Lac de Neuchâtel: Medieval Wonderland

When you speak of Switzerland, Lake Neuchatel is not number one on the list of things to see, but for those in the know it is the hidden gem of the country enjoyed and explored by the Swiss with the utmost love. The Lac de Neuchâtel lies at the southern foot of the Jura mountains. The northern shore of the lake is characterized by vineyard landscapes, and the southern shore by the largest marshland and bird paradise in Switzerland.

Boat cruise enthusiasts can experience all three lakes at the periphery of the Jura including lakes Biel, Murten and Lac de Neuchâtel on a leisurely, four-hour cruise if you so choose. Almost all of these boats include a full service restaurant as well, so you will be well fed and there will be plenty to drink as you enjoy the magnificent views and soothing atmosphere. Lac de Neuchatel is the largest lake contained within the entirety of the Swiss borders and is home to Neuchatel township, the largest in the region. Its medieval town center is full of cafes, restaurants, shopping, and numerous theaters and museums that are an open invitation to stroll the cobblestone streets and get lost in the fairytale town.

For the hiking and cycling enthusiasts, numerous boat connections enable boat trips to be combined with short or longer hikes and cycling tours along the shoreline. Where possible, bicycles are transported on boats. The national “Mittelland” Cycle Route 5 leads along the south-eastern lakeshore, and an abundance of different trails allow for a very creative mishmash of nature and luxury all in one. For you Spa and wellness lovers the two and a half hour trip from Neuchatel to Yverdon-les-Bains at the western end of the lakes is well worth the trip.

If you want to take your relaxation to the next level and enjoy the abundance and diversity of nature in the reed-covered lakeshore May to October is your window to go. And if you are down for a small town experience, Estavayer with its beautiful mediaeval buildings and a wide offering of water sports, is also situated on the south-eastern shore and deserving of a visit. Be sure to visit in the Spring and Summer months for the full array of activities and be the adventurer you know you are, taking the less beaten path away from the well known tourist destinations. You won’t regret it. See you in Lac Neuchatel!