It’s Désalpe Time


I love to measure our time in Switzerland by its yearly seasonal festivals and now, as summer draws to an end and autumn is about to begin, it’s finally time for the Alpabzug or Désalpethe Alpine procession of beautifully adorned cows making their way home for the winter, marking the end of grazing season.

Désalpe de St-Cergue ©
Désalpe de St-Cergue ©


The most famous Alpabzug or désalpe events take place in the inner regions of German-speaking Switzerland, Valais and Canton Fribourg, but you can still have a taste of this unique traditional fest at the Désalpe de St-Cergue on the Saturday 3rd of October 2015 or at the “retour des Alpages” in Annecy (France) on Saturday 10th of October 2015.

The Désalpe de St-Cergue starts at 8.30am but, if you can, try to get there by 8am so you’ll be able to find a good parking spot and see the Alpine cattle descent from the start. Remember to get there with plenty of time, as it gets very crowded, wear your wellies and leave the pushchair at home if you can.

Désalpe de St-Cergue ©
Désalpe de St-Cergue ©


The “retour des Alpages” in nearby Annecy – now in its 41st edition – will begin at 9am in the Old Town with food stalls selling regional delicacies, ancient crafts demonstrations, folk music, master craftsmen selling their wares and much more, while the parade itself will begin at 2.30pm.

 © 2015 Lac Annecy Tourisme
© 2015 Lac Annecy Tourisme
  1. Thank you very much for this tip!
    We went up to St Cergue on Saturday and it was absolute fantastic. The weather was perfect and less crowded then we expected – definitly a “must-do” on the calender.
    It is also worthwhile mentioning that there is a huge playground and a huge field right in the middle of the celebration making it the perfectly balanced day out with the family.

    1. Dear Eva, thank you for your positive comment and your great tip ! Playground tips are always very welcome – I am so glad you enjoyed your time in St. Cergue, thank you so much again for your kind message! Have a great week, kindest regards Michela

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Sunday Survival Guide

It is one of the first things you will hear from other expats when you arrive in Geneva.…

Swiss Museum of Games

Housed in a beautiful 13th century castle and surrounded by an outdoor games trail as well as a fab playground,…