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Being in Europe, we are spoiled by the amount of castles on every hilltop and town center. How lucky we can just have so many at our doorstep. Whether with guests or your own family, you will surely find a few on this small list that we have taken out of our latest ©Know-it-all passport®!

Abbaye de St Maurice
Av. d’Agane 15
1890 Saint-Maurice
Famous for its Mero­vingian treasure and 1,500 years of history. Augustine monks are still active as teachers here. Guided tours only (1.5 hours), at set times. You may request a tour in English. Price Fr. 15.-/adult, Fr. 9-/children 6-16. Open Tuesday to Friday 10h-17h30, weekends 13h30-17h30. Check website before going.

Château d’Aigle and the Musée de la Vigne, du Vin et de l’Etiquette 
Place du Château 1 
1860 Aigle
024 466 21 30
Aigle Castle was built at the end of the 12th century and is situated in the middle of vineyards. It harbors a wine museum with old wine-making traditions and tools, as well as a terrific collection of wine labels. Note: It’s fun to go to Swiss Vapeur Parc (see below) in the morning through lunch (there is a mini Château d’Aigle there!), then drive over to the life-size Château d’Aigle in the afternoon. Price: Fr 11.-/adult, Fr. 5.-/age 9-16. Family and group packages available. Open daily during summer 10h-18h.

Château de Chillon
Av. de Chillon 21 
1820 Veytaux-Montreux 
021 966 89 10 
Directions: A1 autoroute to Montreux or Villeneuve, or take the boat there directly (150m walk from the pier). Kids will love exploring this castle which was the residence of the Dukes of Savoy in the Middle Ages. Younger children will enjoy playing battles. Ask for a leaflet in English specially designed for age 6-10. Built right in the waters of the lake, this castle was home to the Counts of Savoy and the inspiration for Lord Byron’s poem, The Prisoner of Chillon. Tours available in English and many other languages or reserve an audioguide. Snack stand, picnic tables. Small beach next to the castle with a playground and shady trees. Note: Dog boxes available here for your 4-footed friends. Open daily during summer 9h-19h (last entry 18h). Price: Fr. 12.50/adult, Fr. 6.-/age 6-16, Fr. 29.-/family ticket.

Château de Faucigny
L’écomusée Paysalp
74130 Faucigny
0033/450 36 89 18
This castle, in ruins, and restored in 2009, is a great place to enjoy history and views. Guided tours are available through Ecomusée Paysalp. Access to the castle is by foot. In July and August, theatrical guided tours puts you in a knight’s position from medieval times among the castle’s ruins. Various prices and times, consult website. The Musée Paysan is open during the summer weekdays 9h-12h and 14h-18h and Sunday 14h-18h; €6.50/adult, €4.-/age 5-15.

Château de Grandson
1422 Grandson
024 445 29 26
Directions: Autoroute A1 towards Neuchâtel, exit Grandson. About 1 hour from Geneva. A castle built nearly 1,000 years ago! Changing hands between families for centuries, it is now a protected site. There is a café-bar with a magnificient terrace overlooking the lake. Open daily over the summer 8h-18h. Price: Fr. 12.-/adult, Fr. 5.-/child. Note: 18-19 August 2018 there will be a Medieval Festival with reenactments, musicians, jugglers, dancers, and artisans of all kinds. Try your hand at medieval calligraphy, the potter's wheel, wool-spinning or stone-carving.

Château de Gruyères
1663 Gruyères
0848 424 424
The castle, built in the XIII century, housed a long succession of counts of Gruyères. Michel, the last among them, faced financial problems and announced bankruptcy in 1554. Open over the summer daily from 9h-18h. Price: Fr. 12.-/adult, Fr. 4.-/child age 6-15, combined ticket with the Cheese Museum is Fr. 16.-/adult.

Château de Nyon
Musée Historique et des Porcelaines
Place du Château
1260 Nyon
022 363 83 51
You can see the Nyon Castle majestically dominating the city of Nyon from most angles. Nyon’s history is displayed here as well as an exposition of historic and contemporary porcelain. Completely restored between 1999 and 2006, visitors can now explore the entire building including the cells of the former prison. The large terrace in front of the castle provides panoramic views of Lake Geneva, the French Alps, Mont Blanc, and even Jet d’eau in Geneva! Look straight down on the castle vegetable plot and the mosaic-like rooftops of the old town. Open Tuesday to Sunday during summer 10h-17h. Price: Fr. 8.-/adult, children up to 16 free. Every first Sunday of the month the admission is free. Parking de La Duche is closest. Note: Ticket is also valid for the Musée du Léman and the Musée Romain.

Château de Penthes
Institut et Musee des Suisses dans le Monde
18, ch. de l’Impératrice
1292 Pregny-Chambésy
022 734 90 21
Everything about Switzerland and the Swiss throughout the world. A lovely park of 9 hectares surrounding the château is open 9h-19h. There is a restaurant on the premises. Museum open Wednesday to Friday 13h30-20h, weekends 13h30-18h. Price: Fr. 10.-/adult, free up to age 18, free tours every weekend at 15h.

Château de Ripaille
Fondation Ripaille
74200 Thonon-les-Bains
0033/450 26 64 44
One of the most beautiful sites of the region. Medieval castle near the lake with a rich history. Famous for its forests and wine. Guided tours in July and August. Price: €9.-/adult, €4.50/child age 7-15. Cultural events. Restaurant open April through mid-September. Wine shop sells white wine from grapes grown at the Château. Open from 14 July to 20 August 10h-19h, other times 11h-17.