From Yverdon-les-Bains on Lake Neuchâtel, a road and narrow-gauge railway lead to Sainte-Croix which lies around 20 kilometres away; it lies a similar distance from the French border town of Pontarlier.
In 1796 the Geneva-based watchmaker Antoine Favre invented the music box. From 1811 until the end of the 19th century, Sainte-Croix developed to become the world centre for music box manufacturers and nickelodeons. The manufacture of these works of art was carried out to perfection here. Today, two museums present these melodious handicraft items: the CIMA Music Box and Nickelodeon Museum in Sainte-Croix, and the Baud Museum in nearby L’Auberson exhibit unique collections.
The small centre of Sainte-Croix and the resort of Les Rasses form a wide network of beautiful walking trails across Jura meadows and through fir woods. Four marked routes extending to a length of 84 kilometres are provided for mountain bikers. Sainte-Croix is also situated on the Jura Route of the ‘Cycling in Switzerland’ national route network. Les Rasses is the valley station of the chair lift up to the Chasseron (La Robella), the starting point – as well as destination – of many tours. Walkers and cyclists appreciate the numerous ‘Alpine huts’, which have been enlarged into small hostelries offering local products and specialities.
In winter, visitors are primarily attracted by the excellent cross-county skiing opportunities afforded by the Jura landscape. The marked and well-tended network of ski trails around Sainte-Croix measures 80 kilometres and is linked to the adjoining cross-country trail networks in the Neuenburg canton and France.
A small snow sports region above Les Rasses on the slopes of the Chasseron awaits skiers. 9 smaller lift facilities provide access to easy and medium difficulty downhill pistes which are especially suited to families. This region also has the largest night skiing area in western Switzerland.
- CIMA Museum in Sainte Croix – music boxes and other musical instruments, each of the them masterpieces of precision engineering and marquetry.
- Baud Museum in L’Auberson – museum with older nickelodeons, of which many can still be played.
- CIEL game paradise in Sainte-Croix – 40 games for the young and young at heart to dispel dismal moods on rainy days.
- Yverdon thermal baths – wellness and a spa resort at the nearby Lake Neuchâtel.
- Grandson Castle – magnificently sited with views across Lake Neuchâtel, this castle dates from the 13th century and houses collections of arms and armour and an automobile museum.