Romandy is the French-speaking part of Western Switzerland. We visited the region during our holidays in late September this year.
We were driving from Aigues Mortes (southern France) to Schaffhausen (northern Switzerland). Romandy was on the way and therefore we decided to spend a day in this beautiful region. We always like to stay longer in one place, but we also try to discover new spots for our next holidays. With this one day tour through Romandy in Switzerland, we had the intention to see and decide for ourselves if we wanted to come back here in the future for a longer holiday.
I must admit, we fell in love deeply and probably will try to visit this area as soon as possible.
The location of the region couldn't be better. It is surrounded by vineyards, close to the Alps and mountain lakes and so close to French border. Romandy has everything that Switzerland stands for - great food, spectacular views, nice people and French as a main language!
We stayed at the Novotel in Lausanne Bussigny. The hotel is only two minutes off the highway but also just 5 kilometers away from the historic city center of Lausanne. The Novotel in Lausanne has a children’s playground, fitness facilities, a swimming pond and a sauna which is great if you want to relax after a long day in the car.
Actually, when booking a hotel, four criteria are most important for us:
1. It has to have a swimming pool or/and a sauna to relax after hours of see sighting,
2. It has to be within good distance from the main road leading out/into the city, so we don’t lose too much time coming in and out,
3. It has to serve good breakfast and
4. The parking should be free or not more than 15 Euro per day.
The route we have set for our one day tour through Romandy in Switzerland was as following: Lausanne-Lutry-Montreux- Gruyères.
Lutry. We wanted to drive along the beautiful lake Geneva (French: le lac Léman) which stretches from Geneva to Montreux. We also didn’t want to miss the beautiful region of Lavaux, which is the largest contiguous vineyard region in Switzerland. Therefore, we decided to visit Lutry, which is right on the vineyard route. It’s a small medieval town with narrow streets and various shops and restaurants.
What we liked the most, was the town’s harbor, which for a small town as such had a great number of beautiful boats and small yachts. The water of the lake is crystal clear. You can walk along its shore while enjoying the view of the vineyards on one side and the beautiful, snow covered mountains on the other. Just breathtaking!
This town of not just 25,000 citizens is located along the Lake Geneva shoreline and at the foot of the Alps. It is a famous little town and has been a home for many prominent people such as David Bowie, Vladimir Nabokov or Shania Twain. We drove and walked a bit through the city center and I can easily say – the town’s regular citizens don’t know how fortunate they are to be living here! I am not surprised that many famous people chose this little town as their home.
The day was warm, the sky clear blue, and the lake and the snow-white peaks of the Alps in the far distance make this place a dream. What was really surprising to me though was the statue of Freddie Mercury along the promenade. The city wanted to honored the artist who enjoyed the peace and quiet of this town. He spent the last few years of his life in Montreux, where he recorded his last songs in October 1991.
We love cheese. The smellier the better? Therefore we decided to visit La Maison du Gruyère. It is a famous cheese factory and at the same time it is a small exhibition center. Here you can get useful information about the secrets of the Gruyère AOP making.
If you come before 3 pm, you will be able to see the live process of the cheese making from start to finish. Also, make sure to read the information boards attached to each of the production steps. If you arrive after 3 pm, as we did, you will be able to see the factory but without the “live show”.
When walking through the factory you can enjoy the audio commentaries on the audio set that you get with the ticket (which is 7 CHF ). There comes a really cool surprise with the ticket, but I’m not going to tell, as it’s a surprise :)