Château-d’Oex in the Pays d’en Haut region in Canton Vaud in Switzerland with its green hills and mountainscape is a great place for a weekend break! Château-d’Oex is known for the annual hot air ballooning festival in January and has its own museum on balloon flights which can be visited year-round. Chateau d’Oex has a multitude of options for excursions, like the surrounding villages of Rougemont and Rossinière, but is also close to Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland which is a great area for hikes!
We went to Château-d’Oex twice. Once on a camping trip in summer, and once to a lovely Bed & Breakfast in spring. We love the beautiful view in this area, and especially the amazing green of the fields in the landscape. Here are our tips on things to do around Chateau-d’Oex:
Espace Ballon in Chateau-d’Oex
The Espace Ballon in Château-d’Oex has a permanent exhibition on ballooning adventures, and amongst others tells the the story of the first non-stop balloon flight which is very interesting to learn about! More information on this museum can be found here: https://www.espace-ballon.ch/copie-de-accueil
Your own balloon flight in Chateau-d’Oex
Chateau d’Oex is the alpine ballooning capital, and so, if you are not afraid of heights and have always dreamt of a balloon flight to take in the Alpine views, this would be the place to go! More information on booking your own flight can be found here: https://ballonschateaudoex.ch/en/
Walk along the Sarine stream and crossing of the Turrian suspension bridge
If you follow the balloon path from the main square in Chateau-d’Oex, towards the forest and the small river, this will lead you to a leisurely walk along the Sarine. The path will take you to the Turrian suspension bridge, which dates from 1883, and which is not really high, but very nice to cross. If you continue to follow the path to the left after the bridge, it will take you to the Ramaclé waterfall.
Rougemont is noted as one of the ‘most beautiful villages of Switzerland’. It’s a village with an authentic Swiss feel, and it has beautiful wooden chalet buildings with decorated facades. The village is important in the history of paper cutting art and it is possible to book a workshop with a paper cutting artist.
Restaurant tip: we had a lovely lunch at Café du Cerf in Rougemont. I had one of the best ‘soupe de Chalet’ here! Website: http://lecerfrougemont.ch. In case you would like to know more on typical Swiss dishes, you can find that in our article on Swiss Food.
Another small and authentic Swiss village to visit and have a stroll through. Rossinière is not very big, but worth the stop. The most remarkable wooden chalet is probably the ‘Grand Chalet’ which was once home to the painter Balthus. It still is a private house, so it can not really be visited, but the façade of the building is impressive to see, even just from the street.
Gstaad and Saanen
Gstaad is only 20 minutes by car from Chateau d’Oex and offers lots of hiking options! We personally prefer the village Saanen to Gstaad, in case you would like to visit another village, or have lunch.
You can head to Lauenen, and hike around the lake Lauenensee. But the best thing to do in Gstaad, according to us, is to get yourself a cheese fondue hiking backpack and head to one of the outdoor Fondue Pot picnic tables. More information about that in our article on ‘Gstaad in Summer’.
Another area with beautiful hiking paths is Schönried. It was the place where the glass mirror house ‘Mirage Gstaad’ was located. We did visit the mirror house, on one of the very last days it was there, but it is gone now. The area is still a beautiful place to hike, with gorgeous views.
Lovely family friendly Bed & Breakfast and a hot tub with a view!
There is a lovely Bed & Breakfast in Chateau d’Oex, which used to be a school for girls. The Bed & Breakfast is very family friendly and has plenty of place for kids to play. It has a garden, a terrace, a multi-sports field to play basketball or soccer, and an indoor playroom with table-tennis, table football, and a pool table. There is a large lounge deck in the garden, and, a hot tub with a view on the surrounding mountains! We had a lovely time in this bed and breakfast! A part from rooms in the chalet, they also rent out apartments, and sometimes hold yoga retreats there. More information on this bed & breakfast: https://www.vieuxchalet.ch
Camping in Chateau d’Oex
There also is a small public camp site in Chateau d’Oex. It has a field to pitch your tent close to the river stream, and the absolute advantage of this campsite is that it is right next to the public swimming pool of Chateau d’Oex!
Information on this campsite.
Have you been to Chateau-d’Oex?