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By Aurea Fagel, text and photos

Here comes the proverbial question everyone is begging to ask you now: ‘What are your summer plans?’

And this is no ordinary summer where we can just blurt out and say you are going to fly out to some exotic country or to your top beach destination.

This year, probably the best and more prudent answer would be: local and sustainable.

Yes, go Switzerland. And why not? You would be amazed at how much you have "under-discovered" this amazing country. For sure, there must be some place where you have not trekked, visited or eaten! And by not flying, you are also reducing your carbon footprints and perhaps even saving a bit of money. If there is a time to help our local business, producers and economy, it is now!

So here is a tip: challenge yourself to find that Swiss spot to conquer and claim. Your humble guide is here with a few ideas. In each of my articles, I will highlight one possible destination - either a charming village, a nature trek, a culinary fancy or anything Swiss under the sun. Have a great trip!

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SWISS SPOT 01: LES PLEIADES & BLONAY

Do you fancy a nice quiet nature trail along literally tons of white daffodils (if you are lucky!) on the Swiss Prealps mountain (1397m), as well as enjoy the views overlooking  Lake Geneva from a restaurant terrace or the beautiful Swiss mountains while you gobble up delicious blueberry tart?

Les Pléiades, if you haven’t heard, is one not to miss when it comes to nature tripping! It is located just north of Blonay, canton of Vaud. To get there by car, simply follow the signs to Blonay, then follow signs to Les Pléiades and park at Lally. It is also accessible by train, departing either from Blonay (28CHF) or Vevey (37CHF) train stations.

I went there in June and was right away enchanted by the daffodil fields flooding the hiking trail which led to the mountain peak where I was rewarded by a spectacular Swiss view. Oh! Not to mention the Swiss welcome by one of two cows grazing nearby. The trails are 1-2 hours long and easy to follow as there are signs everywhere. Trails to choose from: https://www.lespleiades.ch/ete_balades.html.

If you have children or fancy an educational tour, there is the outdoor astronomical site “Astropléiades” where one can learn about the effects of the seasons, measure the position of the sun or follow the Exoplanet walk and discover 10 educational stops. The walk is called “Parcours Claude Nicollier”, named after the first Swiss astronaut. Guided tours are also available.

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There are at least 3 restaurants to choose from, if you decide not to bring your picnic lunch or snack:

  1. There is the petite & charming “La Cha” along the hiking trail. However, one should reserve as it is small and quite popular. You must try their tarts/pastries.
  2. If you want to enjoy a Lake Geneva view from a terrace, then go to Restaurant Les Pléiades.
  3. If you want a gourmet meal in a historic restaurant, then Café Restaurant Les Fougères it is.

And if you have more time, it is a good idea to visit the town of Blonay. They have a beautiful château. You can also take the historic and thrilling Blonay-Chamby train route.

For the month of July, Blonay holds a weekly Friday “Marché Villageois de Blonay” located at the Place du Village de Blonay, 7h30-12h. Now is a good time to go and support local produce.

Hope you found your Swiss Spot!

Author bio

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Aurea Fagel - A keen photographer and former expat who loves to travel, discover food, wine and cultures, does a bit of feng shui & home design and plays Scrabble & Gateball. She has been living in Switzerland since 2000 and would like to share her experiences, photos and perspectives on all of the above! Her blog caters to Swiss locals.

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