Situated at around 1000 metres in altitude, half-way between the classy resort of Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland and the small town of Gruyères in the canton of Fribourg, lie the two places of Château-d'Oex and Rougemont. The holiday region of Pays-d'Enhaut in the canton of Vaud is linked to the Lake Geneva region by the Col des Mosses and by the Montreux – Bernese Oberland Railway. Thanks to its favourable micro-climate, Château-d'Oex has developed into a hot-air ballooning metropolis. Passenger flights are available throughout the year and an international competition in hot-air ballooning is held every January.
But the older traditions too have been retained: accordingly, the much-loved Alpine cheese of Etivaz is still made over an open wood fire. In Rougemont, many chalets dating back a hundred years bear testimony to the folk art of the region.
Children too are fully catered for in the Pays-d'Enhaut. It allows the entire family to give themselves up to an adventurous treasure hunt. The themed trail about the life of ants on La Braye and a visit to the mineral and fossil collection in Rougemont are also highly enjoyable.
A beautiful pre-Alpine walking area lies south of Château-d'Oex: La Pierreuse, the largest nature conservation area in western Switzerland contains rock areas, forests, abundant flora and flat moors. For both leading bikers and amateurs, the Pays-d'Enhaut offers a large network of marked mountain biking trails along the tracks of the 1997 world championships. You can indulge in white-water sports on the fast-flowing river Saane: canyoning, hydrospeed, canoeing /kayaking and river rafting. One of Switzerland’s most beautiful river rafting routes lies between the wild Vanel and Gérignoz gorges.
The La Braye ski region of Château d'Oex has seven ski lifts and 40 km of pistes. Thanks to the Videmanette cableway, Rougemont has a direct connection to the ski area of Gstaad. In winter, the railway also brings winter sports enthusiasts to the nearby ski areas of Schönried and Saanenmöser. The high plateau of Les Mosses – La Lécherette is very popular with cross-country skiers. 35 km of trails lead through snow-covered fields and forests. Further activities and facilities include snow-shoe treks, toboggan runs and winter walking trails.
- Espace Ballon – balloon museum charting the history of aviation and ballooning. The hot-air balloon – as used by Jules Vernes, through to its use in the adventures of Piccard and Jones – is the focus of everything here.
- Etivaz cheese – is made in the Alpine huts of the Pays-d'Enhaut in cauldrons over open wood fires.
- Mike Horn Family – obstacle course by the adventurer Mike Horn in the form of a treasure hunt with interesting posts about the demands placed on expeditions – an adventure for the entire family.
- Musée du Vieux Pays-d'Enhaut – the homeland museum in Château-d'Oex has dedicated its collections amongst others, to the art of silhouette cutting which has enjoyed popularity since the 18th century.
- Le Grand Chalet in Rossinière – the chalet dating from 1754 with 113 windows, in which the well-known painter Henri Balthus lived, has long been regarded as the largest in Switzerland.
- Montreux – Bernese Oberland Railway (MOB) – the Pays-d'Enhaut lies along its panoramic rail route, which links Montreux on Lake Geneva to Gstaad and Zweisimmen in the Bernese Oberland.
International hot-air balloon week – a colourful spectacle in the sky. Balloonists from throughout the world convene to participate in a week-long competition (January).
my wife and i have just returned for CHATEAU D'EUX it must be one of the most fantastic places in the world to visit Cannot wait to return next year. Merv Baxter.