At the eastern tip of Lac Léman, the Alps on the French and Swiss sides close in on the Rhône, and the lakefront highways begin a gradual, ear-popping ascent as the scenery looms larger and the mountains rise around you. Most sightseers head to two destinations: Aigle, famed for its storybook chateau, and Château-d'Oex, a mountain-aerie favorite of hot-air balloonists. Here you are in the midst of the Pays-d'Enhaut, a rustic, lower-altitude region surrounded by rocky ridges and velvet hillsides sprinkled with ancient carved-wood chalets. You can make a beeline from one to another, but rail connections are cumbersome and driving often challenging; you'd do well to choose one dreamy spot and stay put—by the fireplace or on the balcony—for as many days as your itinerary allows.
Looking back on eight decades on making travel history.More