The peaceful scenery of the Gruyère region, with the Lake of Gruyère – one of the finest artificial lakes in Switzerland – is home to the black and white Fribourg cows which provide the milk for the strongly flavoured Gruyère cheese. In the middle of this picture postcard scenery, nestling between the slopes of the Moléson and the Dent du Chamois, rises the medieval, traffic-free little town of Gruyères, with its castle, surrounded by a fortified wall.
Inside the 13th century castle is a museum covering eight centuries of the architecture, history and culture of the region. In the second, smaller castle in Gruyères, St. Germain, is the HR Giger museum. It was Giger who designed the horrific fantasy figures for the Hollywood film "Alien". The museum houses the artist's most important pictures and sculptures from 1960 to the present day, and there is also an HR Giger bar.
An important part in the picturesque overall scene in the little town is played by the several restaurants serving specialities from the Gruyère region: fondue, raclette and, especially, desserts made with the excellent Gruyère double cream.
In the modern show cheesery at Gruyères you can see how the tasty Gruyère cheese is made. And to round off the tour of culinary delights: for those with a sweet tooth it would be worth taking a guided tour round the Maison Cailler The Swiss Chocolate factory in nearby Broc.
The idyllic landscape of the Gruyère region and the increasingly wild valley towards the Jaun Pass present a paradise for hikers and mountain bikers.
Accessible according to individual's wishes and abilities. A system of tokens gives you access to all these leisure pursuits: Bobsleigh, Dowhill-scootering, Grass scooter, minigolf, Cheese dairy on the alp.
Attention: one must be taller than 1.4 m. (1.10m for the bobsleigh) You can however take a smaller child with you if you wish.
The Moléson skiing area (2003 m) is the largest skiing area in the Fribourg region. The eight lifts and 35 km of pistes offer slopes to suit all the family. The gondola lift in Charmey takes skiers up to the Vounetz (1627 m), and then you can recover afterwards in the water playgrounds. Not far from Gruyères there are also the winter sports areas of La Berra, Charmey and Jaun.
- Gruyères – a picture-book medieval town on a little hill, with a castle and countless restaurants offering local specialities.
- HR Giger Museum – in the little castle of St. Germain in Gruyères, the surrealist artist HR Giger displays his horrific fantasy figures.
- Show cheese dairy "La Maison du Gruyère" – there is also a tourist office, an exhibition, a restaurant and the Gruyères market with regional specialities here.
- Moléson – panoramic mountain with cable-car, summit restaurant, astronomical observatory and via ferrata (fixed-cable climb): the largest skiing area in the Fribourg region.
- Bulle – the commercial and cultural centre of the Gruyère region, a historic little town with the Gruyère regional museum of heritage and customs.
- Poya – the big, colourful Gruyère festival of transhumance (seasonal movement of livestock) at Estavannens takes place every ten years, but the smaller annual "poyas" when the cattle are taken up the mountain are also charming (May/sometimes June).
- St-Jean Festival at the Castle – every year, this major festival brings part of the rich history of Gruyères and its Castle back to life (June).
- Slow-up Gruyère – priority to muscle power on this car-free adventure day, following a route about 25 km long round the Lake of Gruyère (July).
- Chilbi Festival (Bénichon) – huge multi-course banquets with saffron bread and local "Chilbi" mustard, held all over the Fribourg region (September/October).
- Swiss Gastronomic & Regional Produce Fair in Bulle – Switzerland's largest exhibition of local produce and the culinary traditions of the region (November).