Top 7 natural and interesting places in the Alpes vaudoises

Summer is conducive to relaxation; take a break to one of the many interesting places in the Alpes vaudoises. Feel the energy of a waterfall, contemplate the breathtaking views, rest in the shade of a century-old tree… nature brings you back to basics.

During the summer, far from your obligations and constraints, escape to places of rare beauty to reconnect with nature and yourself.

Curiosities as unexpected as they are amazing in their history, places of extraordinary beauty, corners preserved and untouched by any human intervention and spectacular views, the Alpes vaudoises are rich in surprises and hidden treasures.

A break in the Alpes vaudoises takes you to unique places where the points of interest are unlimited. Visit these sites and leave feeling privileged to have witnessed their splendour.

Ready for a trip out? We offer you our top 7 interesting getaways.
1. The Ramaclé waterfall - an invigorating site

The waters of two rivers, the Rosette and the Ramaclé, meet and give rise to the Ramaclé waterfall. The water flows from the mountains and, on its way through the pastures and meadows of the Alpes vaudoises, it is enriched with oxygen and minerals.

Draw some of its invigorating strength from this fall. The abundant vegetation around this watercourse makes it a magical site. Follow the flow of water along the rock wall with your eyes and capture the moment. In addition, the walk to this haven of nature takes you through the Ramaclé forest and offers a healthy walk for both body and mind.

(c) Sébastien Staub

Picnic near the waterfall

A charming picnic spot near the waterfall gives you the opportunity to enjoy the setting during your gourmet break. Sit down, take your picnic out of your bag and enjoy your meal in this charming setting.

Take a walk along the Sarine

The hiking routes near the Ramaclé waterfall are accessible to all. Walk to the Turrian Bridge, suspended over the Sarine, this historical construction is unique!

2. The Fahy forest - a bucolic stroll

Enter into the woods and let the freshness of the forestand the smell of resin liberate your mind. The forest is densely populated and all this vegetation calls for healing and well-being. The burbling of the river, the Grande Eau, adds a fabulous dimension to the place.

The Fahy forest is more than a grove. Take the children to let off steam while tree climbing, go for a walk with friends, keep in shape with the fitness trail or explore along the river. The possibilities are endless, the place is idyllic with its preserved environment.

The forest is a refuge of choice in all seasons. To see nature wake up in spring, for the coolness in the shade of the trees in summer or to celebrate autumn and its flamboyant colours, each season has its charm in the forest.

An educational walk to take with the children

The Fahy forest, in addition to being a bucolic place, informs you about various themes: fauna, flora, biodiversity and the characteristics of the soil of the . These routes make it possible to combine walking with an educational experience for children, young and old.

3. Taveyanne - a picturesque hamlet

The hamlet of Taveyanne is nestled in lush greenery, surrounded by majestic rocks and meadows in shimmering colours. Take in the view of the rows of wooden chalets and observe how life unfolds in this traditional mountain pasture which lives to the rhythm of the seasons. Taveyanne is as precious as the most beautiful of jewels in the eyes of the inhabitants of Gryon. To preserve this nature and landscapes in the long term, the Gryonnais decided in 1970 to sign a nature reserve easement with the Vaud League for the Protection of Nature. Each year, the mid-summer pastoral festival is celebrated according to tradition in a friendly atmosphere, on the green pastures of Taveyanne. During the summer, the Refuge de Taveyanne welcomes you for a tasty meal made of local specialities or for a good night's sleep.

An ideal destination for cycling or walking

The charming hamlet of Taveyanne is accessible by bike or on foot. The walking time can be shortened thanks to the ski lifts, so access is easier if you want to walk there with young children. On the other hand, the village is located on several hiking or cycling routes which gives you the opportunity to take time out and visit during your trip.

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Taveyanne sandstone, a “terroir” rock

In the bed of a stream or in a scree, one sometimes finds a rounded rock, greenish and speckled with black and white: the Taveyanne sandstone, a sedimentary rock of volcanic origin.

Sandstone belongs to sedimentary rocks, in which the detrital rocks are found. The term sandstone defines, in geology, a detrital rock, that is to say formed by detritus (sand) from the erosion of a mountain range.

4. La Videmanette - a view of infinity

A view that encourages contemplation, a sporty hike or a bike ride, at La Videmanette the outdoor activities are numerous and the site superb.

Take the gondola to this summit of the Pays-d'Enhaut and set off to walk through the Alpes vaudoises on the many hiking trails. Stop at a mountain refreshment bar and savour a local dish. Get on your bike and make a long and steady descent to Rougemont. Why not visit the village?

