A “Cheesy” Morning In Gruyères, Switzerland

It stands to reason that our first day trip in Switzerland brings to mind melty, gooey, rich, fragrant cheese.  All the cheese.  Give me the cheese.

I was worried that, given its famous name and easy access from Geneva that Gruyères was going to be, well…cheesy.  I envisioned scads of tourists and tacky signs and kitschy gift shops.

Instead, it’s a beautiful medieval town perched atop a hill, with a stunning alpine backdrop and a chill feel.  It definitely helped that we were visiting at the end of March before tourist season really cranked up, but overall I found myself pleasantly surprised and totally charmed by Gruyères.

Gruyeres is more than cheese--but it is part of the appeal! Voted Switzerland's most beautiful town, ideas for your visit, how to plan a trip...it's an easy day trip from Geneva!

Gruyere is an easy day trip from Geneva and has amazing fondue and more! How to plan your trip to Gruyeres and why you have to visit Switzerland's most beautiful town.

Pair with Gruyères for a Perfect Day:  An Afternoon at Cailler Chocolate Factory

Once we got our bearings, we decided to take a walk around the outer edge of the town and the castle.  Because of the town’s height, you can see forever on a clear day.  While its history appears to date back way further from archaeological remains they’ve found (like BCE-type stuff), what you can see there now dates back to the Middle Ages.

Gruyeres has stunning views, a medieval town, and amazing fondue...how to plan your trip to Gruyeres, an easy day trip from Geneva

Château de Gruyères dates back to the 13th century and is very well preserved (it’s a national historic site).  You can actually enter the castle for a fee (I believe 10 Swiss francs), but we decided we’d rather just peek inside and be on our way.

Gruyere is an easy day trip from Geneva and has amazing fondue and more! How to plan your trip to Gruyeres and why you have to visit Switzerland's most beautiful town.

Gruyere is an easy day trip from Geneva and has amazing fondue and more! How to plan your trip to Gruyeres and why you have to visit Switzerland's most beautiful town.

Gruyere is an easy day trip from Geneva and has amazing fondue and more! How to plan your trip to Gruyeres and why you have to visit Switzerland's most beautiful town.

The views from the entrance are gorgeous, and the little entry plaza area is stark and beautiful and quirky…it has these little more modern artistic elements and the Whomping Willow-like trees that are common to the Lake Geneva area.  The combined effect is odd and compelling.

Gruyere is an easy day trip from Geneva and has amazing fondue and more! How to plan your trip to Gruyeres and why you have to visit Switzerland's most beautiful town.

This is possibly the most stereotypically-Swiss picture that exists.  Also Sound of Music-y.

Fondue and more! How to plan your trip to Gruyeres and why you have to visit Switzerland's most beautiful town. An easy day trip from Geneva!

Fondue and more! How to plan your trip to Gruyeres and why you have to visit Switzerland's most beautiful town. An easy day trip from Geneva!

After getting our fill of the view, we wandered back down into the village.  The mixture of different little decorative elements on the buildings were so cute!

Fondue and more! How to plan your trip to Gruyeres and why you have to visit Switzerland’s most beautiful town. An easy day trip from Geneva!

Fondue and more! How to plan your trip to Gruyeres and why you have to visit Switzerland's most beautiful town. An easy day trip from Geneva!

Finally, our tummies were telling us that it was time to try some of the famous Gruyères fondue!  We headed into Auberge de la Halle, which our hosts had visited before.  They sat us at the window and we ordered our cheesy goodness (and I ordered a glass of wine because…cheese and wine).

Amazing fondue in Gruyeres, Switzerland...how to plan your trip and why you have to visit Switzerland's most beautiful town. An easy day trip from Geneva!

The region’s famed Moitié-Moitié fondue is made using two cheeses—Le Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois.  And wine of course.  Interestingly, they only give you boiled potatoes to eat it with.  I judge you, Swiss people!  All the delicious things in the world you can dip in melty cheese, and you use 100% boiled potatoes??  We dipped our bread in there too, but I definitely found the lack of variety puzzling.

Gruyeres is more than cheese--but it is part of the appeal! What to do in Switzerland's most beautiful town, how to plan your visit

Finally, stuffed to the gills with delicious cheese, we moseyed back up to the mouth of the town and down the hill to the car, ready to head to the famous Cailler chocolate factory for dessert.

Gruyeres is more than cheese--but it is part of the appeal! What to do in Switzerland's most beautiful town, how to plan your visit

Gruyeres is more than cheese--but it is part of the appeal! What to do in Switzerland's most beautiful town, how to plan your visit

How to visit Gruyères, Switzerland

  • It’s an easy day trip (or even half-day trip) from Geneva.  A car is recommended, but you can also take the Chocolate Train, which includes stops at both Gruyeres and the Cailler chocolate factory.
  • Things to do include walking around the town, visiting the castle (you can take the tour inside too), eating the famous fondue, visiting the odd Giger museum (all about aliens and Buddhist stuff), and during strawberry season there’s some lovely strawberries and cream on offer
  • There’s a parking lot down the hill before you reach the town, and you’ll have to walk up from there—no cars are allowed in the medieval town itself

Other foodie moments:

My Willy Wonka Moment:  An Afternoon at Switzerland’s Cailler Chocolate Factory

Feeling Hip(ster) in Portland’s Food & Beer Scene

Exploring Mendoza’s Wine Country

Gruyeres is more than cheese--but it is part of the appeal! What to do in Switzerland's most beautiful town, how to plan your visit...it's an easy day trip from Geneva #switzerland

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