At a glance
- Largest city: Biel/Bienne (54'000 inhabitants)
- Specialities: Saucisse d'Ajoie, Tête de Moine, Striflates
- UNESCO World Heritage Site: Cityscape Watch Industry La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, pile dwellings
- Hotel industry: 228 hotels (3'723 rooms)
- Overnight stays/year: 0.76 million
This rather small tourist region is still one of Switzerland's insider tips. It includes the landscapes of the Canton of Jura and the region around the three lakes of Biel, Neuchâtel and Murten. The region is particularly popular with nature lovers, hikers and cyclists.
The region gained national fame on the occasion of the National Exhibition Expo.02, which was held in Biel/Bienne, Neuchâtel, Murten and Yverdon-les-Bains. It was Expo.02 that coined the term "Three-Lakes Region.
Jura & Three-Lakes Country in 5 different cantons
The Jura & Three-Lakes Region is one of the smaller tourist regions in Switzerland. Nevertheless, it comprises 5 cantons: besides the Jura, these are parts of the cantons of Vaud, Neuchâtel, Fribourg and Bern. The people in the region speak French or German, depending on the place. Many places are bilingual.
Excursions in town and in the country
Among the most famous destinations in the region are the cities of La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchâtel, Delémont, Biel/Bienne, Murten and Yverdon-les Bains. In addition, the Jura and Three-Lakes Region offers unique natural beauties: the Franches-Montagnes, the Creux du Van or the Chasseral are just a few of them.
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Jura and Three-Lakes Region in summer
Hike from Chasseral to Chaumont
This hike, which is not particularly demanding, leads from Mount Chasseral, called the King of the Jura, to Chaumont. The hike first leads over the ridge. On good days you can see as far as the Vosges and the Alps from there. Then follow landscapes that are typical of the region: Forests alternate with extensive meadows, the landscape is hilly but idyllic and charming. The 15 km to Chaumont are mastered in about 4 hours. Since the route is more downhill than uphill, this ridge walk is not particularly strenuous.
Creux du Van
Sometimes it is called the Grand Canyon of Switzerland. But more apt is the name Kar, a kind of roundish basin, created by a glacier. The Creux du Van is up to 500 metres deep. At its widest point, the imposing "gorge" is 1.2 kilometres wide. By car, you can drive up to 300 metres into the gorge. More beautiful, but also more exhausting, is the hike from Noiraigue (about 1 hour)
Hike in the Taubenloch gorge
Have you ever heard of Pigeonhole Canyon? Not many people are familiar with this spectacular landscape. But that could change. The 3 km long gorge is unique: it is lined with caves, waterfalls, overhanging rocks; from its deepest point you can hear the rushing of the Schüss, which later flows into Lake Biel. For more than 130 years, a spectacular hiking trail has led through the gorge, which was established by the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) in 1889. The short hike takes just over half an hour.
Jura and Three-Lakes-Land in winter
Winter sports in the largest ski area of the Jura
The Jura is not considered the number one winter sports region in Switzerland. However, there are some great skiing areas, especially for families with children. They are smaller, more familiar and cheaper than the big classics among the Swiss winter sports destinations. The largest ski area in the Jura is called Bugnenets-Savagnières - Saint-Imier. Eight lifts carry the Göste there at 1,460 metres above sea level. The area covers around 30 kilometres of pistes. There is a ski and snowboard school for children, a kindergarten for the very young and restaurants.
Watch Museum La-Chaux-de-Fonds
La-Chaux-de-Fonds lies at 1,000 metres above sea level and is thus one of the highest small towns in Europe. However, the city is known above all for its chessboard-like buildings and the watchmaking industry that is firmly established there. A good insight into this industrial tradition of La-Chaux-de-Fonds is provided by the Watch Museum. Over 4,000 pieces are exhibited there, including 2700 clocks and 700 wall clocks.
Cross-country skiing in the Vallée de Joux
With the Vallée de Joux, one of the largest cross-country skiing areas in Switzerland is located in the Jura region. The wide valley offers a total of 220 km of cross-country ski trails. Both beginners and advanced skiers will find the right trail in the Vallée de Joux. If you do not have cross-country skis, you can rent the appropriate equipment in Le Sentier, L'Abbaye and on the Mollendruz.
Places in the Jura Region and Three-Lakes-Land
The old town of Murten, called Stedli by the locals, is one of the most beautiful in the region. It lies directly on Lake Murten and exudes a Mediterranean touch. The old town and the ring wall that once surrounded it are well preserved. The style of the main street with its arcades is strongly reminiscent of the federal city of Bern. The predominant language in Murten is German, but French is also spoken. Don't miss a bite to eat: the Nidelkuchen from the Aebersold bakery.
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Val de Travers
In 2009, the villages of Boveresse, Buttes, Couvet, Fleurier, Les Bayards, Môtiers, Noiraigue, Saint-Sulpice and Travers were merged to form the new commune of Val-de-Travers. It is located near the Creux du Van, also called the Grand Canyon of Switzerland. However, it is well worth staying in one of our partner hotels and discovering other places of interest in Val de Travers: the collegiate church and castle of Môtiers, the Maison Petitpierre in Boveresse or the Areuse Gorge. Along the rushing river Areuse a beautiful hiking trail leads - over stone bridges and along steep and rugged rock faces. Especially nice to cool down on a hot summer day!
Porrentruy is the centre of the Ajoje region, the northern tip of the Jura, which lies behind the hills of the Jura mountains. With a population of only 6,500, the town has a beautifully preserved old town and a lot to see, most notably the medieval castle of Porrentruy, which towers above the town. But also the churches Saint-Germain (13th century) and Saint-Pierre (14th century) are worth a visit.
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