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Alpine Descent of Cattle

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Roswell, Georgia
posts: 507
reviews: 14
Alpine Descent of Cattle

I just realized that we will be in Switzerland for the Désalpe date of several villages. I would love to see the cow parade, and it appears that our best bet is on Sept. 27. We will be leaving Lauterbrunnen on 9/26, but I can't find any dates for that area. We will be staying in either Vevey or Montreux next, and it looks like both St-Cergue and Charmey have the Désalpe on 9/27.

I'm not sure what's involved with getting to St-Cergue or what else we could do on a day trip to that area. I'm wondering if it's possible to combine a day trip to Gruyères with the festival in Charmey.

9 replies to this topic
Roswell, Georgia
posts: 507
reviews: 14
1. Re: Alpine Descent of Cattle

Don't any of the locals on here have any further information about the cow descent in September? Please?

London
posts: 8,331
reviews: 104
2. Re: Alpine Descent of Cattle

The difficulty is, because the closest mountains to Vevey are the prealps, the cows come down later (because the mountains are at a lower altitude and can stay up longer).

I've not been to this one in particular, but the desalpe is happening in Semsales on the 1st of October:

les-paccots.ch/en/…desalpe-in-semsales-4

Semsales is easy enough to get to from Vevey. Bus 213 from in front of the post office (with your back to Vevey station, it is to the right, bus stop with the flags). Get off at the final stop Chatel St. Denis and take the train to Semsales.

The main Benichon in the area doesn't happen until mid October:

les-paccots.ch/en/…

If you fancy going to Charmey, you would take the 213 to Chatel St Denis, then the train to Bulle, then the bus from the bus station (attached to the train station, follow the signs with a picture of a bus) to Charmey. There are nice spa baths in Charmey too:

http://www.bainsdelagruyere.ch/

London
posts: 8,331
reviews: 104
3. Re: Alpine Descent of Cattle

If you could change things so that you are staying in or near Chateau D'Oex.....

chateau-doex.ch/en/events/desalpe_etivaz_en

Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 21,260
reviews: 132
4. Re: Alpine Descent of Cattle

The Dèsalpe around here (Martigny) will be in Sembrancher and La Fouly on Saturday 20 OR 27 September. Sembrancher Tourist Office would know which. If you take the train from Vevey to Martigny you can connect directly to Sembrancher. Dèsalpe usually starts about 11am with the parade and then there are stands selling raclette, sausages, wine etc, plus lots of other little "events" connected with the Dèsalpe. (NB - not "Désalpe"!)

La Fouly is further and you would need to go to Orsières and catch a post bus to get there. The Dèsalpe in Sembrancher is a lot of fun! And the cows are mostly Hérens, which are our fighting cows. Incredibly beautiful and incredibly feisty!

Roswell, Georgia
posts: 507
reviews: 14
5. Re: Alpine Descent of Cattle

Thanks all. I found some info on this site. It shows Sept. 27 (the only date that will work for us) will include L’Etivaz (as NWL mentions) and St-Cergue. I found Charmey mentioned on another site for that same date.

cdn.myswitzerland.com/jvk_as_pdf/en-web.pdf.

Sembrancher sounds interesting too based on Hambagahle's description, but I can't find a date on that one.

So the question is...which of these locations would be easiest to get to from Vevey?

London
posts: 8,331
reviews: 104
6. Re: Alpine Descent of Cattle

You can plan journeys on www.sbb.ch/en to see what works best for you.

Roswell, Georgia
posts: 507
reviews: 14
7. Re: Alpine Descent of Cattle

I'm sure I'll be spending a lot of time on that site NWL...I have already, but sometimes it's a little overwhelming with all the options! How long does one normally spend at one of the cow descent festivals? I'm trying to figure out if we can combine Charmey with either the nearby bathes or Gruyères.

Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 21,260
reviews: 132
8. Re: Alpine Descent of Cattle

You can combine Charmey with the spa and Gruyères. However Sembrancher is closer in terms of time spent in travel. Dèsalpe in Sembrancher (and also I suppose la Fouly) will be 20 September 2014.

Edited: 5:41 pm, March 23, 2014
London
posts: 8,331
reviews: 104
9. Re: Alpine Descent of Cattle

Moooooo. It sort of depends on how much you like cows really! Different places do different things, so you might want to email the tourist office of whichever place you choose to get the specifics of what times things are happening.

If you go to Charmey, definitely go to the baths. You'll need a couple of hours at the baths.

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