Young woman leading a cow along the Gstaad promenade (Züglete), with cows walking next to her and the people and houses of Gstaad in the background. ©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Yannick Romagnoli / ©Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus

Cattle drive (Züglete) along the Gstaad promenade in autumn


Fancy autumn in Switzerland? Then there’s nowhere better than the holiday region of Gstaad!

Summer is coming to an end. Visitors to the holiday region of Gstaad love the seamless transition to a glorious autumn. Enjoy the season of mellow fruitfulness in the Bernese Oberland with a host of experiences and events.

A man looking out over the lake from the end of the jetty in autumn, with a rowing boat bobbing next to the jetty. Background with mountains covered in forest.

Lauenen Lauenensee fall

©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Yannick Romagnoli / ©Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus

En route to Lauenensee

In the words of Bernese-dialect rock band Span, ‘I gloube, I gange no meh a Louenesee’ (‘I think I’ll be heading to Lake Lauenen a bit more’). It’s a sentiment we fully endorse this autumn. There truly is a little idyll waiting for you up there at Lauenensee! Those looking to indulge in great food will be more than satisfied: the rustic mountain inn above the lake is a lovely place to while away some time, or you can enjoy an open-air fondue at the XXL fondue caquelon on the panoramic hiking route from Lauenen to Tüffi and back to the starting point. Keen hikers can go for a long walk in the nature reserve, where a ranger will be happy to tell you all about the local flora and fauna. You won’t be short of things to do, and you’ll love the peace and tranquillity of Lake Lauenen. It’s easy to get there by post bus: the Gstaad–Lauenensee line runs until the end of October. The Gstaad Card allows you to travel on public transport within the region for free if you’re staying for one night or more.

Fondue with a view

A dining experience with a twist awaits at various outdoor spots around Gstaad. You’ll find six XXL caquelons and two fondue huts at a total of eight locations, accessible on foot, by bike or, in some cases, by post bus. All of them have the facilities for enjoying an outdoor fondue. One is located near the cheese grotto in Bissen, and another on the Grossi Vorschess. But they all have one thing in common: this traditional melted cheese dish tastes even better with incredible panoramic views of the mountains!

Three women sitting at a giant wooden fondue caquelon, toasting each other amid a beautiful mountain landscape. Their bikes are propped up next to them.

Giant fondue caquelon

©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 André Meier / Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad AG, ©Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus
Cows decorated with flowers walking down into the valley.

Cow with flower headdress

©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Nicolas Zürcher / ©Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus, Content Chalet

Traditional fun ‘til the cows come home

Mark your calendar for an unmissable traditional event for young and old: at the start of September, local farming families lead their cows down from the mountain pastures to the valley. Decked with flowers, the cattle are led along the promenade, with market stalls, musical performances and other events taking place alongside. Even if you can’t make it for the parade, you have a good chance of spotting cows being led down to the valley on other days in autumn. It’s a spectacular end to a successful alpine season!

Rousing country tunes

Music lovers will be in their element here too. On 8 and 9 September, figures from the international country scene flock to this holiday region. This year’s line-up includes big names like Miranda Lambert, Randall King and Jo-El Sonnier. Florian Fox, Switzerland’s answer to Johnny Cash, will also get the crowd’s toes a-tapping. If classical music’s more your thing, the renowned Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy runs until 2 September.

A country band playing on stage in Gstaad to a cheering audience.

Country Night Gstaad

©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 unbekannt / Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad AG, ©Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus
A family walks on a hiking trail next to a green meadow, in the background a mountain landscape.

Family hiking together in Bernese Oberland.

©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Melanie Uhkoetter / Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus

A mountain paradise in the Bernese Alps

A proper hike is a must on any holiday in the Bernese Oberland. Locals love Sparenmoos above Zweisimmen, which has a very special aura. Head up to this unique plateau 1,600–1,750 m above sea level to enjoy the remarkable panoramic views. The route starts in the Sparenmoos car park, leads over the gently rising Nüjeberg plain and continues to Alp Schilteneg and the summit of Hundsrügg. Your gaze sweeps over the distant scenery, delighting in the spectacular views over Stockhorn, the Bernese and Vaud Alps, the Wildstrubel, Mont Blanc and the picturesque Simmental valley. The hiking taxi ferries keen hikers around until 15 October – book the day before. Alternatively, you can take the post bus up from Zweisimmen.

