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Jura Crest Trail: Weissenstein to Couvet  The Natural Adventure

Jura Crest Trail: Weissenstein to Couvet

Overview

The Jura Crest Trail is the oldest long-distance hike in Switzerland. Signposting on the route – starting at Zurich and ending just before Geneva – began as early as 1905. It is a long-distance hike that leads over the heights of the Swiss Jura Mountains. Our Jura Crest Trail: Weissenstein to Couvet itinerary takes in some of the best sections of the trail, offering endless mountain panoramas and accommodation in nice hotels. The numerous mountain restaurants and métairies are ideal for sampling local specialities.

  • Breathtaking mountain landscapes
  • The oldest long-distance trail in the Swiss Alps
  • Local villages with genuine architecture
  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Luggage transfers included

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Itinerary

Day 1: Solothurn

Arrive in Solothurn and overnight.

Day 2: Weissenstein – Biel | 24 km

A short train ride to Oberdorf and then by cable car up to Weissenstein, where you will reach the Jura Crest Trail. The roof of Canton Solothurn offers views across the Jura arc to the Mittell and the snow-capped Alps and on through forests and typical Jura meadows. You will cross the language border at Montagne de Romont and spend the night near Biel.

  • Walking for the day: 24 km, 6-7 hours, ↑1415 m ↓700 m
  • Accommodation: Mercure Hotel Plaza or similar

Day 3: Biel – Nods | 17 km

From the low-lying Schüss Valley, you will reach the crest of the Bernese Jura. An almost constant, yet comfortable climb follows to scale the Chasseral. Enjoy the panoramic view over the Mittelland lakes. From Chasseral transfer down to Nods.

Day 4: Nods – La Chaux-de-Fonds | 20 km

In the morning, transfer up to Chasseral, where you will continue your walk. A varied hike follows between the upper St. Imier Valley and the Val de Ruz Valley with the winter sports resort, Le Pâquier. The top of the Vue des Alpes pass, transfer to the watch-making centre of La Chaux-de-Fonds.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 6 hours, ↑760 m ↓1000 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Athmos or similar

Day 5: La Chaux-de-Fonds – Travers/Couvet | 20 km

Morning transfer to Vue-des-Alpes pass. Enjoy the fantastic panoramic views of the high mountains with the Tête de Ran and Mont Racine peaks in the background and Lac de Neuchâtel down in the valley, before making the steep descent to Noiraigue.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 6 hours, ↑790 m ↓1275 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel de l’Aigle or similar

Day 6: Circular walk Creux du Van | 16 km

The beginning of this stage is demanding but rewarding: the highlight of the hike is the natural rock amphitheatre of Creux du Van, the Swiss equivalent of the Grand Canyon. From the heights, you can enjoy beautiful views of the sparkling waters of Lake Neuenburg. You continue down to Couvet after your hike.

  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 5 hours, ↑915 m ↓420 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel de l’Aigle or similar

Day 7: Departure

Departure or extra nights Couvet.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in nice 2 and 3-star hotels, in double or twin private en-suite rooms. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour. Exact accommodation details are provided upon booking confirmation.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

All breakfasts are included. Picnics are optional at an additional charge and can be ordered locally. It is also possible to have lunch in inns in the valley Fex, at the pass of Fuorcla Surlej, at Morteratsch or Varusch. For dinner, there are usually numerous alternatives in the villages you are staying at.

Difficulty & terrain

The trip is suitable for average hikers, prepared to walk six hours per day. You will hike on good paths with no special technical challenges. The trails are easy to walk, but they may be slippery on wet days (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available on any date from end-April till mid-October.

The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this holiday are Zurich (ZRH) or Geneva (GVA).

By train or bus
  • Parking at the railway station in Solothurn (CHF 10 per day)
  • Return by train from Couvet via Neuenburg to Solothurn, duration: approx. 1.5 h
  • See the following website for up-to-date train schedules and connections: www.cff.ch/home.html, or use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • 6 overnights in private en-suite rooms in 3-star hotels and nice guesthouses
  • 6 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfers on all walking days
  • Transfers Chasseral – Nods – Chasseral 
  • Transfer Vue-des-Alpes – La Chaux-de-Fonds – Vue-des-Alpes
  • Detailed route notes (1 x per room) & GPS tracks
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Cable car, bus and train rides (c. 40 CHF per person)
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request

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