A lovely village on the French side of the French/German language border within Switzerland, Château-d'Oex was home for many years to actor David Niven who recounts his adventures on skis in his autobiography 'The Moon's a Balloon'. It's not clear whether his choice of title was influenced by the fact that the resort stages what is still the biggest annual ballooning festival in the Alps each January. The wide sunny high alpine valley in which the village is located, known as the Pays d'Enhaut, has been farmed for a millennium or more and many of the old Swiss chalets are centuries old. The architecture of many was regarded as a work of art by their creators who often signed and dated them, whilst the present owners ensure the window boxes are full of flowers for most of the year. It is a truly peaceful, relaxing place. From a winter sports fan's perspective the great thing about Château d'Oex is that the lift ticket - which includes some of the most terrain available on one pass in the world - has several unique assets! A key one is that it allows holders to hop on to the mountain train or bus and ride along from one great ski area to the next. After Château-d'Oex's own slopes there are those of Rougemont - where you can leave the train and walk over to the gondola which takes you up to the mountain tops; then it's a similar story at Saanen (after you've crossed the language border in to German speaking Switzerland!), and beyond Gstaad at Saanenmoser and Zweisimmen. Gstaad is the point where you can hop off the train and on to the bus over towards les Diablerets and Villars, with the famous Diablerets glacier the first stop. The transport system continues right through the day and the evening so there's no mad rush to catch the last ski bus home at the end of your day on the slopes.
A lovely village on the French side of the French/German language border within Switzerland. Home for many years to actor David Niven and still to the biggest annual ballooning festival in the Alps each January. More than 250km of piste are available on the Gstaad Mountain Rides pass which includes the mountain railway which conveniently runs between base lifts at most of the resorts en route.