To dip into a picturesque and traditional Swiss village, then Gruyères is the place to go. You are probably already familiar with this word recalling the famous Gruyère cheese, and the traditional cheese fondue. But Gruyères (spelt with an -s at the end) is also a charming medieval village. Gruyères, in the Canton Fribourg, is located on a hilltop in the Swiss Midlands surrounded by the Alps on one side and the pastures on the other, where grazing cows complete the scenery.
The best way to reach the village is probably by train. The train service from Lausanne to Palézieux, Bulle, Gruyères up to Montbovon and the Gruyère Pays-d’Enhaut regional nature park will show you beautiful sceneries of green pastureland surrounded by Fribourg’s Pre-Alps peaks. Gruyères’ train station is located in the newest part of the village, next to the Headquarters and house of the Gruyère cheese. From there, reaching the medieval village is only a few minutes uphill walk.
The first thing you will see is Gruyères’ 13th Century castle, which is open to visitors. The village is charmingly small and entirely pedestrianized. It is nestled inside historical and perfectly preserved walls, with old towers and a beautiful church. Visitors can easily explore the village in half a day. The main square of the village offers a fascinating atmosphere: Swiss Midlands’ traditional buildings, several boutiques with souvenirs, handcrafted products and restaurants where you can enjoy the local specialties: The traditional Fribourg cheese fondue (also called by the locals moitié-moitié meaning “half&half”), and much more great food from the Gruyère district.
Established in the small medieval St. Germain castle of Gruyères, the Museum HR Giger is particularly original. The museum hosts most of Hans Ruedi Giger’s work, a Swiss artist and designer who worked with the cinema and created and designed the main characters of Alien, a famous Hollywood science fiction movie.
As Gruyères gets packed with tourists during the summer months, we recommend discovering this lovely village and its region in autumn. Some of the pictures in this article were indeed taken by us in Gruyères last autumn. We hope you will like them! With the yellow, orange and red leaves still on the trees, the green Alpine pastures and sometimes white snow already on top of the mountains, the views are marvelous.
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