Despite of Böögg’s prediction for this year, summer is being great in Switzerland. It is often hot, most of the days are sunny and weekend plans like making a barbecue at the lake followed by a swim are often the most appealing these days. But I am trying to not getting too comfortable and going to the mountains at least one day a week.
Since we have a car, we have increased the range of our daily trips to the mountains. After one year living in Switzerland, it was about time we visit the French part of the country, so we decided to go to one of the natural wonders of this region: Creux du Van, in Canton Neuchâtel.
Creux du Van is a natural amphitheater-shaped rock formation of approximately 1400m wide and 150m deep, created by the eroding power of water and ice centuries ago. There are a few ways to reach Creux du Van, some even by car, but we chose to hike from the small town of Noiraige, following the sentier des quatorze contours, the path of the 14 bends (and the 735m ascension!!). It is a beautiful trail through a deep forest. Its only downside, it is a continuous steep path that can leave you exhausted, specially on hot summer days! But once you reach the top, the views are worth the effort. You find yourself at one of the ends of the Creux du Van, with views of the whole rocky amphitheater. After that, the path continues along the border of the Creux du Van, where a great variety of alpine flowers grow. The rest of the trail takes you back to Noiraige, passing a farm and a restaurant in the deep forest down the valley.
This was a beautiful hike day. Despite of the heat, I enjoyed the ascension through the forest and I was amazed by the views once we reached the Creux du Van. The only thing I didn’t really like: it was crowded!! Well, I guess this is what you get when you go to a place easily reachable by car on a summer Sunday… But I’m sure we didn’t see any of the famous ibex from Creux du Van because of all the noise from the people… I didn’t mind! Once I saw this place I knew it must be even more beautiful during autumn, with all its golden tones… So I added a new trip in my bucket list: a hike in Creux du Van in autumn, spending there enough time to see the sun setting in this beautiful scenery!
Here are some photos of that day. As you see, I had fun discovering and capturing some alpine flowers as well as the impressive canyon of Creux du Van. I hope you like them!!