Alpabzugs, Alpabfahrts, Alp Processions & Cow Parades in Switzerland
Alpabzugs, Alpabfahrts, Alp Processions, Désalpes or Cow Parades
Details of Dates Listed Below – Scroll Down for details
Whatever you want to call them, Alpabzugs, Alpabfahrts, Alp Processions, Désalpes or Cow Parades – the traditional Swiss custom when the cows come down the mountains is one of the highlights of Autumn in Switzerland. Not only are they colourful, joyful and fun events, but afterwards there is plenty of partying to be had in the villages, often with a cheese or farmers market.
Celebrations To Mark The Return of The Cows
At this time of year, the farmers are rejoicing in the return of their treasured cows after the cows have spent the Summer up the mountain. This usually calls for a celebration with festive food and drink. As the cows approach from the distance you hear the melodious sound of their bells announcing their arrival long before they come into sight. Not only do the herdsmen dress up in traditional clothing but the cows dress up in finery and flowers too. Flowers, ribbons, you name it – these cows are beauitifed to the nines!
An Alpine Festival – Fun For All The Family
If you haven’t been to a cow parade it really is a wonderful experience and fun for all the family. Please note that often there is often no exact time for the the cow parades to start, sometimes these details are not given, and sometimes the information is only announced online at the last minute.
All information provided here is correct to the best of our knowledge but please do check before you set out. Many towns are villages are inaccessible to cars during the Cow Parades, so where possible go by public transport – or arrive early and follow the signs for special car parks and or shuttle buses. The local tourist offices should have some information and some dates aren’t published until a day or two before.
9th September 2023 Mels Cow Parade and Festival
Mels is not too far from Zurich and they have special car parks set up in the fields outside the town. There are market stalls and festivities all day. See details of the Mels Cow Parades here.
9th September 2023 Müstair Parade and Festival
The Müstair Alpine Festival is a great event. See details of the Müstair Alpine Festival here.
9th September 2023 Brigels Cow Parade and Festival
The Brigels Alpabzug / Scargada is a great alpine festival with around 600 animals making their way to the town. See details of the Brigels Alpabzug here.
15th September 2023 Cow Parade Summiswald
The Summiswald Alpine festival which includes the villages of Sumiswald and Wasen, celebrates the return of the cows from the summer pastures with traditional spirit on the 15th September. See details here.
16th September 2023 Klosters Alpine Parade
The Klosters Alpine Festival is great event with entertainment and a great cow parade. See details of the Klosters Festival here.
16th September 2023 Innertkirchen Alpine Parade
The Innerkirchen Alpine Festival takes place on 16th September. See details here.
16th September 2023 Einsiedeln Alpine Parade
The Einsiedeln Alpine Festival only takes place every 5 years. See details here.
16th September 2023 Flims Alpine Parade
The Flims Alpine Festival is a great event. See details here.
16th September 2023 La Fouly Alpine Parade
La Fouly Alpine Festival in the French speaking part of Switzerland takes place on 16th September. See details here.
16th September 2023 Urnäsch Alpine Parade
One of my favourites is the Urnäsch Alpine Festival. See all the details here.
16th September 2023 Blatten bei Naters Alpine Parade
Another Alpine Festival worth visiting is in Blatten bei Naters. Read all about it here.
16th September 2023 Désalpe in Serin Anzere
The return of the cows from Serin to Anzere offers a whole day of festivities from 11am till 7pm. There will be cows, fun, festivities and food. Find out more here.
18th September Bern Alpine Parade
The traditional Bern alpine parade takes place on 18th September from 10am with a procession into the Bundesplatz and there is lots of traditional entertainment. Read all about the Bern event here.
23rd September 2023 Cow Parade Emmetten
A full day of festivities is planned for the Cow Parade and market in Emmetten, Lots of locat prodcuce and of course the parade of beautiful cows. See details here.
23rd September 2023 Cow Parade / Désalpe Grimentz
The cow parade in Grimentz is really special. Not only is the location super scenic but the local black Herens cows are real head turners! Be ready from 11am in Grimentz and enjoy the local farmers market too! See details here.
23rd September 2023 Cow Parade Schwanden
There’s a packed agenda of activities for the Schwanden alpine parade with music, food, cow parade. See the agenda here.
23rd September 2023 Cow Parade Entlebuch – Schupfheim
Another real favourite here! Expect a very special cow parade with lots of cows arriving in Schüpfheim from 11am, all sorts of festivities and beautiful costumes. See details here.
23rd September 2023 Cow Parade Schwarzsee in Plaffeien
One of the most famous cow parade in the Fribourg region of Schwarzee – this should be a great spectacle. See details here.
23rd September 2023 Cow Parade / Désalpes in Charmey
The cow parade in Charmey always takes place in the last Saturday of September when the cows return to the lower pastures. See all the details here.
23rd September 2023 Cow Parade / Désalpes in Blonay
Blonay is located not far from Vevey and its cow parade takes place around midday and arrives in the centre of the town between 1p and 2 pm. From 11am onwards there will be plenty of local alpine festivities. Read all the details here.
30th September 2023 Cow Parade & Yodelling in Klöntal
This should be a very interesting cow parade with Yodelling too. Read all the details (in German) here.
30th September 2023 Cow Parade in Näfels
Check out the Näfels cow parade which is not too far from Zurich. Read all the details (in German) here.
30th September 2023 Alpabfahrt Kerns
30th September 2023 Alpabzug Valmala
30th September 2023 Alpabzug Ardez
30th September 2023 Alpabzug L’Etivaz
30th September 2023 Alpabzug Semsales
30th September Alpabzug Albeuve
1st October 2023 Cheese Market in Elm
The first Sunday in October ist he traditional day for the Elm Cheese Market as well as the cows arriving home. You can read about our visit to the Elm Cheese Market here. It all starts at 8am so enjoy a full day of festivities! See details here.
Photos of A Previous Elm Cow Parade
We visited the Elm Alpabfahrt the other year. Take a look at more photos by Carmen Sirboiu here.
Älplerfest Lenk i.S. – 14th October 2023
Goat Show in Grindelwald 5th October
Not a cow parade this time, but another very interesting event is the Goat Show in Grindelwald on 5th October. Read all about it here.
Prättigau Alp Festival 7th & 8th October 2023
Taking place on 7th & 8th October 2023 in Prättigau, 7212 Seewis Dorf, the alpine spectacle should be a great event with lots of activities for all the family. For more details see here.
Here’s a video of the one in Prättigau you might be interested in viewing:
Lenk in Simmental: 14th & 15th October 2023
The imposing landscape that lies before this small village of Lenk adds to the alpine festival. Come to see farmers showing off their best cattle. The Älperfest takes place on 14th October 2023 and the Alpine Brunch event takes place on 8th October 2023 at the Dorfzentrum Lenk, Markt-/Gadeplatz. For more information please see here.
Take a look here at The MySwitzerland.com event calendar here for some more details.
and photos by Geoff Pegler
Carmen specialises in doing LinkedIn photos as well family and pet portraits.
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