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  • Writer's pictureHelene James

Italian Road Trip: Switzerland Stop-Off

Updated: May 2

(Day 2 & 3 - Ballaigues, Switzerland)

Catch up with Poochtravellers Boris & Marmite as they stop-off in Switzerland for a couple of days en route to Piedmont.

After another quick turn around the park in Châlons-en-Champagne with Boris & Marmite, we hit the road again, headed south for a couple of days at our next destination; Ballaigues, Switzerland.

The route was pretty simple on the motorways but we decided to try and see something of the French countryside, so travelled part of the route on the N-roads (our equivalent to A-roads). It worked really well and while you won’t have the big petrol stations found on the motorway, if you haven’t packed a picnic, there are lots of auberges in the towns offering a light lunch.

We stopped for a sandwich out the back of the car - a chance for Boris and Marmite to stretch their legs.

Back on the road again, we crossed the French / Swiss border. We were not stopped nor asked for any papers... blink and you might almost miss the moment.

Ballaigues is a municipality in the district of Jura-Nord Vaudois in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. The main language spoken in this part of Switzerland is French and the currency is Swiss Francs.


Home for the Night; La Croix D'Or

We were staying at La Croix D’Or, a lovely hotel and restaurant that advertises as dog friendly and it didn’t disappoint. The staff were really helpful on arrival and whilst they don’t speak lots of English, were happy to help get us in and settled.

The room was super spacious with a comfortable bed and well appointed bathroom. Plenty of room for us and the dogs and a huge wardrobe to store all our bits and pieces. The dogs are extra on top of the room rate at 10 CHF per day per dog.

The Swiss plugs are also different to France so be sure to bring your adaptor.

Boris and Marmite were excited to explore their new surroundings so went for a wander up the hill from Ballaigues. Not too far though as we were all saving our legs for the next day.


Michelin, Bib Gourmande - La Croix D’Or,

The restaurant in the hotel has a Michelin, Bib Gourmande for 2023 and was really sublime. Lots of local produce, and local receipes with a Mediterranean twist; each dish was a taste sensation. We would certainly recommend this place to any foodies!


6 Mile Hike & Home Cooked Lunch - Le Chalet de la Thiolle

The following morning we enjoyed a good continental breakfast before heading out for a walk. From the hotel, we walked up to Le Chalet de la Thiolle, which took about an hour and a bit. Whilst we were walking on the road some of the way, it was very quiet and we saw few cars. We met our first Swiss cows…you can’t miss them, the bells around their necks mean you will often hear them long before you see them.

From here, we had lunch at Le Chalet. Whilst we were not expecting much, we delighted in a delicious home cooked lunch, in the garden of this farmhouse. Only open six months of the year, this is a family run business, with husband cooking and wife out the front serving with one of her four children. It’s very popular, so again, in peak season, we would

recommend booking. It’s also very dog friendly, with bowls of cool mountain water readily available and they their own resident cocker spaniels to welcome you.

After lunch, we continued up the hill and took in some breath taking scenes. The dogs were in their element. Be warned, there are adders in the mountains, so if your dog likes to explore, it’s something to be mindful of. There are not many places for water either, so be sure to take some for you and your furry pals! All in all, we did a six mile loop but the option is there to drive up to the restaurant and use that as a starting point.

If you want to find walking routes, works well but there were map routes given, small diamond signs or walker signs in yellow to follow. This site also gives you some routes to follow.

We had two very tired dogs by the time we got back but enjoyed another gastronomic delight at the hotel before an early night for our next stage of the trip to Italy!

P.S. Before we share more about our trip to Italy, it’s worth noting that in Switzerland, you will require a motorway vignette (cost: 40CHF / runs for a calendar year). This can be bought in country or from the UK. We found this site very useful ( We purchased ours at the post office in Ballaigues over the counter. It’s just a small sticker that you must put in your windscreen .

Helene, Nick, Boris & Marmite


Share your own Poochtraveller stories and recommendations with us in the comments below. Follow us on instagram @poochtraveller. Have a trip planned? Get in touch - we'd love to feature your story here.


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