Make your own cheese

The return of the cows from the alpine meadows in autumn is a cause for celebration. To mark the occasion, the fresh Alpine cheese is cut for the first time. Experience this for yourself at the ‘Chäsete’ in the idyllic mountain village of Abländschen, where on 16 September visitors can help with the cheesemaking process and make their own piece of this Swiss speciality. With local Alpine farmers on hand to help, the milk is curdled in a copper kettle over the fire and cut with a cheese harp before the curds are finally pressed. Even if you can’t make it to the Chäsete, a trip to Abländschen is worth your while. With a population of just 30, this village is nestled in a picturesque valley surrounded by the imposing, saw-toothed Gastlosen mountains. It is a perfect place to escape from the cares and stresses of everyday life. The Berghotel Zur Sau serves superb cuisine, while the local landscape is a paradise for hikers, climbers and cyclists.

Barns and houses on either side of a minor road amid a beautiful landscape, with mountains and a cloudy sky in the background.


©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 unbekannt / ©Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus
A mother and her toddler look out over the playground in front of the mountain restaurant on the Rinderberg.

Façade playground at Olga's cowsh

©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Melanie Uhkoetter / ©Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus

Abundant options for families

Head to Saaniland for brilliant experiences and adventures for visitors of all ages! The Wispile is home to a petting zoo, playground and cute scooters for the zooming down the slopes. Alpenruhe World of Adventures has a pirate ship, children’s railway and bouncy pillows – plenty to delight mini pirates and future train drivers. The high-altitude hike from Horneggli to Rinderberg is suitable for the whole family. At the end, little ones are rewarded with Olga’s cowshed, where they can let off steam in the indoor area or on the outdoor playground, while their parents put their feet up on the terrace of the mountain restaurant. If the weather isn’t cooperating, head to STATION Saanen, an indoor playground in Saanen. There’s all sorts for families to do! A special programme of family events takes place on 2–27 October, with plenty of fun activities.

Charming cycling route

Legend has it that the Saanenland was shaped by God’s own hand. During the Creation, He is said to have rested and set down His hand, creating the region’s four valleys where His fingers lay. Enjoy magnificent views of these four valleys by cycling the scenic route dubbed Gstaad’s Pédaleur de Charme. It takes around three and a half hours to cover the 60 km from Gstaad to Gruben, Schönried, Saanenmöser, Lauenen and back to the starting point.

Cyclists travelling through Gsteig on their bikes, with houses on either side and an imposing mountain landscape in the background.

Sommer 2022 Women's Cycling ST

©  Jede Nutzung von Assets ist die Nennung des Copyrights „Schweiz Tourismus / Fotografen oder Produzent“ zwingend vorgeschrieben.
A white plate laden with meat and vegetables, and pans in the background.

Plate laden with meat and vegetables

©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Yannick Romagnoli / Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad AG, ©Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus

Game dishes and meat feasts

Visitors eat very well indeed in Gstaad. This foodie destination has a wide selection of top restaurants, boasting around 278 Gault Millau points and one Michelin star between them. In autumn it’s all about game dishes and traditional meat feasts, as served at the golfing hotel Les Hauts de Gstaad & Spa in Saanenmöser or the Hotel Kernen in Schönried.

Adrenaline rush at Glacier 3000

Play it cool at Glacier 3000 – this unique glacier ski area has plenty of activities in store. The Peak Walk by Tissot isn’t for the faint-hearted, while the Alpine Coaster, the highest toboggan run in the world, provides the ultimate adrenaline rush. After all those thrills, relax at the Refuge de l’Espace, a spectacular mountaintop lounge.

Two people having fun on the Alpine Coaster on Glacier3000.

Rapid descent with the Alpine Coaster on Glacier3000.

©  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 unbekannt / Glacier 3000