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A few years ago we wrote an article about Chantal & Max at this link. As they have now evolved to have an amazing repertoire of bespoke tours, local contacts, hidden gems, and off-the-beaten-track itineraries on their list, we thought it might be a good idea to catch up with them again. With staycations high on the list this year, why not see the other side of Switzerland? 

Why did you start? What has been the inspiration?
Well, ever since the day we met, 10 years ago, at the École Hôtelière de Lausanne, we've always loved travelling around Switzerland. On the weekends, while our friends would be roaming off to other countries, we would just take the car, go for a drive, and see where we'd end up. Our aim was always to find the small, charming boutique hotels with great service in the lesser-known places. That's how we've always loved to travel.

We were both working in the luxury hospitality industry in the Lake Geneva region, before we got the opportunity to move to London to pursue our careers in the same sector. Even though we loved the UK, we started to miss our homeland after about two years and decided to come back.

Around the same time, we came to realize that the “true” Switzerland was rarely put forward to incoming travelers. When we looked at the tours and “packages” that were available, it was almost always to do the same things in the same destinations… many of which have unfortunately lost their authenticity throughout the years due to a little too much tourism.

So we decided to start our own venture, with the aim of showing curious travelers the Switzerland we know and love, the one we're so proud of, full of incredible experiences, amazing properties and heart-warming encounters… all whilst keeping with the top-notch service that is very much engraved in our hearts.

And so, we travelled the country from east to west, north to south, to personally test every property, try every hike, knock on local artisans' doors, taste the food, meet our fantastic guides and really inspire ourselves from each regions' distinct character and particularities.

Today, three years after our “launch”, we're proud to continuously inspire our amazing travelers from around the world with a side of Switzerland very few get to see. For us, luxury was always less about the marble floors, and more about giving our clients access to the things that the typical traveler does not have access to. And with a very simple philosophy in mind… we are not just a company and you are not just a number. We are people taking care of other people’s dreams.

Portes des Iris Web 1

Photo credit: Christophe Cosset

Château de Vullierens architecture, magnificent gardens and sculpture park form one of Switzerland’s most remarkable heritage sites with an incomparable 180° degree view of the Alps, Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva. Rising from the foundations of a C13th fortress, Château de Vullierens is considered the purest example of early C18 architecture in the country. The 100-acre estate has remained in the same family for 700 years. It is visited by hundreds of local and international garden enthusiasts and art lovers.

The flowering season starts with tulips, followed by rhododendrons, bluebells, peonies, irises, roses, day lilies, herbaceous borders, hydrangeas, and concludes with the autumn plant collection.

The iris collection - started in 1955 - is considered one of the most modern in Europe. It features recent award winning American hybrids, including several rare re-flowering varieties. An incomparable 4-acre coloured mosaic is created by 400,000 flowers at the height of the season. Themed gardens provide additional delight, offering a varied selection of designs and vistas. The famous ‘large trees collection’ includes Sequoia, Oaks and possibly the oldest Tulip tree in Switzerland.

The sculpture park features over 80 large contemporary works by 25 Swiss and international artists - Beverly Pepper, Alan Jones, Gillian White, Laura Ford, Dorothy Cross, Christian Lapie, Etienne Krahenbuhl, Manuel Torres, Pol Quadrens, Manuel Carbonnel, Mireille Fulpius, Carles Valverde, Herbert Mehler, Werner Pokorny, among others. It is open year-round by appointment.

Vullierens 6-acre vineyard features Chasselas, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Gamaret-Garanoir and Galotta. Its 2017 rosé was voted best in Vaud and its 2017 white received the price of Excellence by Vinum magazine. The ancient cellars were recently opened to the public.

livresmorges

Taking place beside the lake in Morges between 6-8 September 2019, this 10th edition of Le Livre sur les Quais festival will host around 300 French- and English-speaking writers, covering a wide range of literary genres from children’s books through to travel writing and crime fiction.  A comprehensive program of talks, readings and round-table discussions has been set up throughout the 3 days of the event, some of them taking place on the lake in the form of literary cruises, as well as at various venues in and around Morges.

The Great Debates

Once again this year, Le livre sur les quais is pleased to offer a series of debates with the leading authors of the program! You will find the program of this 10th edition through the main website under "billeterie".

Literary Cruises

As every year, the boat Le Lausanne awaits you at the end of the quay, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September, for literary cruises. A unique opportunity to set sail with many authors! Sail on Lake Geneva with your favorite author by booking your ticket directly through the main website under "croisières".

participants Verbier kids triathlon 5

Free tickets for family activities also up for grabs, as well as entry passes for the Kids’ Triathlon!  

Following its huge success last year, the Verbier Cross Triathlon will return to the beautiful Val de Bagnes region for another weekend of high energy fun, not just for the participants but the spectators too!

From 15-16 June , the organization 123cross.com will host a series of sporting events in Le Châble, for all ages covering open water swimming, mid-level mountain biking, and trail running.  The classic and sprint cross triathlon with both popular and elite categories plus a variation of combined discipline races will take place on the Saturday afternoon and the Fun for all ages and kids races take place on Sunday morning , a special Fête d’Eté - Summer Festival - will also take place in the event village over both days and will feature a wide range of activities for all the family including a climbing block , parkour training with a professional team  massage and yoga clinics, a big trampoline on the water, water-walkers, stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing, electric biking, jeux des boules, nature awareness workshop with Aventerre and a kids area and much more!

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Lausanne Art Fair F8B3821 web

Expo Beaulieu Lausanne, 2-5 May 2019

The 3rd edition of the Lausanne Art Fair will shortly return to the region with another outstanding display of international contemporary art.

To celebrate this special occasion, knowitall.ch will once again offer tickets to the show, which will take place at the Expo Beaulieu between 2-5 May 2019.

More than 3,000 pieces of work from 80 galleries represented

More than 3,000 pieces of work, including paintings, sculptures and photographs, will be displayed over the 6,000m2 of floor space that has been allocated to the artists displaying their work this year. 

With 80 galleries from Europe and the rest of the world taking part in the fair, visitors can expect to see all the latest trends in contemporary art represented. So, whether you are looking for examples of expressionism, abstract art, crude art, the Cobra movement, naive art, kinetic art, Pop art, minimalism, new realism, free expression, graffiti, bad painting, or post graffiti, you can be sure to find something that will appeal to your artistic taste!