Lake Biel/Bienne in the Jura & Three-Lakes area of Switzerland is situated on the border between the French and German speaking parts. It borders the southern edge of the Jura, where the slopes are used for intensive cultivation of vines.
The best way to see the region is to take a boat ride on Lake Biel/Bienne. The fleet consists of eight boats, including the world’s largest solar-powered catamaran, the “MobiCat”. Every Sunday in summer you can go for a brunch trip on this extraordinary boat, powered entirely by solar energy. The programme of the Lake Biel/Bienne shipping company also includes other special trips such as exotic culinary tours, musical boats, comedy or murder mystery trips and romantic rides under the full moon.
From Biel/Bienne, the largest bilingual town in Switzerland, the service boats travel along the northern shore, lined with delightful little wine-making villages, as far as the romantic St. Peter’s Island. Part of this idyllic peninsula is a nature conservation area, providing a perfect habitat for numerous birds.
For a closer look at the work of the wine-makers, you can walk along the Vineyard Way from Biel to La Neuveville. The many excellent and informative signs along the path on the northern side of the lake document the history of vines and wine-growing in this sunny region. The path through the vineyards also offers lots of viewpoints over the lake, St. Peter’s Island and the distant Alps. On the way, you may be tempted to stop in picturesque villages like Twann and Ligerz, perhaps for a wine-tasting or to visit the Wine Museum in Ligerz.
There are not only footpaths but also tracks for cyclists and rollerbladers round the lake. There are lots of opportunities to rest or swim along the way, and you also have the option of shortening the route by hopping on a boat.
High above Lake Biel/Bienne lies the Plateau de Diesse. This little known plateau and the Twann Gorge leading down to the lake were chosen by the author Friedrich Dürrenmatt as the scene of the crime in his novel “Der Richter und sein Henker” (The Judge and his Hangman). More ambitious hikers and bikers can climb from here up to the Chasseral.
And those looking for a new experience can now explore the lake by “stand up paddling”. The board you use for this is similar to a surf board, except that you are not lying down and using your hands to move forward but, rather, you are standing and using a long bladed paddle.