The e-bike helps to master the difference in altitude

This fascinating tour takes us to a truly spectacular natural phenomenon for photographers and lovers of impressive nature. The walls fall vertically into the depths - in North America it would be a national park: The Creux du Van is a huge, natural horseshoe-shaped rock arena with 160m high vertical rock faces.
First the glaciers, then the water washed the breathtaking rock formation out of the limestone deposits of a primeval sea (200 million years before today). In the middle of the cauldron rises the spring "Fontaine Froide", whose water is 4°C cold all year round. This gigantic reserve is a paradise for chamois, ibex, lynx and numerous other wild animals, in addition an arctic-alpine flora thrives.

The route (SwitzerlandMobility No. 412) starts at the historic station of Noiraigue in Val de Travers. We ride along the Areuse river for a while until we see Travers on the other side of the river. Here we turn left and start the ascent to the Creux du Van via small roads that soon lead into the forest. At Haut-de-la-Côte we come out of the forest and roll past some hamlets. Then we follow the signposting to the left up to the restaurant Le Soliat at 1380m, where, after the regular ascent, a rest in the restaurant with specialities is offered. Here we park our bike and set off on foot to the abyss of the Creux du Van, which is only 300m away.

Once we have admired the rock spectacle and, if necessary, the view of Lake Neuchâtel a little further up, we take the same road back downhill. Then we keep to the left, drive high above the lake another nice loop over the hills and finally arrive 500m down to Couvet.

The famous philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau lived in the neighbouring village of Môtiers from 1762 to 1765, before the inhabitants of the valley expelled him and he fled to St. Peter's Island. His former residence is now a museum.

Through the Val de Travers we return to Noiraigue, where after the tour a side trip to Jacot Chocolatier is offered, possibly with tasting and shopping.

E-bike rental at Noiraigue station.

Realised by Roland Baumgartner


By train from Neuchâtel to Noiraigue or Travers in Val de Travers.

Another tip:
Round trip Route du Vignoble de Bonvillars (No. 476) from Grandson on Lake Neuchâtel, with a detour to the winegrowing monastery of La Lance.