Hidden Gems in Villars, Gryon, Les Diablerets and Bex
Escape to the the Undiscovered Side of Switzerland
Nature and Relaxation in Villars
If you’re planning a relaxing holiday in Switzerland this Summer not too far from Geneva or Montreux, but looking for something a little off the beaten track, how about a stay in Villars? You may not have heard of Villars, but that’s part of its charm – it hasn’t been discovered by everyone (yet)! It is still very authentic and natural. Located at an altitude of 1,300 metres, it occupies a stunning location right in the heart of the Vaud Alps.
What’s more, it is surrounded by some of the most beautiful Swiss countryside you could possible wish for. A true Swiss secret!
Old and New Chalets Intertwine
Photo © Roman Tyulyakov
The village is very picturesque with lots of beautiful old wooden chalets dotted around, tastefully intermixed with modern buildings made of wood and stone. Villars has managed to retain its village atmosphere by ensuring that all new buildings blend in perfectly with the natural setting. Indeed, much of the area is protected to preserve this unique natural environment.
Nature and Leisure Facilities on Your Doorstep
The region around Villars offers a great range of leisure activities for families and people of all ages.
There are so many hiking trails in this region that you will be spoilt for choice. So whether you are looking for a relaxed stroll for a couple of hours, or a challenging full day’s hike, the choice is yours. Take a look here for a list of some great hikes of varying lengths and difficulty.
Immersing Yourself in Nature
The pristine Alpine pastures are a world away from high pressure city life, so leave your work back home and de-stress and relax in this idyllic setting.
Photo © Olivier Fatzer
Many of the hiking trails take you past crystal clear lakes, stunning mountains and lots of wildlife.
Villars is a place to go to get away from it all and to relax in the mountain atmosphere.
You can enjoy the stunning views and practise your favourite sport or maybe discover a new one.
Wellness and Relaxation at the Bains de Villars
After you have enjoyed your hiking or walking how about a spot of Wellness?
In the modern “Bains de Villars” Wellness Centre you can relax and unwind surrounded by panoramic alpine views. Perfect for both your physical and mental well-being, this new purpose built complex offers all sorts of treatments from classic massages to hot stones, to Lomi Lomi. You can also enjoy a hot scrub which is made from salt from the local salt mines in Bex. and the emphasis is on relaxation and peace. You can find out more here about the baths here. For the treatments on offer take a look here.
Explore The Region – Chateau de La Roche
Château de la Roche
If you love discovering quaint and charming villages, the area around Ollon is full of little gems. With its little narrow streets, its beautiful historical buildings and of course, the “Château de la Roche” there is plenty to see and do. The castle in fact dates from the 13th century and is located in the heart of the wine-producing village of Ollon, in the Chablais mountains. This 18th century fortified mansion has been undergoing restoration since 1989 and hosts a large number of cultural activities such as public events, exhibitions, conferences and receptions. The chateau is owned by the Fondation du Château de la Roche and parts of the foundations date back to around 1200. A treasured part of the local history.
Explore the Vineyards
The whole area benefits from its sunny south-facing position.
There are lots of local vineyards producing wonderful wine, many of whom offer tastings. Whilst your visiting the region do take the opportunity to visit some of the vineyards, taste the local wines and maybe bring home a bottle or two for later. You can see a list of the wine producers here.
There are plenty of beautiful walks you can take past the vineyards too. There is a guided tour of Ollon with a visit to a winegrower every Wednesday from 21stAugust to 20th October – see details here. There is even a guided wine tour (which takes 8 hours to complete!) and takes you from Yvorne – Aigle – Verschiez – Ollon – Antagnes – le Bouillet – le Bévieux – Bex – Lavey. You can find out all about the wine trail here.
Discover The Local Etivaz Cheese
Photo courtesy of Etivaz Cheese
Etivaz is created in a traditional manner over an open fire on over 130 alps between Les Diablerets and the vineyards of Lake Geneva. It then takes time to mature in a cellar in the village of Etivaz. One of your highlights could be watching the cheese being made on the alps as visitors are welcome to watch the process. Or maybe you would like to go for a tour of a cheese “cave” and find out all about the maturation process. You can find out all about it here. You may even be interested in going on a Cheese Trail where you watch the cheese being made then spend a night in an alpine hut surrounded by the sound of cow bells and the beauty of nature. If you wish you can sleep on a bed of straw, otherwise mattresses are provided. Find out all about the Cheese Trail here.
A Day Trip to Geneva, Montreux or Vevey
Photo courtesy of Catherine Mikton
If you fancy a trip to town, for shopping or some urban vibes, Geneva is 120 km away and Montreux is 30 kilometres away. Vevey, though not so big, is also charming and very interesting and is just a little further. You can find out the top things to see and do in Geneva here and some inspiration for things to do in Vevey here.
The Lakeside in Montreux
However the real beauty of Villars and Ollon must lie in its proximity to nature and its wonderful relaxation. To find out more about this beautiful area of Switzerland please visit the website.
2 Special Summer Holiday Offers
For hotel and other accommodation please visit the Villars Diablerets website here
Map Showing Villars (blue marker) and Diablerets:
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