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Gruyere district and Bulle

My son is starting graduate school at the Glion Institute. I have 4 days to kick around; any recommendations on where to stay and what to do? I think I'm going to stay in Montreux and rent a car to travel around, but open to recommendations.

Posted by
3622 posts

It’s hard to answer without knowing your interests, but one obvious attraction would be Chateau de Chillon.

There is also Fondation Pierre Giannada, in Martigny. It houses three collections, related only in that they were interests of Giannada, some Roman antiquities, a sculpture garden, and cars. We saw a quite good Bonnard show there. I think it may also be a concert venue, on occasion.
In Fribourg, Espace Jean Tinguely/Nikki de Sainte Phalle is fun to visit.
Taking a boat ride around the lake is enjoyable, and you could stop off in Geneva for a while.

Another place to reach by boat or car is Lausanne. There is the Olympics Museum, and the entire lake front area around it is very pleasant.
I believe that there are wine and chocolate tasting opportunities, but I can’t remember specifics.

Posted by
276 posts

I stayed in Lausanne (2019) and travelled by train and bus. Montreux would be a good base to explore the area as well. Others recommend Vevey.

I was in Lausanne on a Wednesday and enjoyed the open market at the Place de la Palud. Lots of cheese and fresh fruit as well as food for meals. The market was open on Wednesdays and Saturday mornings.

Lausanne has nice walks along the lake, and the Olympic Museum was interesting to visit as well.

The Maison Cailler Chocolate factory is about 1.5 hours by train/bus or 40 minutes by car from Montreaux

https://cailler.ch/en/maison-cailler

The area is noted for its vineyards and wine as well as cheese:

https://www.lausanne-tourisme.ch/en/Z7754/lausanne-wine

There are cogwheel train rides to scenic views: Rochers de Naye and Les Pleiades. One train leaves out of Vevey and the other out of Montreux,
I didn’t do these because of the time I had in the area and b/c I was spending several days in Zermatt and the Bernese Oberland area.

https://www.myswissalps.com/rochersdenaye

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/destinations/les-pleiades-daffodils-and-stars/

I also enjoyed visiting the Chateau Chillon at Montreux.

Here is a link to a thread discussing other attractions in the area:

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/switzerland/best-place-to-stay-itinerary-for-swiss-wine-trail-and-montreaux-region-visit

All the best,

Raymond

Posted by
1379 posts

A few years ago we stayed in Montreux and it was beautiful along the lakefront promenade. Gruyeres is easily accessible and worth a stop as is the Chateau Chillon. IMO it's a good base and wish we would have had time to visit Vevey, Lausanne and other nearby areas.

Posted by
1057 posts

Here are a couple of ideas based on our experiences a few years ago.

We enjoyed a day in Murten and environs. Murten is a beautiful medieval town and has a really great lakeside resort with beach, huge pool, play areas etc., if you need a break and then a good meal in town.

We lucked into a special event wine walk - about six food stations separated by nice strolls through vineyards and around hills - which is why we went that direction from Fribourg. Dropped our two teenagers at the lake beach, did our wine/lunch tour and went back to collect them for dinner. Good time was had by all.

We also enjoyed a day that included the Gruyères cheese factory, Gruyère town, and the Cailler chocolate factory tour. Organized for tourists, but fun nonetheless. And great samples.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you - I ended up booking the Fairmont Montreux Palace and had a wonderful stay. I rented a car so that I could explore the area. Note that my post may be a bit food centric.
I went to Mont Perlin and dined at Le Chateau, exploring the local vineyards.
Walked along the lake and explored all of the art installations from the funicular all the way down to the Mai Thai restaurant (excellent Thai food).
Took the train to Rocher De Naye and took a side visit to the Glion Institute, the renowned school for hospitality.
Ate dinner at Le Museum which is a must, and had drinks both at Funky Claudes and Montreux Jazz Cafe.
I have planned a trip back in two months for the Christmas markets and have booked a stay in Gruyere and in Zermatt for some early winter skiing. Any tips would be useful!

Posted by
7070 posts

Zermatt is a very good choice for pre-Christmas skiing. Depending on how early you go, you may or may not have access to the full area, but it is still very large. Make sure to plan at least 3 nights there, to increase your chances of OK weather... and if you are going before Dec 18, do not be afraid to leave accommodation booking to the last minute. After Dec 18 should get a little bit busier since school holidays start then in several countries.