Photo © Sally Humphrey-Evans
A Trip to The Maison Cailler
Chocolate Factory in Broc
A great trip outside Zurich which is ideal for a rainy day, is to visit the Cailler Factory in Broc. It takes abound 3 hours or so from Zurich by train (make sure you catch the train that takes you directly to Broc Fabrik – as this is the most direct and convenient route) or about 2 and a quarter hours by car. There is also plenty of parking when you arrive. It’s a day trip which will appeal to young and old alike, and of course any chocolate fan!
Photo © Sally Humphrey-Evans
It’s an impressive building from the outside and when you go inside to buy your ticket you’re asked which language group you would like your tour to be in. The tours are self guided and you’re given a very aptly packaged audio guide shaped like a chocolate bar, for use when you’ve gone through the first part of the tour, and want to learn more about each of the stand-alone exhibits.
We opted for the English language tour which began with the history of chocolate, how cocoa first arrived in Europe and an explanation of the Cailler history.
After the tour which took us on a multimedia journey through a number of rooms we were taken to a hall where there were exhibits of cocoa beans, cocoa butter and lots of information on how chocolate is made.
You were free to touch, sniff and feel all of the products and there were plenty of facts and figures relating to the making of chocolate so it was very educational too.
You also go past the real production plant and take a peak into where they actually make the chocolate and see the huge vats which contain the chocolate. At the end of the tour you get to the really exciting stuff – where they have a small machine actually making and wrapping chocolate – “branches” in front of your eyes:
At the end of the machine is a giant bowl full of the colourfully wrapped chocolates to taste.
You then go through to the final room, the tasting room, where you can taste all the different ranges of chocolate that Cailler produce. Chocolate heaven!
On your way out you pass the “chocolate atelier” where you can sign up for a chocolate course. When we went past there were a number of children enjoying the course – and of course it makes a great birthday party idea!
The tour is really well done and we all had a wonderful time. It’s a great afternoon or morning’s entertainment and children especially really enjoy seeing chocolate being made first hand. The second part of the tour is self paced and you can go through it as slowly or as quickly as you want. Afterwards there is a Cailler chocolate shop where you can buy more chocolate and there is a café where you can buy drinks, snacks, sandwiches and salads.
You could also do as we did, and combine the trip with a visit to the Gruyère cheese factory which is very close by. Maison Cailler is open every day of the year apart from Chistmas Day and New Year’s Day – so an ideal trip for a rainy Sunday when most things in Switzerland are closed.
From 1st April to to 31st October they are open: 10 am to 5 pm
From 1st November to to 31st March they are open: 10 am to 4 pm
Maison Cailler closes one hour after the last guided tour (after the start of the last visit)
Adults – CHF 12
Children under 16 – Free (when accompanied by a paying adult)
Students / Pensioners – CHF 9
There is also a Chocolate train which you can book in advance which goes from Montreux to Broc. For more information see here.
For more information please visit the Maison Cailler website.
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