Charmey

Fribourg Region

Charmey lies at the heart of the Gruyère region, in an unspoilt pre-alpine landscape in the canton of Fribourg. You can relax and be pampered in the new wellness and fun thermal baths in Charmey.

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Logo Charmey

The wide range of activities for families and lovers of sport and culture make this traditional mountain village a popular holiday destination in summer and winter.

Charmey is just a few kilometres away from Gruyères and Bulle, on the road leading to Jaun and the Jaun Pass. For a long time, the village was the main production centre for the tasty Gruyère AOP cheese, when the cheese was still primarily made up in the mountains. Nowadays tourism is the main industry in the little village.The museum tells you about the history of this rural area.

Gruyère Baths
The Gruyère baths in Charmey are set against the backdrop of the breathtaking pre-alpine landscape. It is the perfect place to unwind and to enjoy some pampering! The Gruyère baths have two large swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoor, boasting an array of water features, such as swan-neck showers, mini whirlpools, massage nozzles and jets.

Depending on the season, the natural spring water, which is rich in mineral salts, is heated to 32-33ºC. There are Nordic and Oriental steam baths, such as sauna, hammam and Turkish baths, as well as several chill-out areas. The spa also offers traditional sauna sessions and aquagym classes.

The Well-Being and Beauty Centre on the first floor offers a range of beauty and wellness treatments, including massages and balneotherapy.

Summer

For walkers and lovers of Nordic walking and mountain biking, Charmey is just the right place: there are various tracks marked out, for example on the Vounetse mountain (1627 m) with its fine views, and there are maps showing them too. At the middle station of the cable-car you can test your skills and courage in a rope adventure park with five routes. There are signposted paths with information boards about the alpine economy and the flora and fauna, drawing your attention to the special features of the landscape. Finally, at the top station there is an alpine cheesery where Gruyère AOP cheese is still made in the traditional way over a wood fire.

The Jaun Pass connects the Gruyère region with the Simmental in the Bernese Oberland. In summer, the steep, weather-beaten slopes of the Gastlosen (1998m) attract many hikers and climbers to the area. Nearby Jaun, at the foot of an impressive waterfall, is close to the language border between French and German. Here it is worth visiting the old cemetery with its many wooden carvings, recalling the previous occupations of those who are buried there.

Highlights

  • The Vounetse mountain (1630m) – a lovely destination for an excursion with a panorama of the Pre-Alps of Fribourg and many leisure activities (rope park etc.).
  • Jaunbach (Jogne) gorge – natural landscape with unique fauna and flora between Broc and the dam on the Lac de Montsalven.
  • Gruyères – picture-book little medieval town on a small hill, dominated by a castle and a large show cheese-making factory.
  • Moléson – mountain (2002 m) with fine views, restaurant, astronomical observatory, summer sledging run and via ferrata (fixed-cable climbing route), one of the largest skiing area in the Fribourg region.
  • Bulle – centre of the Gruyère region, the little town is worth a visit, with the Gruyère Museum of Heritage and Customs.
  • Visit Cailler in Broc – Switzerland's first chocolate factory, built in 1898 by the chocolate pioneer Alexandre Cailler.

Top Events

  • International Triennal of Paper Art – celebrating all aspects of creativity with paper (June).
  • Festival of Swiss wrestling in Charmey – competition for national stars of Swiss wrestling and a heritage festival (July).
  • Open-air cinema on the Vounetse – combination of panoramic views and cinematic delights (August).
  • Procession of cows down from the mountains, and craft market in Charmey – big festival with lots of regional traditions (September).
  • Traditional hay-cart racing – original-style hay-carts compete, with prizes also for their artistic design (October).

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