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Intro

The Lac de Neuchâtel lies at the southern foot of the Jura mountains. The northern shore of the lake is characterised by vineyard landscapes, 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 – lakes Biel, Murten and Lac de Neuchâtel – on a leisurely, four-hour cruise.

At 38 kilometres in length and 8 kilometres in width, the Lac de Neuchâtel is the largest lake contained entirely within Swiss borders. Neuchâtel township, built in yellow Jurassic limestone, lies on the north-western shore of the lake and is the largest town of the region. The mediaeval town centre, with its many cafés and restaurants, shopping opportunities and numerous theatres and museums, imparts a French charm and beckons visitors to stroll. One of Switzerland’s largest traditional open-air wine festivals with a magnificent flower parade is held in the town in the autumn. Neuchâtel is the ideal starting point for many boat cruises.

The charming villages dotted around the lake are frequented by the regular boat services that ply the lake, especially in the summer. The majority of boats have an on-board restaurant. 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.

The trip from Neuchâtel to Yverdon-les-Bains at the western end of the lake takes 2.5 hours. This traditional spa and wellness town has an attractive old town and is well worth a visit. From May to October, the abundance and diversity of nature in the reed-covered lakeshore can be discovered in the Champ-Pittet nature conservation centre on the outskirts of Yverdon. "La Grande Cariçaie", Switzerland’s largest marshland and a unique bird paradise, extends for 40 km along the entire southern shore of the Lac de Neuchâtel.

The charming small town of 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. Its original frog museum, featuring stuffed frogs engaged in satirical ‘human’ activities set in around 1850, is a special attraction.

In the summer, many swimming beaches and numerous water sports opportunities such as sailing, surfing and rowing await, especially on the north-western lakeshore. Sports equipment can be hired on site.

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Lake Neuchâtel
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Travel information: Lake Neuchâtel