We start our vinophile journey through the Three Lakes Region in Biel. Biel is particularly known as a watch city, after all, companies such as Rolex, Omega and Swatch are based here. But if you now think that Biel is industrial, you are mistaken. The
The medieval old town centre with its charming alleys and venerable guild houses alone is worth a trip to Lake Biel. But we leave this behind us for the time being and move to the northern shore of the lake.
Just outside the gates of the bilingual town begins the so-called Rebenweg - a hiking trail along Lake Biel to La Neuveville or Neuenstadt, as the town is called in German. We reach the first obligatory photo stop after just a few hundred metres. A unique perspective with St. Peter's Island as the main protagonist spreads out. The deep blue Bielersee and the green vineyard landscape in front of it are our constant companions from now on. Incidentally, the vineyard trail can be walked in stages not only from Biel, but from almost every winegrowing village with a railway station. It is also suitable for inexperienced hikers, as there are practically no gradients here on the lakeshore.
Pleasure on Lake Biel
The wine villages on Lake Biel are among the most beautiful that the Swiss wine landscape has to offer in general. We explore the winding lanes in cosy Twann, and as we still have enough time, we also pay a visit to the Twannbach Gorge.
a visit. The path through the gorge with its waterfalls and refreshing climate could also be walked from the other side from Magglingen. A hike we save for another time. Further along the lake we reach Ligerz. We photograph the village church, probably the most famous motif on this route. By the way, between Twann and Ligerz, the Rebenweg is a vineyard educational trail, which provides visitors with a lot of interesting information about wine and especially about viticulture on Lake Biel. There are more than enough places to stop along this hiking trail. On the one hand, there are the winegrowers who are prepared for visiting hikers, but there are also some gastronomic trouvailles to be found here. We decide on the "Aux Trois Amis" in the hamlet of Schernelz near Ligerz. On the large sun terrace you can enjoy the magnificent view over the lake. Local cuisine with a modern twist is served. The young chef Marc Joshua Engel serves his creations from the lake and the fields in four to seven courses. Hostess and sommelière Cynthia Lauper takes care of the right drop in the glass - and the well-stocked wine list really leaves nothing to be desired in this respect. All top producers of the region can be found on it. For instance the wines of the
Steiner winery, which is located in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant. Our hike from Ligerz to La Neuveville still takes about an hour. The old town, which is well worth seeing, invites you to linger. The lakeside promenade is one of the most beautiful on Lake Biel.
Neuchâtel wine culture
The Three-Lakes Region used to be marshland. It was not until the Jura waters were corrected from the end of the 18th century that the region became cultivable over a wide area. The area between Lakes Biel, Murten and Neuchâtel became an important vegetable-growing region. Wine-growing on Lake Biel has been documented since the 9th century and therefore has a long tradition. In addition to the vineyards on the north shore of Lake Biel, the vineyards of Mont Vully on Lake Murten and those on the north shore of Lake Neuchâtel are among the oenological hotspots of the Three-Lakes Region. Both lakes are of course ideal for hiking. Those with sporting ambitions should take the 33-kilometre-long lakeside path on the north shore of Lake Neuchâtel under their feet. This is the area where famous Neuchâtel vineyards such as La Maison Carrée or the Domaine Chambleau are located. This hike from Marin to Vaumarcus takes a good eight hours, but without any significant differences in altitude. Of course, it is also possible to walk only parts of the route. We choose the section from Saint-Aubin to Boudry, which offers particularly beautiful views over the vineyards around the lake. On the way, however, we encounter not only rows of vines for a long time. The leisurely walk leads somewhat elevated above the lake along the southern foot of the Jura. First through the aforementioned agricultural areas, then a bit through the forest. And again and again the view opens up and we can see over the vines to the glittering Lake Neuchâtel. At the end, as we walk down towards Boudry, we come across not only magnificent villas but also countless rows of vineyards in lush green, contrasting with the blue of the lake behind them. Boudry is located in a valley hollow. The castle of the once fortified town now houses a wine museum, which can only be visited in the afternoon and is a perfect end to our tour.
From Biel to La Neuveville
The northern shore of Lake Biel is intensively used for viticulture. The hike from Biel to La Neuveville provides a comprehensive insight into the work of the region's winegrowers.
Lake Neuchâtel Seaway
A walk from beach to beach and from village to village, leading along the north shore of Lake Neuchâtel through the wine-growing areas. Up to eight hours can be spent hiking here.
Tips off the beaten track
Lake dwellings on Lake Biel
The five pile-dwelling settlements in the Lake Biel area are between 3000 and 7000 years old. Today they are largely submerged in water, but still worth a visit.
Tourism Biel, Bahnhofplatz 12, 2501 Biel
A tropical climate prevails under several domes. Animals, plants, insects and various species of butterflies populate the Papiliorama.
Moosmatte 1, 3210 Kerzers