Exploring Canton Vaud –
Cheese Making On the Farm in Villars Sur Ollon
There is so much to see and do in Canton Vaud, and one resort which is definitely worth exploring is Villars-sur-Ollon. It is situated at 1300 m above the Rhone valley, in the heart of Canton Vaud and the scenery is straight out of a picture book.
You can enjoy amazing views of the Dents-du-Midi and the Mont Blanc massif and the whole area is totally unspoilt. One experience which is really fun, is watching cheese being made on a farm. It is offered by the tourism office and you can book directly with the farm (details below). After you have seen the cheese being made you then sit down to a hearty farm breakfast with lots of farmhouse goodies.
So one morning we left our hotel shortly after 8am and drove to the farm at Alpage du Col de la Croix, Col de la Croix in Villars-sur-Ollon to the farm where the cheese is made. It’s in an idyllic setting – but you do need to look out carefully for the signs to find it.
Once we had announced ourselves, we were taken to the outbuilding where the cheese is made – and boy was it hot! The wood fire was blazing and the large copper vats were full of milk ready to be transformed into cheese.
This traditional method of making alpine cheese hasn’t changed for years and at the Col de la Croix they produce L’Etivaz, an AOP Swiss Alp Cheese.
The cheese is made using an age-old traditional technique which requires specialist equipment and lots of hard work and know how.
Lots of stirring is involved as well as constant checks on the temperature gauges.
When the cheese has got to the correct consistency, the mixture is divided and placed into large moulds covered with cotton cloths.
Making cheese is hard work and very intense and it requires a lot of lifting. The huge rounds of cheese are then placed in a specially weighted rack to drain off all excess fluid before the next stage of the process which is for the cheese to be left to mature.
After having watched the L’Etivaz cheese being made, we then went into the farmhouse where we were served a delicious breakfast with farm produce from the Col de la Croix farm. No surprise of course that cheese was on the menu ! 🙂
I loved the cow paintings they had on the walls of the farmhouse:
After breakfast we went back into the outbuilding to see one more cheese being made, this time a softer cheese. The temperature was even higher for this cheese and once again the fire was roaring hard.
Next it was time to have a quick wander around the farmyard and make some new friends.
Other Activities in The Area
Other activities you can enjoy in the area in summer the are extensive hiking, mountain biking and golf. There are over 300 km of signposted footpaths and 150 km of mountain bike routes. If you fancy playing golf there is a supremely scenic 18-hole golf course at 1600 m right in the heart of the mountains, with views of Mont Blanc. Other activities you can enjoy in the areas include Nordic walking trails, a sport centre with ice rink, swimming pool and climbing walls and a via ferrata climb. You can read about some of these ideas here.
More Excursions in the Vaud Region
Other excursions not far away include the AquaParc and Swiss Vapeur Parc in Bouveret, the adventure rope park in Aigle , the adventure maze in Evionnaz and the Salt Mine in Bex.
To Book The Cheese Making and Farm Breakfast Experience
You can book up to 6 pm the day before, by telephoning the farm on 024 498 11 78.
Alpage du Col de la Croix Famille Mottier & Jourdain
Address: Col de la Croix, 1884 Villars-sur-Ollon
Tel : +41 (0)24 498 11 78
We throughly enjoyed our little trek into the mountains to see the cheese being made and it it’s a wonderful experience for all the family. And the views around the farmyard are simply stunning!
Tickets – CHF 15
Children (4 to 8 years old) – CHF 12
- Children under 4 are free
- You can find out more on the website here.
This article was a collaboration with Villars Tourism
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