The Pays d’Enhaut
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The Panoramic Express, linking Montreux to the Bernese Oberland. (©_Switzerland Tourism)
Barely 3km west of Saanen you cross the border from Canton Bern into Canton Vaud, and with it the linguistic Röstigraben – not a kilometre further on is the francophone resort of Rougemont, a charming little place full of character that is, so far, reasonably successfully fending off the encroachment of Gstaad’s high-rollers. This area is known as the PAYS D’ENHAUT, or Highlands, a sliver of mountain territory originally owned by Gruyères, then seized by Bern, before forming part of the new Vaudois territory after the 1798 revolution. The main valley, with its succession of broad, enclosed side valleys set amidst gentle peaks carpeted by lush summer pasture, is separated from Vaud’s better-known resorts such as Leysin and Les Diablerets by the Col des Mosses pass (1445m) further south. West of Rougemont is the largest town of the region, Château d’Oex, best known as a centre for hot-air ballooning.

The MOB narrow-gauge train line runs along the valley floor from Gstaad through Château d’Oex, shortly afterwards winding its way down alongside the Dent de Jaman to Montreux (see here for travels details). A branch line from Montbovon, some 11km west of Château d’Oex, runs north to Gruyères (see here for travels details)..

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