Lac de Joux
Lac de Joux in the Vaud Jura is located at 1,000 metres in the valley of the same name (Vallée de Joux). The stark beauty and unspoilt nature of the high valley and the lake attract countless visitors all year round; in summer mainly for water sports, biking and hiking and in winter for ice-skating and cross-country skiing.
Set between Mont Tendre (1,679 m) and the densely wooded chain of the Risoux, along the ridge of which runs the border between Switzerland and France, the Lac de Joux is the largest expanse of water in the Jura region. Well known for its favourable wind conditions, the lake attracts a large number of yachters and windsurfers, but is also ideal for rowing boats, water skiing and wakeboarding. Water temperatures between 18 and 24 degrees also tempt a lot of swimmers here. There is an extensive network of routes for cycling and mountain biking in the hilly natural paradise around the lake, and a number of fine footpaths.
Lac de Joux and the nearly adjacent but much smaller Lac Brenet have no surface drainage; the water trickles away underground and only comes to the surface again a few kilometres away near Vallorbe. In July and August there is just one scheduled boat service every day on the Lac de Joux, doing a round trip in the afternoons, starting at Le Pont at the north-eastern end of the lake. In June and September, the boat only runs on Saturdays and Sundays. This makes the Lac de Joux shipping company one of the smallest in Switzerland, and a ride on the lake something really special.
In winter, the frozen lake becomes a huge ice rink, and a paradise for skaters and ice-walkers. Otherwise, the rest of the Vallée de Joux in winter is mainly an endless cross-country skiing paradise, with about 200 kilometres of prepared tracks in virtually untouched nature. The Jura landscape, with its gentle hills and large wooded areas, also offers excellent opportunities for fantastic snow shoe excursions – even lasting several days – or exciting rides on dog sleds.
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