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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. We have added a few more castles from the last article such as Thun, Oberhofen, and Spiez (all on Lake Thun). 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 6-16. 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 10h-18h. Price: Fr. 13.50/adult, Fr. 7.-/age 6-15, Fr. 35.-/family ticket. It is recommended to buy your tickets online.

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 10h-12h30 and 13h30-18h; €6.50/adult, €4.-/age 5-15.


Château de Grandson (photo above) Click here for Lisa's video of Grandson castle.
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 10h-18h (last entry 17h). Price: Fr. 15.-/adult, Fr. 10.-/age 6-16, family price available too. 

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.-/age 6-15, combined ticket with the Cheese Museum is Fr. 16.-/adult or Fr. HR Giger Museum for Fr. 19.-/adult.


Château de Nyon (photo above)
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.


Schloss Oberhofen (photo above) Click here for Lisa's video of the Thunersee area.
Stiftung Schloss Oberhofen
3653 Oberhofen
033 243 12 35
The Oberhofen Castle is right on the lake of Thun. You can hop on a boat that will take you to Thun, or to Spiez, both boasting their own castles. Entrance ticket Fr. 10.-/adult, Fr. 2.-/ age 6-16. Open daily 11h-17h.

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 Sunday 13h30-17h30. Price: Fr. 10.-/adult, free up to age 16.

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: €10.-/adult, €5.-/child age 7-15. Cultural events. Restaurant open April through mid-September. Wine shop sells white wine from grapes grown at the Château. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10h-18h, other times 11h-18h, Saturday till 17h, Mondays are reserved for group visits.

Schloss Spiez Click here for Lisa's video of the Thunersee area.
Schlossstrasse 16
3700 Spiez
033 654 15 06
The Castle's tower boasts a 360° panoramic view which is accessible for those willing to brave many steps. Entrance ticket to Museum Fr. 10.-/adult, Fr. 2.-/ age 6-16. Open daily 10-18h, Monday from 14h.

Schloss Thun (photo at top) Click here for Lisa's video of the Thunersee area.
Schlossberg 1
3600 Thun
Learn about the castle, town, and countryside over 900 years of urban development. See treasures from the Thun Town Hall collection. Entrance ticket Fr. 10.-/adult, Fr. 3.-/ age 6-16. Open daily 10h-17h.