|Jura, Neuchâtel & Fribourg
The lakes of Neuchâtel, Biel and Murten are strung along the foot of the Jura Mountains. Although not one of the most admired regions for tourists, the rolling hills of the Jura mountains, the Franches Montagnes in the Neuchâtel region and the foothills of the Alps in the canton of Fribourg to the south of the lakes are brilliant for hiking, camping and fishing.
The waterfalls of the Doubs and the gorges of the Areuse in the Jura are extremely impressive. The area is also well-known for its food and wines, and for the production of Swiss precision watches; do not miss the Horological Museum at La-Chaux-de-Fonds, and the watch-making factories at La-Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle.
The remarkable yellow stone buildings of medieval Neuchâtel, attractively positioned beside a lake, were once described by Alexander Dumas as ‘carved from butter’. The town itself is renowned for its cafe culture and its brilliant cuisine.
Worth visiting nearby is the medieval town of Romont and the unspoilt lakeside town of Murten (known as ‘Morat’ by the French-speaking minority). The bilingual city of Fribourg (or ‘Freiburg’ to the German-speaking minority), where a Romanesque-Germanic atmosphere prevails, is one of the most exciting historic cities in Switzerland.
In the south of the canton of Fribourg, in the foothills of the Alps, lies the Gruyère region, well-known for its dairy farming which produces one of the best Swiss cheeses: Gruyère. The ancient town of Gruyères is still entirely surrounded by its old city walls.