Vous pouvez aussi décider de rester là-haut et de vous engager dans les voies d'escalade du site tout proche ou les via ferrata aménagées sur ce sommet.

Et si une expérience sensationnelle suscite votre intérêt, vous pouvez faire un vol en parapente biplace.

5. Lake Retaud - a sparkling lake

A small paradise in the Alpes vaudoises: nestled in a basin on the southern slope of La Palette, Lake Retaud reflects in its clear waters the blue sky and the dark fir trees that surround it.

This idyllic corner of nature near the Pillon Pass is a popular excursion destination. From the pass, walkers can reach the lake in 30 minutes. For hikers, there are several longer trails from Les Diablerets, which cross the magnificent landscapes of this region of the Pre-Alps. Walkers find themselves facing the summits of Scex Rouge, Nägelihorn, Oldenhorn and the Diablerets glacier.

A hike from Lake Retaud

From Lake Retaud, beautiful hiking trails await you. Trails of all levels of difficulty, ranging from a gentle walk to a more rigorous hike. On the way back, refresh your feet in the water of the lake or take a swim! Mountain whitewater takes courage to dive in but completely regenerates you.

Lac Retaud été
© Visualps.ch

Fishing in Lake Retaud

In the Alpes vaudoises, fishing enthusiasts can indulge themselves in the many lakes and rivers, surrounded by untamed nature and imposing mountain ranges. It is in the tranquillity and serenity of the mountains that the best fish can be caught.

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The gourmet break

During your visit to Lake Retaud, you can take a gourmet break by picnicking directly in the grass and enjoy the natural setting of this grandiose site. You can also choose to have a traditional and tasty meal served on the terrace of the restaurant located near the lake. In both cases, your meal is a moment of delight and pleasure in the magnificent environment of this site.

6. Roc de Veyges - a secret advantage viewpoint

Go in search of mysterious and untouched places. The hamlet of Veyges and the Roc de Veyges are part of it. A promontory lost in the forest, a secret place to reconnect with nature and find yourself. The site also lends itself well to a meeting with friends to share a good time and a BBQ. These moments help to create good memories. A walk from Leysin takes you to the advantage viewpoint and passes through the hamlet of Veyges. An easily accessible walk to escape into nature for a moment by yourself.

Roc de Veyges / picnic area - summer - Leysin
© Jonas Froment

A promontory on the Rhône valley

The place is set back, the ideal location for recharging your batteries away from all the hustle and bustle. And if the prospect of a moment with the family around a fire while eating grilled meats delights you, a picnic spot has been set up to improvise feasts in the heart of nature.

The hamlet of Veyges

Chalets grouped together in a small hamlet overlooking the Rhône valley give the locality a rustic charm. Take a walk from Leysin; the walk is quiet and the view relaxing.

Walking through the Veyges rock

Hike from Leysin, through the hamlet and the Veyges rock, into the forest and out again. Stop for a picnic wherever you like, take a 'contemplation' break, adopt the rhythm that is yours. This surrender to what pleases you is a good way to recharge your batteries.

7. Lake Fenêtre d'Arnon - a little corner of paradise

A lake nestled at 1,900 metres above sea level whose access is only on foot is ideal to create a feeling of escape for a day. The small Lake Fenêtre d'Arnon is a true corner of paradise between heaven and earth! The reflections of the blue of the sky on the surface of this lake are striking. The climb may have required some willpower. Satisfaction sets in when you discover the beauty of the place upon your arrival. Installed at the edge of the lake for a break, time seems to stand still.

Fenêtre d'Arnon
© Dylan Nicolier

Climb to Fenêtre d’Arnon

Departing from the village of L’Etivaz, this hike starts off slightly uphill to continue in the hairpin bends in the forest then onto a mountain trail that takes you to the summit. Take a break to enjoy the different viewpoints along the climb.

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The village of L'Etivaz, home of the cheese of the same name

The starting point for the hike to the Fenêtre d’Arnon is in L’Etivaz. On the way back, stop in this charming village to taste the typical cheese with the flowery aroma of the mountain pastures, L’Etivaz AOP. Combine a sporting activity with the discovery of traditional know-how by visiting the cellars of L'Etivaz. This is where the many pieces produced each summer on the mountain pastures of a clearly defined perimeter are refined in order to benefit from the L'Etivaz AOP appellation.

The little church of l'Etivaz, a monument from the 15th century

To add a cultural touch to your outing, visit the church of L'Etivaz. The centuries-old construction made of wood and masonry has several points of interest.

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