Till the Cows Come Home

Now that summer is definitely over and autumn knocks on our doors, it’s time for one of Switzerland’s most traditional yearly events: the Alpabzug or Désalpe, the Alpine procession of beautifully adorned cows making their way home for the winter, marking the end of grazing season.

The most famous Alpabzug or Désalpe take place in the inner regions of German-speaking Switzerland or Valais (click here for dates), but if you’re in Geneva you can still have a taste of this unique traditional fest at the Désalpe de St-Cergue on the 29th of September 2012.

Désalpe in St Cergue – photo copyright Geneva Family Diaries


We went there last year and had a great time: the kids were thrilled to see the cows’ parade, the gorgeous Saint Bernard puppies (all bedecked with colourful alpine wreaths) and we enjoyed a very traditional yodelling session as well !

Désalpe in St Cergue – photo copyright Geneva Family Diaries


The “retour des Alpages” is celebrated in the beautiful French town of Annecy as well on the 13th of October 2012 (from 2.30pm), another great chance if you miss the one in St Cergue.

Photo copyright – Annecy Tourisme

Remember to get there with plenty of time, as it gets very crowded, wear your wellies and leave the buggie at home if you can !

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