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Top 5 autumn activities in the Alpes vaudoises

The red-hot days of summer have given way to the coolness of autumn. The days are very clear and the landscapes of the Alpes vaudoises stand out from a distance. The products of this generous season are reaching maturity.

It is the end of summer. The daylight makes the Alpes vaudoises sharp against a background of an intense blue sky. The leaves on the trees are turning yellow and orange; very soon they will cover the ground like a colourful carpet that will be nice to walk on during a hike.

The fruits ripen, apples, pears, prunes, chestnuts... and the squash have reached a respectable size. The grapes are ripe, laughter bursts from the vines. The festive period of the harvest has arrived!

The autumn season is rich in colours and flavours. The harvests, the hikes in the forest, the gatherings around the herd of cows for the descent, the contemplation of the colours of autumn make happy memories to share around the first fire in the fireplace.

And you? What are your favourite moments in this peaceful and colourful season? Here are our top 5 autumn experiences!

1. The cows return home to the village for the passing of winter

The grassy meadows of the Alpes vaudoises made the cows very happy this summer. It's time to come back down from the mountain. The carefully decorated animals are at the centre of this still lively traditional festival.

The herd leaves the pastures of the Alpes vaudoises and brings with it a whole living tradition where parents, grandparents and children mingle in a joyful and noisy convoy of several kilometres covered on foot.

The end of the summer season signals the return of the cows to the village where they will spend the winter. The descent of the herd gives rise to great celebrations. According to the tradition, the cows are decorated with flowers and adorned with their finest bells, the herdsmen put on their traditional costume, the children proudly hold the stick, which by the way is more useful for deterring than for hitting the most adventurous cows . The herdsmen call the leading cows with their typical cries and they all set off one after another.

With the herd, it is also all the pieces of cheese made in the Alps that return to the maturing cellars for the greatest pleasure of fans of hard raw milk cheese.

2. Tread the autumn leaves

The flamboyant colours of autumn invite you to tread the leaves on the hiking trails of the Alpes vaudoises. Take advantage of the late summer’s light to go for a walk in the forest. Keep your eyes peeled and be quiet, it's time for the squirrels to stock up. Children often spot them first. And why not collect the wild mushrooms you find on your passage.

Climb above the edge of the forest to appreciate the views of the lake at the bottom of the valley or that famous peak... but what is its name?

The freshness of the air encourages you to walk briskly. With pleasure and without realising it, you are preparing for the ski season! And what a joy to come home afterwards to drink a herbal tea in the warmth. You could then play a board game with the children while snacking on cookies.

3. Game and other tasty autumn menus

The autumn season pampers us with the tasty products it offers. Think of the countless varieties of pumpkins! All the vegetables, fruits, chestnuts, mushrooms are the basis of delicious preparations and go perfectly with game, the season of which begins in mid-September.

A simmered meat dish, cooked mushrooms, crunchy vegetables and fresh spätzli, the autumn menu combines tastes and products well.

In the Alpes vaudoises, you will find authentic autumn products that you can cook at home. If the desire to discover other tastes is stronger than that of cooking yourself, go and taste a multi-course menu in one of the restaurants serving game or a traditional autumn menu.

The temperature has dropped since the red-hot days of summer and this coolness makes you want to share a fondue  in a chalet. Cheese is our business! L'Etivaz AOP is made on our mountain pastures!

4. Contemplate autumn’s wonderful colours

The clarity and the colours of autumn are irresistible and make you want to explore the great outdoors. Why not go for a walk. The varied colours inspire beautiful paintings. Take to the heights  to see them and enjoy the typical autumn sharpness on the horizon.

Take a picnic of local produce and choose an ideal viewpoint. It's time to get out your picnic and bite into that freshly ripened apple. Take more time and share bread, cheese and cold meat while admiring the peaks and the view of the multi-coloured reflections of the forests.

The days are getting shorter, capture the sunlight and feel the gentle warmth of its rays on your skin. This little walk contributes to your physical condition and gives you the feel-good feeling, the square of chocolate from the picnic certainly contributes to it.

5. Why not take a closer look at autumn

Pumpkins can be carved, decorated, eaten and also hunted. Use your imagination to decorate and cut cucurbits into the most bizarre shapes. Try to find all the poor pumpkins lost in the Pays-d'Enhaut.

Tastes are in the spotlight during the second half of September in Leysin; the opportunity is given to you to try new culinary associations. The risks involved are lower than when hunting monsters. They spy on you during the month of October... go after them.

A terrifying evening, flavours to savour, pumpkins of all kinds, classical music concerts, entertainment full of creativity, autumn is a peaceful season ... or is it.

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