Walking up the hillside to the town of Gruyères is like being transported 800 years back in time to medieval Europe. Much of the town, including its houses and streets, have retained their original character. If you aren’t already sold on traveling to this picturesque Swiss town, here are 6 reasons to visit Gruyères during your time in Switzerland.
1. It’s Switzerland’s cheese capital
Gruyères is perhaps best known for the cheese with almost the same name (it has no ‘s’). The nutty, semi-hard Gruyère cheese is one of the most famous of all Swiss cheeses, used in classic dishes like raclette and fondue. This delicious cheese is definitely a must try, especially for cheese lovers.
2. To visit Gruyères Castle
Dating back to the 13th century, Gruyères Castle is full of artifacts and treasures that examine the history of the town and its inhabitants. Set in the foothills of the Alps, it also has magnificent landscaped French gardens.
3. It also has meringues and double cream
Though Gruyère Cheese often gets much of the attention, the town is also famous for its meringues. Served with double cream, they are renowned for being crisp, yet doughy, with a rich flavor. It is particularly celebrated during annual harvest feast, La Bénichon.
4. There is a Tibetian Museum
A surprising feature in the small town of Gruyères is its excellent Tibetian Museum. Its intriguing collection has over 300 items, including Buddhist statues dating all the way back to the 6th and 7th centuries.
5. It’s home to the Cailler chocolate factory
Close to the town of Gruyères is the Cailler chocolate factory. One of Switzerland’s most celebrated chocolatiers, it offers interactive tours. At Maison Callier, you can learn all about the craft of chocolate making, as well as trying some of their best samples.
6. To go skiing
Gruyères may lack the glamour of the more glitzy Alpine resorts like St. Moritz and Zermatt, but it’s great for mixed groups. The nearby village of Moléson has over 30 kilometers of slopes at both beginner and intermediate levels.