As autumn approaches, so do countless festivals and events in Switzerland, which add colour to an already colourful season.This content was published on August 21, 2002 - 11:44
Switzerland Tourism has launched its autumn campaign with a choice of attractive packages.
They range from hotel and hiking packages in the Engadine and Bernese Oberland and wine tasting tours in Switzerland's largest wine growing region - canton Valais -to cultural excursions in the historic towns on the shore of Lake Geneva.
Autumn in Switzerland is also rich in festivals. The wine harvest is celebrated with weekend events across the country's many wine growing regions from September through November.
Meat and double cream
Food festivals figure large on the plates of many regions. In mid-October in canton Fribourg, restaurants offer several course menus of traditional foods as part of the "Bénichon". The menu is heavy on meat and double cream.
They say "cheese" in the Bernese Oberland, which stands out for its celebration of one of Switzerland's main dietary staples.
The best-known event is the "Chästeilet" (this year on September 20) held on the Alp belonging to the Lake Thun village of Sigriswil.
Both the Bénichon and Chästeilet are traditions marking the return of the goat and cowherds from the mountain pastures to the villages.
The processions of the farmers and their livestock back to the village are colourful affairs in themselves, taking place across the Swiss Alps from mid-September through October.
To sweeten the offer for anyone booking a Swiss holiday between now and the end of October (end of November in Ticino), Switzerland Tourism together with its regional offices is giving away either a bottle of local wine, a basket filled with regional delicacies or discounts on excursions.
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