Travels Swiss Travels

Magnificent Hike at Creux du Van

It was the Ascension Day public holiday last week, and what other better activity than to go on and enjoy the great outdoors? Vince and I had invited my friend Elitsa to join us for a hike at Creux du Van, an impressive rocky cirque in the canton of Neuchâtel, also known as the Grand Canyon of Switzerland!

Hike at Creux du Van: Information

We took a 1.5 hour train ride from Lausanne to Noiraigue. From there, it’s a hilly 2.5 hour uphill hike up through the forest to the top.

  • Altitude: 1,462 m
  • Elevation Gain: 730 m
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time for the Circuit: 4 to 5 hours
  • Round-trip: 12.4 km

The way up was very rocky and steep, and the descent was even tougher with loose rocks, I’d almost lost my footing a couple of times! Considering that it was Elitsa’s first hike in Switzerland, I’d felt bad initially to put her through such a challenging trail. However all the sweat and effort paid off once we reached the top. There were also plenty of retired people and kids on the same trail as us. So while it’s not the easiest hike, it’s definitely doable as long as you are reasonably fit and go with a steady pair of hiking shoes.

However, if you’re short on time or simply prefer the lazier way, you can travel by car and park at the Le Soliat restaurant (you will find it on Google Maps). Then, take a 250 m walk to the cliff overlook.

The Scenery

man at the top of creux du van in switzerland
trio of friends at the top of creux du van in switzerland

It was a clear sunny afternoon, and the view at the top was just simply stunning! On the north side, you get an impressive view of the rocky cliffs. And on the south side, you get to see the Alps in their full glory.

female hiker at the top of creux du van in switzerland during summer
rocky cliffs at the top of Creux du van in Switzerland
female hiker facing the rocky cliffs of Creux du Van
foot path on the edges of Creux du van

For an even more amazing (and scary) feast for the eyes, take a slow walk around the cliff. However, as the footpath runs at the VERY EDGE, it can be especially dangerous for young children or people with vertigo. So be extra careful!

Alternatively, there is another safer path surrounded with dry-stone wall a few meters away from the edge.

Hiking through any Swiss mountains in general has always been a delightful sensory experience for me. You get a whiff of the pungent cattle smell in the air…and the mountain flowers are a beautiful explosion of yellow. You can even hear the low mooing cows and their cowbells ringing merrily in the distance. You’d never want to leave the place!


I had picked up some video-editing skills during my stayhome period, and here’s the end product showing more snippets from our hike at Creux du Van! Happy with my first ever video, definitely more to come! I find visual story-telling more impactful 🙂

If you have enjoyed this post on my hike at Creux du Van and would like to discover more on Swiss travels, check out my other posts on our daytrip to Blausee and summer vacation to Lugano!

Love, Ollie

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