What to visit in Switzerland in the canton of Friborg?

Switzerland is a small country but the density of incredible landscapes that you will have the opportunity to see there will make you quickly forget this detail. I spent a few days exploring a particular area: the canton of Friborg. And I can tell you that I did not have time to be bored! Here are all my favorites and tips to visit Friborg.

The Great Cariçaie

The journey begins at Estavayer-le-lac is where Grande Cariçaie is located. This huge nature reserve is the largest swampy area in Switzerland. It hosts more than 800 plant species and 10,000 animal species: one quarter of Switzerland's fauna and flora! It serves as a refuge for migrating birds and you can see different species passing by depending on the season. But it is also a beaver home where you can see the work everywhere (big toothaches in the trees everywhere) but are a little shy and you can see only at rare occasions. Yes, nature can not be controlled: it's not a zoo 😉

In any case I advise you to spend and keep your eyes wide open to see the life that unfolds under your nose throughout the ride. And for your convenience, paths and observation points are planned throughout the park.

The city of Friborg

Here is now the capital of the Canton of Friborg, which bears the same name (sometimes, we must not complicate life). It is a medieval town quite impressive for the simple reason that it was built on the side of a cliff. This is indeed the strategic point that Berthold IV chose to build his castle in the twelfth century to monitor the region and reaffirm its authority.

The city still bathes in this medieval atmosphere and the half-timbered houses as well as the magnificent historic buildings that are still standing like the cathedral give it a real cachet. The district of the lower town is particularly pleasant to walk, the walk is punctuated by several points of view very pleasant. I particularly advise you to pass on the “middle bridge” which offers one of the most beautiful panoramas on the city. Do you want proof ? Look at the following picture:

Overlooking the city of Friborg from the middle bridge
The city of Friborg has about 30 000 inhabitants, so it is relatively quiet and especially really nice. To do in 1/2 or 1 day I think.

Thein Gruyère

If you are French like me, your brain must have a very particular reaction as soon as it hears, sees (or feels?) The word cheese. So you will understand my excitement when I saw that Switzerland had a whole region that bore the name of a cheese: the Gruyère region!

Well, I'm going to start by breaking a myth: no Gruyere does not have a hole! The real Swiss Gruyère, made in the region from local cow's milk, is indeed a full cheese. Not to be confused with Emmental. And that's good news, because fewer holes = more cheese!

The town of Gruyère

You can start your visit to the region by visiting the town of Gruyère and its castle. It is beautiful and its small cobbled streets are perfect for a stroll. There are many famous fusion restaurants where you can fill your stomach for lunch. For a more unusual experience I advise to go to the museum and the bar of HR Giger, the creator ofAlien. A large number of his works are exhibited, it is both creepy and fascinating.
This is probably the place where I met the most tourists during my trip to Switzerland, even if it is reasonable, do not hesitate to come early or late afternoon to avoid the world.

Lake Gruyère

Next to the town Gruyère, I also advise you to go to Lake Gruyère to admire the small Ogoz Island. It is a landscape simply super relaxing. I was there for the sunrise (it's my friend Carim, a local instagrammer who told me about it) and the show was both beautiful and soothing. I urge you, whether in the morning or the afternoon.

Lake Gruyère

An extraordinary experience

My visit to Gruyère was also an opportunity to meet Jean Claude Pesse, a local who has been working for several years to transport mule equipment for the alpine season to various shelters. He does this in an association and respecting the traditions of the best possible. So I left with Jean Claude and a small troop of friends, all dressed in traditional clothes, to deliver material to a shepherdess.

It was a simple moment of sharing with people that I am not used to dealing with in my daily life and who welcomed me with great kindness. We were able to share during the hike but also during a meal that they kindly offered me 🙂
I also did some portraits of them to immortalize the moment:

Thees Gastlosen

The Soldier's Cottage

You can not go to Switzerland without spending at least one night in a chalet. It is a real institution there and you would miss a great experience. But beware when I say cottage, do not imagine a small pile of wood lost in the mountains, some are very modern and comfortable as for example the Chalet du Soldat.

What is less comfortable, however, is the way to get there! Because you will still have to walk for a good hour (on a sloping ground) to finally see the famous chalet. The ride remains accessible but it will still ask you some effort.

awakening from the balcony of the soldier's chalet in friborg

The view from the chalet is just beautiful and the surroundings too. I advise you to sleep on site (you can eat and sleep there, there are packages with correct prices) to explore the place for 2 days. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance on the weather so I will not be able to tell you about the hike on the mountain ridge that surrounds the chalet but apparently it is extraordinary.

In short, it is a place that has nothing to envy to the Dolomites and is still unknown to the general public.

A summit that is reminiscent of the 3 peaks in the dolomites

The Paccots

I also made a quick pass to the Paccots, this time I had more luck on the weather because a light mist enveloped the trees and the atmosphere was just perfect. Very melancholic and “moody” as we like them.
The special atmosphere of Friborg when it rains
So I ended my trip in the Canton of Friborg on a very nice note. I returned with beautiful memories full of head and some nice shots in my camera. I can only invite you to go and visit this little corner of the world which offers grandiose landscapes and which the local population will welcome you with open arms (not to mention its delicious cheese of course).
I hope I have made you want to visit the beautiful canton of Friborg, if you have any questions or comments do not hesitate to use the commentary space 🙂
this is the kind of place you fall on when you get lost in Friborg
Travel realized in collaboration with Friborg Region. My favorites & reco remain of course the fruit of my own appreciations 🙂

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