The mountain range of Jura and the Three Lakes region of Switzerland presents its very own lake district, where rolling vineyard-cloaked hills hug the shorelines and chocolate-box ancient towns dot the landscape.
Location-wise, the ‘Three Lakes’ (Lakes Biel, Morat and Neuchâtel) are in the west of Switzerland at the foothills of the Jura mountain range. Easily accessible, all three lakes are connected by an excellent canal network, making navigating the area by yacht a breeze.
Fifteen kilometres long and up to 41.1km at its widest point, Lake Biel’s tranquil plateau lake is blessed with many historic points of interest including:
• Biel – This town at the foothills of the Jura mountains is famed for being the watchmaker centre of Switzerland, with numerous watchmaking factories based here. The Omega Museum, displaying 4000 watches from the illustrious maker Omega’s history, is a good place to begin gathering knowledge of the industry’s significance to Biel.
• St Peter’s Island – To surround yourself in natural serenity, head to this remote vineyard-covered peninsular, which is connected to the charming town of Erlach by a 4km path and also accessible by boat. Rooted in history, bishops, nobility and the Romans have ruled the former island. The first residents were monks who built the nationally significant former priory building that dates to 1127 and is now a hotel and restaurant.
• Rebbaumuseum am Bielersee (Hoff) – Visit the museum devoted to regional historic winemaking paraphernalia, housed in a beautiful 16th Century manor house on Lake Biel’s left bank in Ligerz.
The smallest of the three lakes, and of a shallow depth, Lake Morat attracts swimmers in the summer months as well as water sports enthusiasts. A visit here is not complete without sampling the area’s finest white wines at vineyard cellars and hostelries on its slopes.
• Morat (Murten) – Amble around the quaint alleyways and arcades of this small medieval fortified town originating from 1170 at the southeast shore of the lake.
• Avenches – Head just 3km from the lakeshore and you are in this delightful town, resplendent with a magnificent mix of Gothic and Renaissance buildings, arcades and important Roman heritage. The capital of Roman Helvetia, some 2000 years ago, Avenches features a well-preserved amphitheatre, which is still used today for outdoor concerts.
• Papilliorama-Nocturama, Kerzers – Fancy a complete change of scene? Watch exotic butterflies go through the lifecycle at this fascinating tropical adventure world. Then pass through Nocturama to encounter a variety of nocturnal animals including sloth, tree porcupines, night monkeys, kinkajous and ocelots in a South and Central America jungle-created environment.
Stretching 38 kilometres long and 8 kilometres wide, Lake Neuchâtel is the largest of the lakes. The hills surrounding its north shore are characterised by vineyards and make beautiful spots for swimming, surfing and rowing. By contrast the south shore is a vast reed-covered habitat for birds.
• Neuchâtel – At the foot of the vineyards is this charming medieval limestone-constructed town with a French feel, providing ample shops, restaurants, museums and theatres to while away the time in the most relaxing way.
• Yverdon-les-Bains – If you are into wellness, why not pay a visit to this nearby attractive traditional spa town.
• Champ-Pittet nature conservation centre – Get your binoculars at the ready as your marvel at nature in its most diverse at Switzerland’s largest marshland and unique bird paradise. Open from May to October, this reed-covered habitat known as ‘La Grande Cariçaie’, extends for 40km along Lake Neuchâtel’s entire southern shore.
See Princess Yachts at Ascona Boat Show
Our Princess Motor Yacht Sales distributors will be exhibiting at Switzerland’s Ascona Boat Show from 19th – 22nd April 2019. We will be providing guests with the opportunity to see the R35 up-close with a technical demonstration and sea trials on the 23rd and 24th of April. For those seriously interested, you can register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
What to see and do in Ascona
While you’re in Ascona, an attractive low-lying village on Lake Maggiore’s northern shore, why not soak up its relaxed café culture. Ascona’s mild climate makes for pleasant evening strolls along its pedestrianised lake promenade. Venture into its narrow lanes and there are craft, designer boutiques, galleries, wine and spirit and souvenir shops galore.
Ascona is also a resort in its own right, with prestigious hotels and excellent restaurants together with multiple sports facilities including an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool plus water sports, such as surfing and sailing. The beautiful unspoilt scenery of the neighbouring Tessin valleys offers great hiking too.