Slightly off the beaten tracks, the Pays de Neuchâtel offers to its travellers a different perspective from the widely-depicted “Swissitude” – tinged with mystery, cultural wealth all set in stunning natural surroundings.
Watches, Watchmakers and the Watch Valley
The Pays de Neuchâtel, the heart of the watch industry is a must to everyone curious to discover the world of watches and of watchmakers. The 200 km long “Watchmaking Route” is home to the world’s most prestigious watch brands. A stopover in the Neuchâtel mountains is compulsory : two stunning museums devoted to the watch industry are located in Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds. The latter city hosting the International Watch Museum – the world’s largest and most prestigious watch collection. To children’s great amusement are the three androids created by all-time most renowned watchmaker Jaquet-Droz in the Art & History Museum in Neuchâtel.
Luxury in a natural environment – Neuchâtel a green Canton
The wild Gorges of the Areuse and the luscious green Doubs river, its spectacular 27 m. waterfall and its majestic twists and turns are great rewards to every hiker. Ideal family destinations, pic nic on the river shores, trout fishing and trout “tasting” at one of the restaurants, easy trecks in the gorge and rock climbing for those in need of adrenaline are just a few of the many entertainment possibilities available.
The Lake of Neuchâtel, the largest entirely Swiss lake offers free access to every single inch around its perimeter ! Much smaller, the Lac de Taillères at 1000 m. alt., at the far end of the Vallée de la Brévine, also known as the Siberia of Switzerland can transform itself into a gigantic outdoor ice skating rink in wintertime.
Last but not least, our rocky circus, The Creux-du-Van: an amphitheatre of one and a half kilometre in diameter with impressive cliffs (150m).
Hidden cultural heritage of unsuspected richness
La Chaux-de-Fonds (highest European city at 1000 m. alt.), birthplace of world’s most acclaimed architect of the 20th century, Le Corbusier, is a surprising example of urban development with its streets in checkerboard pattern. Belonging to the European Art Nouveau Network, La Chaux-de-Fonds hosts the very first art works of Le Corbusier : la Maison Blanche (first entirely self-designed house by Le Corbusier) and La Villa Turque. Contrasting to La Chaux-de-Fonds modernist approach, Neuchâtel is an intact jewel of middle-age heritage. Its Castle and Collegiale dating back to the XIIth century, its narrow brick paved streets and lively pedestrian area immerse the visitor in medieval fantasies. Enchanting winegrowing villages spreading from the hillside to the lakeshore continue our journey through the Centuries.
Leisure, sports, gastronomy and “Food for Thought”
The Canton of Neuchâtel offers a palette of sports, gastronomic, leisure and cultural possibilities that many regions would be dreaming of. Vast array of museums of all kinds, galleries, open air music festivals, theatres, etc., all winter sports, nautique activities and a network of walk and bicycle paths that make our land a paradise for everyone throughout they year.