is located offers some scenic views over the town of Gruyere. (And an insider’s tip: Free entry with a Swiss Pass).
After the visit at the museum we crossed the street to get to HR Giger Bar, where we continued with the Alien-atmosphere, but this time by taking a moment of rest and having a drink. Some of the positions in the menu have funny names like “Alien Blood”. I decided to go for something much safer and chose a glass of wine. Another cool experience!
At the end of our trip we had a late lunch at the Chalet de Gruyères to celebrate our wonderful weekend and finish our adventure with more delicious memories. Of course, that could only mean one thing: More cheese! The ambience in this traditional Swiss wooden chalet -restaurant was fantastic.We had Raclette (Gruyère cheese, yummy!) followed by delicious ice-cream dessert. Heaven!
And later: we went home, happy and relaxed and with lots of new memories. Thank you La Gruyère for the wonderful time!
The trip was organized in a collaboration with La Gruyère Tourisme. Stay at the hotel and restaurant visit was sponsored. All opinions are my own.
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