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 AOC 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.
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.
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 AOC 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.
Skiers can take the cable-car up to the Vounetse in the massif of the Dents Vertes. The six lifts, a snowpark, floodlit cross-country tracks, a sledging run, snow-shoe routes and an artificial ice-rink mean there is a wide range of winter sports available. The family-friendly skiing area of Jaun, with its four lifts, also offers all the benefits of a compact skiing area for families with children. There are other nearby skiing areas on the La Berra (1720 m) and Moléson (2002 m).
Let yourself be charmed by the mountains! Charmey offers holidays in a unique setting where nature and tradition are respected and cherished. Discover the many facets of this Prealpine region at any season, all year round. The idyllic landscape around Charmey is formed of ten valleys. Among the rivers, lakes, Alpine meadows and mountain peaks, hikers and mountain-bikers can find a host of signposted trails of varying levels of difficulty. There are plenty of attractions for families, too – including an adventure rope park, mini-golf and the Rapido Sky gondola. Panoramic cabins (each accommodating 8 people) bring you to the summit of Vounetz (1,650m), and glorious views of the Prealps. The traditional world of the Alpine pastures twinned with the magic of the “Bains de la Gruyère” spa: wellbeing and relaxation in their purest form!
- 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 (2003 m) with fine views, restaurant, astronomical observatory, summer sledging run and via ferrata (fixed-cable climbing route), 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.
- 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).
Very good article about Charmey