As its name implies, Chalet du Soldat (soldat means soldier in French) is a former military outpost in the Fribourg Pre-Alps. Reinvented as a mountain restaurant and open to the public, it welcomes visitors for a nourishing meal or an overnight stay. With an incredible view of the imposing Gastlosen massif and a menu featuring local specialties, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Built in 1945, it originally served as an alpine training location for the Fribourg regiment of the Swiss army. Christened the Chalet du Régiment, it became the Chalet du Soldat in 1952. Over the years, it’s weathered many storms. Twice, they were severe enough to remove part of its roof. Thankfully, the building has received various repairs and updates, so that people can continue to enjoy this historic site.
A Hearty Lunch on the Sunny Terrace
For our lunchtime visit, we listened to alphorn music played live on the sunny terrace. My family and I ordered an ultra-cheesy Croûte au fromage (an open-faced grilled sandwich) and Macaroni du chalet (Swiss macaroni and cheese with lardons and boiled potatoes). The crisp Rösti was a particular favorite at our table.
For dessert, I had to try the Tartelette au vin cuit. It’s become one of my favorite sweet treats from this region. This little pastry contains Vin cuit, a thick syrup made from boiled-down pear juice (in Fribourg, it’s typically from the Poire à botzi). With a cool glass of Rivella, it was the perfect dessert to enjoy in this spectacular location.
When the Chalet du Soldat is open:
Typically closed during the month of November, there’s a calendar online indicating which days the restaurant and hotel are open throughout the year.
How to get there:
From the town of Jaun, it takes about 3 hours to hike up to the Chalet du Soldat.
If you would like a shorter hike, you can take the chairlift from Jaun and walk to the chalet in about 1 1/2 hours.
For more information, check out the map and hiking route from La Gruyère Tourisme.
Chalet du Soldat, Nicolas Gavillet & Sylviane Marendaz, +41 (0)26 929 82 35 or +41 (0)79 247 63 32, firstname.lastname@example.org