Autumn in Gstaad means hiking through colorful autumn mountainscapes, digging into seasonal specialties, and relaxing at one of the numerous wellness facilities. There is no better place to come up to slow down. You might fall for it – for good.
Autumn is a particularly magical season in Gstaad, with warm light, pleasant temperatures, and colourful meadows boasting snow-dusted mountain peaks as a backdrop. Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts have myriad ways to experience the season with all senses.
Here are our top tips to visit Gstaad this autumn.
Admire the incredible autumn light on the way from Lake Retaud to Lake Arnen © Destination Gstaad / Melanie Uhkoetter
Watch the rich colours of the leaves changing on this 3 hour hike from Col du Pillon to lake Arnen, known as the 'Pearl of Saanenland'.
The first leg takes you to the small and romantic Lake Retaud, where views stretch as far as the Diablerets glacier. From Lake Retaud, the path leads further through the colourful forest, full of ripe berries, ready to be picked. Walk past Chalet Vieux, Col de Voré, through the Tschärzis-valley, right to Lake Arnen, where you will feel transported to the wilds of Canada.
Discover more beautiful autumn hikes in Gstaad here.
Venison at restaurant Kernen © Kernen/ Samuel Trümphy
There are over 100 restaurants in Gstaad, from cosy fondue stübli to Michelin-starred gourmet establishments. Gstaad is heaven for foodies and connoisseurs.
Relax at the five - star Hotel Ermitage Welness- & Spa © Ermitage Wellness-& Spa Hotel
Gstaad is a famous wellness destination in Switzerland, bearing the “Wellness Destination” seal of approval from the Swiss Tourism Association.
One of the best addresses for luxurious relaxation is the five-star Hotel Ermitage Wellness- & Spa in Gstaad-Schönried. It is considered one of the most beautiful family-run wellness hotels in Switzerland. Its new indoor-outdoor saltwater pool boasts the latest eco-friendly pool technology, more water attractions and amazing views.
A glimpse of Gstaad 'Züglete' parade taking place in September, every year © Destination Gstaad
Despite its wealth of luxurious and modern facilities, Gstaad has retained its Alpine authenticity. There are 200 farms, 80 working Alpine pastures, and around 7,000 cows. Alpine traditions are lived and breathed here.
Autumn is an excellent chance to witness the age old transhumance tradition, as the cows return from alpine pastures. Every year, in September, the Gstaad ‘Züglete’ (‘Moving’) parade is one the most colourful and festive such autumn traditions. The cows come back from the alpine pastures where they have grazed all summer. For the trip from the mountains to the valley barns, the farmers decorate their cows with floral headdresses and large bells before parading through the village. Bell-ringers, alphorn players and cheese-making demonstrations add to the entertainment. It’s a feast for all senses – and one you’ll never forget.
Fondue in the crisp mountain air, what a treat! © Destination Gstaad
There is nothing more lovely than enjoying a delicious fondue surrounded by the mountain landscape. And in Gstaad you can enjoy your fondue in a rather unusual way, in some giant wooden tables shaped as fondue pots.
Order a fondue backpack with all ingredients and make your own fondue in one of these quirky pots, outside in the fresh mountain air.
The Cheese and Bell Market in Saanen, 19 September is a small and charming traditional market where you can taste some of the local Alpine cheeses.
Sunrise at the Rinderberg, 10 October: Witness the sunrise at the fabulous Rinderberg Alpine Lodge. First ascent is at 07:15am and it's totally worth getting up early for.
The Mountain Run, 11 October takes place between Feutersoey to Lake Arnen. Whether you take part in the race or cheer as a bystander - one thing's for sure, the landscape is spectacular.
Find out more exciting events happening in Gstaad here.