4 stages through the wild Jura Mountains – Arc jurassien in Switzerland


4 stages through the wild Jura Mountains – Arc jurassien in Switzerland

Bike Touring Collection by Johanna
2-4 days
3-6 h / day
115 mi
8,625 ft
11,050 ft

The Arc jurassien cycle path winds its way from south to north through the Swiss Jura mountain. The mountain range, which straddles the border of France and Switzerland, offers unique landscapes that are wonderfully diverse. You cycle over exhilarating passes and across tranquil lonely plateaus, through pastures typical of the Jura where horses graze happily amongst the rugged rocks. You pass romantic valleys and mysterious valleys, ride alongside wild rivers that carve through unusual gorges and marvel at unforgettable views.

In this Collection, I present the four stages of the 185-kilometre (115 mile) Arc jurassien cycle path. Ranging in length from 40 to 60 kilometres (25 - 37 miles), the stages can be ridden on any kind of bike. You can reach the starting point of the cycle path in the municipality of Sainte-Croix with the regional train from Yverdon-les-Bains. Yverdon-les-Bains is connected to Zurich, Lausanne, and St. Gallen by long-distance train. At the end of the cycle path in the town of Liestal, there is also a train station with direct connections to Basel, Zurich, Lucerne and Interlaken with regional and long-distance trains.

Due to the amount of elevation gain, the first three stages are especially demanding. If you want to take it easy, you can shorten these stages, catch a train, or lengthen your trip by spending an extra night on the way. The route has great infrastructure so you are never far from a train station, post bus stop, accommodation, or a refreshment stop. The stage destinations have everything you need for a comfortable stay. You can plan your Tour on the Arc jurassien very flexibly and thus nothing stands in the way of an unforgettable adventure in the Jura Mountains.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    36.2 mi
    9.3 mph
    2,900 ft
    3,375 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The starting point of the Arc Jurrassien cycle path is in Sainte-Croix. You can easily get there by train from Yverdon-les-Bains. At the train station in Sainte-Croix you get on the saddle and start the first stage with a crisp ascent that leads you to the Col des Etroits.After you have reached the top of the pass at 1,153 meters, you can enjoy a well-deserved descent. Then you collect a few meters of altitude here and there while you drive through the magical Jura landscape.It becomes challenging again when you climb the Mont des Verrières. At around 1,200 meters you have reached the peak and can loosen your calves a little on a long, winding descent. In the valley you reach Les Verrières. In the village you will find cozy refreshment stops and a break with refreshment is really advisable, because behind Les Verrières the longest and steepest ascent of the stage awaits you.It goes uphill through beautiful forest and open Jura landscape. Take your time and take breaks along the way. You will also find rest areas or simply beautiful spots along the way from which you can enjoy the view. Finally you cycle on a plateau through beautiful, untouched nature. The sparsely populated region enchants you with isolated farms, grazing cows along the way and unforgettable panoramas.You can let it roll over the last few kilometers. A descent takes you to the stage destination Le Locle. In the watch city you will find a train station as well as numerous places to stay and stop for a break.

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    26.4 mi
    9.1 mph
    2,050 ft
    2,175 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second stage also starts with a lush ascent. After you have mastered this, however, you first cycle on flat paths through the beautiful Jura landscape. You then pass the town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, known like Le Locle for watchmaking.Behind the city, it goes gently but continuously uphill again into the unique landscape of the Jura. The typical Jura pastures stretch along the way and alternate with sparse forests. Individual farms create an idyllic ambience.At Mont Soleil you reach the highest point of the stage. Large wind turbines turn here and produce green electricity. Just like the enormous solar panels that make up one of the largest solar power plants in Europe.From now on it's mostly downhill. Only one or the other ascent will let you pedal again every now and then before you reach the stage destination Tramelan.At the train station you have a connection to the regional train service. You will also find cozy places to stop for a break in the village, where you can fortify yourself, for example, with a Toétché jurassien. There is a good selection of accommodations to stay overnight, including hotels and a campsite.

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  • Difficult
    25.9 mi
    9.2 mph
    2,350 ft
    3,050 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    At the beginning of the third stage you drive on a gently sloping route through the wild and romantic valley of the Trame. Surrounded by enchanted forest, you roll right along the rushing river and enjoy the unique nature.Then you can pedal harder again: Over the pass Col du Fuet you cycle up to Combe des Peux, where you reach the highest point of today's stage. Afterwards you drive through a picturesque landscape surrounded by forests and meadows into the valley.Now it's up again before you can enjoy a long descent with wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The rapid ride takes you to Moutier. In the village you can take a well-deserved break and strengthen yourself in one of the restaurants or cafés.With renewed energy, it goes on a long but moderate ascent to Gänsbrunnen and then continuously downhill to the stage destination Welschenrohr. Here you have a small selection of inns and holiday apartments to stay overnight as well as some refreshment stops. There is also a post bus stop in Welschenrohr.

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    26.4 mi
    10.4 mph
    1,325 ft
    2,500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    At the end of the Arc Jurassien cycle path, a beautiful stage with less altitude than the previous one awaits you. It starts right away with a beautiful descent through the wonderful landscape of the Thal Nature Park. Then you cycle on a dead straight, flat route between two Jura chains. You can enjoy an unforgettable panorama with wide meadows and the mountains in the distance.After you have passed Balsthal, it goes uphill. The climb is crisp at the beginning, but then flattens out. On the Obere Hauenstein with a pass height of 734 meters you have reached the highest point of the stage. From now on it's only going downhill.You alternately pass meadows and forests on the way down. You reach Waldenburg via two large serpentines. It's worth taking a break in this pretty town. You will find cozy places to stop for refreshments.Then you get back on the saddle with new strength and let yourself roll further down. You always cycle along the railway line and thus pass a few villages until you finally reach Liestal, the destination of the tour.In the Liestal you can take a stroll through the beautiful old town and review the impressive bike tour along the Jura chain before you get on the train and start your journey home.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    115 mi
  • Duration
    12:07 h
  • Elevation
    8,625 ft11,050 ft

4 stages through the wild Jura Mountains – Arc jurassien in Switzerland