Beautiful Swiss Villages: La Neuveville, Le Landeron and the vineyards in Ligerz
A perfect day trip in Switzerland combining beautiful villages with a view on Lake Biel!
La Neuveville and Le Landeron are part of Switzerland’s most beautiful villages, and even though they are in two different Cantons, they are located very close to one another. That’s why, when we recently went on a day trip, we were able to combine a visit to both these colorful Swiss villages, with a beautiful walk in the vineyards in Ligerz which has a wide view on Lake Biel.
Le Landeron is in the Canton Neuchatel, and since we drove from Geneva, Le Landeron was our logical first stop. Le Landeron is beautiful, but very small. It basically is one street with beautiful colored houses, built around an area with planted trees. It has 2 typically Swiss decorated fountains, and benches in the middle. We chose to combine this small village with La Neuveville, but of course, if you haven’t been to the city of Neuchatel yet, you could also easily do a day trip focusing on just one Canton.
La Neuveville is another beautiful Swiss village and is much bigger than Le Landeron. La Neuveville is in Canton Bern and located on Lake Biel. The combination of its paved streets with colored houses and the access to the lake immediately gave us a holiday feeling! We loved walking through this medieval town that has some places of interest not to be missed: the red tower, the square tower, the open stream flowing along the main street, the decorations on the buildings and the fountains, the ‘Cour de Berne’ historical building with the big Bernese coat of arms on it, and the lake side area. There are plenty of restaurants and shops in La Neuveville, but since we visited in April 2021, not much was open yet.
La Neuveville has a long history of tales of witches, and it is possible to do a self-guided witch themed walking tour through the town. Just follow the signs that say ‘Ballade de la Sorcière’. This walking tour also goes steep up to a viewpoint. More information on this walk: https://www.j3l.ch/en/V1596/the-witches-trail
The lakeside in La Neuveville has a small grass beach, a playground for kids, and the possibility to get on a cruise on the lake.
Ligerz, the vineyards and the view on Lake Biel
Ligerz, or Gléresse in French, is very close to La Neuveville and has a funicular you can take up the mountain for the best views on Lake Biel. The Vinifuni funicular gently takes you up, through the vineyards and a forest to Preles on top. What is interesting is that this funicular crosses the language border (the so called Röstigraben) as Ligerz is in the German speaking part, and Preles is in the French speaking part. The Vinifuni has 2 stops before reaching Preles, but we would recommend you to go all the way up. On top there is a ‘Buvette’ with a view, and the leisurely walk down only takes you an hour.
From Preles, follow the road to your right until you see the start of the hiking path which says Ligerz. You cannot miss it from there, as the only way is down. The first part is through the forest until the view opens up and while you continue down, you will start to see the picturesque chapel of Ligerz and the vineyards. It made us think of Lavaux vineyards on Lac Léman, really beautiful!
Practical information: there is a public covered parking in Ligerz, right before the Vinifuni funicular coming from La Neuveville.
St Peters Island in the middle of Lake Biel
As you have watched the beautiful view on Lake Biel from Ligerz, you will have seen the peninsula St Peters Island in the middle of the lake. The island can be accessed by boat from Biel – Bienne, or by foot or by bike from Erlach. The island has beaches, nature, and a restaurant. We haven’t been on the island yet, but we may just come back to do that this summer!
Approximate driving distances for this trip.
From Geneva: 1 hour and 30 minutes
From Bern: 40 minutes
From Basel: 1 hour and 15 minutes
From Zürich: 1 hour and 30 minutes
If you liked this article, you may also like articles on other beautiful Swiss villages we have been to. On our blog you will find our posts on Grimentz, Murten and Avenches, Gruyères, Ascona, and more!