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Riding the Chocolate Train

Listed under Short Train Trips in Switzerland.

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Cheese, chocolate and emblematic cows gracing verdant prairies are all on the program of this gourmet train ride. Departing from Montreux on the Lake Léman’s shore, Le Train du Chocolat welcomes visitors with chocolate croissants and coffee on board its 1914 Belle Époque Pullman coaches and modern panoramic cars for a ride up the Prealps. Lake views and terraced vineyards soon give way to charming wooden chalets complete with Swiss flags and decorative geranium flowerbeds.

First stop is the Gruyère demonstration cheese dairy, where a multilingual audio tour guided by the cow Cherry takes visitors through the various fabrication stages, from pasture to cheese wheels aging in cellars. Packaged tasters are included. Next is a visit of the 13th century Gruyères castle surrounded by ramparts and a French-style landscaped garden. Lunch is enjoyed in the picturesque Gruyères village; local specialties include cheese fondue, cheese and cold cuts platters, as well as meringues served with double cream.

In the afternoon, the train stops in Broc to visit the Maison Cailler, a chocolate factory founded in 1819 and now owned by Nestlé. The visit includes a presentation of the brand’s history with vintage films, posters and machines, as well as a guided tour amidst tantalizing aromas. The highlight is a tasting room featuring all of Cailler’s creations including chocolate bars, milk and dark pralines, and assorted chocolate confectionery. All you can eat (pocket stuffing not allowed) is the name of the game!

The Chocolate Train runs from May through October.

Goldenpass Chocolate Train website.

Written by  Francoise Ohayon.

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