It’s probably no secret that Switzerland is a gorgeous place to be in the winter-time: It’s well-known among the rich and beautiful for skiing in St. Maurice and of course it’s a top destination for ice-climbing. But did you know that you’ll find some of the most breathtaking views while hiking through Switzerland’s foothills?
Duration: 2 – 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy (path can be slippery)
Season: Spring to Fall
Length: about 11 Kilometers
Difference in Altitude: 300 m
Route: Noiraigue – Champ-du-Moulin – Boudry
Your destination is the Jura region, more precisely “Trois-Lacs-District”, the “Three-Lakes-District” between Lake Biel, Murten and Neuchâtel. Pretty close to the Swiss “Gran Canyon”, the Jurassic folding and canyon “Creux du Van” (you can also hike up there to enjoy the great view), you’ll find a smooth and spectacular hike to start your hiking season: The half-day hike through the Areuse-Canyon.
You can get to your starting point Noiraigue by train and get back on the tram in Boudry in the evening, so just leave your car at home. People in Switzerand in general prefer to take public transport as the “Generalabonnement”, the general ticket, takes them everywhere, even up the mountains and across their beautiful lakes. So join the locals and take the bus or train. At the train station in Noiraige you may even pick up some last minute snacks and drinks and begin your walk through the old village. Soon enough you’ll arrive at the river which is running in a channel down here. It’ll become fast and wild soon enough!
Areuse Canyon: A great hike to start the season!
As it’s only about three hours of walking at low altitude, you may even start this hike later in the day. Also, with the paths in the Alps too dangerous for hiking due to iced paths or the danger of avalanches in April or May, Areuse is a great first walk of the season. When you leave behind the wide and easy path along the channel and river, you start climbing a little bit on the path and into the canyon. Make sure you bring proper shoes, the path can be slippery at times. Be prepared to see a couple of net little, but also really impressive waterfalls along the way.
Waterfalls and a stone arch bridge: Spectacular Highlights included!
What I like best about this hike, is that it’s really diverse, starting off through little villages and then gliding smoothly from rather flat and easy walking between trees and meadows into the spectacular scenery of the canyon: On one side the cracked rock face, on the other the deep gorge of the canyon the path winds its way up and down, including several bridges and stairs. My personal highlight were the stone arch bridge “pont du saut du brot” in the middle of the hike and the view onto a little lake after leaving a tunnel at the very end. The air is fresh and the path nice and shady – Areuse canyon is a really relaxing hike when the days are getting hotter. If only summer was here already!
Oh, and if you like, you can end your day with a refreshing swim in Lake Neuchâtel before you head home. This is why I love summer in Switzerland!
This was my fourth “little Winter Escape” about what I dream of, when I think of summer. What are your summer dreams about? Share your best days of sunshine with us!
Wanna hike right now when there is still some snow? Have a look at this great winter hike at the Hochgern!
And…Enjoy the ride!