The Region: activities and sight-seeing

Yverdon

ACCESS

Yverdon is a great starting point to visit Switzerland, only one hour away from the Alps, from Bern (Switzerland's capital) or Geneva, a little more from tourist-areas such as Lucerne or Interlaken. It should be noted that the Italian-speaking part of the country is about three hours away.

A TOWN OF WATER

Yverdon (~ 28,000 inhabitants) is about 20 minutes away from Mauborget. Yverdon is a town of water, with a great beach, a very nice outdoor public pool, and the highlight, thermal baths open to the public (a little pricy, but obviously great to take an dip outdoors in 40°C water when it snows!). The town is at the southwestern tip of the Neuchatel lake, the largest lake that is entirely in Switzerland. The shore is totally restricted in terms of construction and is reserved to leisure and nature. The beach is one of the very best in the country, the lake is very clean and the water shallow, ideal for small children, but also great for swimming. The temperature of the water in the summer time is in between 20°C-25°C. Sailing and windsurfing is very popular on the lake and in the spring and the fall, it can be quite windy. Close to the beach, there is an olympic-size outdoor pool with a slide, diving area and shallow pool for children. Since Roman times, Yverdon has been a thermal centre with natural hot springwater. Today, it is a very successful spa for both leisure and therapeutic aspects, with one indoor and two outdoor pools, rehabilitation and arthritic/rhumatic programs run by the hospital and a great restaurant.

HISTORY/CULTURE

The Yverdon area has been settled for at least 2,500 years, and numerous archeological sites exist, including:

  • Celtic stone arrangements dating back to the paleolithic era that are located close to the exit of Yverdon going in the direction of Yvonand
  • Roman ruins with thermal baths at the site of the current cemetery (Yverdon was a minor fortified place in 1st and 2nd century AD)
  • A medieval castle dating back to the 12th century right in the middle of town and a very charming historical centre built around the "place Pestalozzi".

Today, the town has a very active cultural life for its modest size, with two theatres / concert halls, and many other venues for various types of shows. If you are interested, you may want to visit the Tourist Information Center in Yverdon.

http://www.yverdonlesbains-tourisme.ch

Activity suggestions

(This is just a snapshot of our family activities, and for a more complete overview, please refer to your favourite travel guide on Switzerland).

Mauborget is part of the Ste-Croix area, situated at about 1200 m above sea level. This area is great for outdoor activities and to simply disconnect from city life.

In the summertime, main attractions include:

  • A significant network of walking and mountain-bike trails that spans the entire Jura mountains on either sides of the French-Swiss border (we keep very detailed maps (1:25000 and 1:50000) in the chalet for use by visitors with details of the trails as well as a few guides).
  • Mountain lakes situated at an altitude of about 1000 meters in Lac St-Point on the French side through the border at L´Auberson and Lac de la Vallée de Joux going through Yverdon-Vallorbe, both about 30-45 minutes away by car.
  • Obviously, the Lac de Neuchatel, as mentioned earlier, which offers lots of opportunities for swimming, sailing and simply relaxing
  • Numerous bike-paths that are essentially flat (separate from the main roads) around the Lac de Neuchatel.
  • For the more adventuresome, Mauborget is one of the main take-off points of the Jura for parasailing and paragliding, and on a good day, we have counted up to 13 parasails in the air!!!

In the wintertime, the main attractions include:

  • The small ski-lift and separate sled-lift in the village of Mauborget itself.
  • The 5-7 lifts in Les Rasses.
  • The indoor swimming pool in the Grand Hotel des Rasses.
  • The huge cross-country skiing network that spans the entire Jura mountains across the French / Swiss border, from Geneva to Basel, over literally hundreds of kilometres (the trails around Mauborget are fantastic and are about 10-15 minutes walking distance from the chalet).
  • Further away, on the French side, there are lifts in Les Fourgs, about 20 minutes away, and obviously in Metabief, a good 40 minutes away.
  • A indoor skating rink in Yverdon where yours truly played in the local ice-hockey team for over 10 years!
  • The first Alpine resorts are about 1.30-2.00 hours away (Villars-sur-Ollon, and Les Portes du Soleil in Champéry, Les Crosets and Morgins)

Other attractions of a more general nature include:

  • The "Grottes de Vallorbe", a cave network located about 20 minutes from Yverdon near Vallorbe that is fully equipped and can be visited even if you have small children. A truly spectacular experience
  • The "Musée des boîtes à musique" (Musicbox museum) in L´Auberson about 15 minutes away from Mauborget, a world renowned museum that shows some of the most original and largest musical boxes you can think of.
  • The "Musée International d´Horlogerie" in La Chaux-de-Fonds, about 45 minutes away through Yverdon-Neuchatel, which displays in a very modern setting an absolutely spectacular collection of watches. A must-see if you like watches!

More traditional museums of art and history in Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchatel (as well as other Swiss towns such a Fribourg, Bern, etc.)

 

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