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Le Creux du Van
Going by car
Natural reserve
Rock formation
Review hôtel Grill du Crêt de l'Anneau
Activities
Questions answers

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Creux du Van - nature reserve near Neuchatel (Switzerland)

Creux du Van (en)

Category: Roadtrip Swiss[b]
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Le Creux du Van

[b]Le Creux du Van is a nature reserve in Switzerland located in the Val de Travers (don't laugh, it's really the name of the region) a few kilometres from Neuchatel. The peculiarity of this nature reserve is its rocky formation in the shape of an arch which offers a breathtaking view over the valley. If you enter Switzerland from the north, the Creux du Van will undoubtedly be one of your first steps.[b][b][b]Trip date: [b]june 2016[b][b][b]Visit duration:[b] 1/2 day[b]
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Going by car

[b]Unless you stay close to the site, the car is the most efficient way to reach the entrance to the reserve. If your GPS does not know the Creux du Van, you can always try to point the restaurant at its entrance (Le Soliat Restaurant). Noiraigue is the closest village, from there you will take a winding road to the top. The road does not present any particular difficulty, it turns strongly, it climbs hard but nothing unusual for this kind of place[b][b][b][b]Creux du Van Suisse[b][b]

Natural reserve

[b]Access to the Creux du Van is free, there is a parking at the restaurant Le Soliat available and you can start your walk from there. The parking is not very large, no problem outside the tourist season, but I assume that parking in high season should be more difficult.[b][b]To reach the rock formation (also called the circus), you have to cross the meadow behind the restaurant, it takes about a quarter of an hour walk (easy) to the edge of the cliff. Our first attempt at a visit was made in foggy weather, we had to turn back because we didn't see much and I didn't really want to wander near a cliff in foggy weather. Return the next day in beautiful weather.[b][b]The main attraction of the reserve is of course the rock circus but the surrounding nature is also worth a detour. There are several hiking trails, maps are available at the restaurant but the route is signposted so if you stay on the main path, you probably won't need a map.[b][b]Creux du Van Suisse[b][b]

Rock formation

[b]The rock circus is really beautiful but to enjoy it well, it is better to try to join one of the ends. Since the site is quite large, you will have to take a step back to see it in its entirety. A path of stones makes it possible to travel the circus from one side to the other, the path does not present any major difficulty but it is not very regular either. I do not recommend the path to people with vertigo or children. There is no guardrail or fall protection.[b][b]Once you have arrived at one of the extremities, you will have a superb overview of the site with the circus on one side and the valley that stretches towards Neuchâtel and its lake on the other. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to reach the site from a distance long enough to see the entire site.[b][b]When you arrive at the end of the arch, don't sulk your pleasure, you can spend a little time contemplating the surroundings but if you want to continue your hike, you can either take the same path or cut through the pastures to bypass the woods near the restaurant. If you have time, make the big loop, the scenery is worth it. We hiked in the middle of June and some of the pastures were still under the snow. Between the bright green of the pastures, the azure blue of the sky and here and there layers of snow, you will fill up with colors for the greatest pleasure of your camera.[b][b]You should ideally visit the site in the morning because most of the circus is oriented Northeast. At the end of the afternoon you may not have any more sunshine on the rocky side.[b][b]Creux du Van Suisse[b][b]
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Review hôtel Grill du Crêt de l'Anneau

[b]We stayed 2 days at the Grill du Crêt de l' Anneau hotel, which is halfway between Le Creux du Van and Neuchatel. The hotel is located directly on the main road and is a large, recently renovated building with all the comfort you need. The furniture was not very modern (it has been renovated since our visit) but it is above all a matter of taste because the room was in impeccable condition and cleanliness. The hotel is run by a very friendly couple, we are far from the hotels belonging to a multinational company, they are individuals who have decided to roll up their sleeves to run their business. The hotel is ideally located to visit the area, you are not far from Neuchatel and all the things to see in the surroundings.[b][b][b][b][b]
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Activities

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