Gruyères is an attractive small medieval town in the canton of Fribourg, with a beautiful castle and many culinary delicacies.
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Gruyères: cultural highlights and culinary delights
Gruyères is a charming small village on a gentle hill in the canton of Fribourg, dating from the Middle Ages. It’s a pretty base town for those who want to explore the wider Fribourg area, but also serves as a nice day trip from the eastern area of Lake Geneva (Montreux, Vevey or Lausanne) or the western part of the Bernese Oberland (Gstaad, Zweisimmen, or Thun (for example). Gruyères looks very picturesque with its colored facades, cobblestones, fountains and above all: its 13th century castle, which is accessible to visitors. Another museum is that of H.R. Giger, a Swiss visual artist who worked for the movie 'Alien' and designed album covers as well as furniture. There’s a small museum on Tibetan art as well.
Moreover, Gruyères is a great destination for anyone interested in Swiss cuisine. It’s home to the famous 'Le Gruyère AOP' cheese, and the cheese factory next to the railway station (about 15 minutes on foot from the town center) can be visited all year round. Many restaurants and shops in Gruyères feature this cheese in their products and dishes. Lovers of chocolate are also served well. You’ll find chocolate bars and pralines in several stores, and don’t forget to visit La Chocolaterie: a small museum that explains about local chocolate creations.
What to explore in the nearby region
Many more culinary visits can be made in the district of La Gruyère and the canton of Fribourg. Here are some examples:
- a visit to the Maison Cailler chocolate factory in nearby Broc can well be combined with a trip to Gruyères;
- there’s a dairy hiking path near the village;
- cheese fondues can be enjoyed not only in restaurants, but also during romantic coach rides or in the fondue train from Bulle. In summer, it’s turned into a sushi train;
- from May to September, visitors are welcome at the mountain cheese dairy in Moléson;
- pre-arranged day trips from Montreux can be made by the Chocolate Train;
- another culinary train ride from Montreux is available too: the Cheese Train to Chateau d’Oex, where guests can watch traditional cheese-making skills, taste fondue and explore Swiss arts and crafts in the museum of Pays d’Enhaut.
The region is home to several interesting historical sites as well, and there’s a wide choice of gentle hiking routes and fun outdoor activities.