St. Peter's Island
“... nowhere have I felt so truly happy as on St. Peter's Island in the middle of Lake Biel,” wrote Jean-Jacques Rousseau shortly before his death, wistfully recalling his all too short stay on the island in the autumn of 1765.
Today, there are many ways to reach the peninsula: on foot from the pretty little town of Erlach along the 4km “Heidenweg” path; on the shuttle from Erlach in summer or by boat from La Neuveville, Ligerz (Lake Biel) or via the Zihl canal from Neuchâtel.
Even the pile dwellers loved Erlach on Lake Biel and the St. Peter's Island. Romans also left their mark - and nobility and bishops ruled from here in the Middle Ages.
In Rousseau's time the peninsula was a modest estate with vineyard section on lease - which gained European significance during the 18th century owing to his description. The island later became a stop on educational tours through Switzerland, followed by a popular excursion point offering tranquility and the beauty of nature.