7 Jura Route
7 Jura Route
7 Jura Route
7 Jura Route
7 Jura Route
7 Jura Route

Cycling in Switzerland

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Jura Route

Stage 6, Vallorbe–Nyon

Route report
99 photos

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Jura Route

The cool clear waters of Lake Joux provide an oasis of peace in the high valley. Countless thousands of ants bustle about in the Jura Vaudois Nature Park, surrounded by artistically assembled low drystone walls. With mounting enthusiasm, you finally embark on the descent towards the cheerful shores of Lake Geneva.
Some distance away from the cycle route, between Vallorbe and little Lake Brenet, you will find the dripstone caves of Vallorbe. Surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites, you plunge down into a different kind of world where the mercury stays at a cool 10 degrees. The roaring waters of the Orbe flow underground here before they emerge from the mountain at another point. But you'll not find it easy to "go with the flow" on your cycle now: the uphill forest track is rather bumpy. The striking Dent de Vaulion peak (1,483 meters) is nearby, but you can't see it for trees. You also have to use your imagination to picture Europe's largest ice-skating rink – you can hardly expect Lake Joux to be frozen over when you take your cycle tour. There is a small but excellent cheese museum at Les Charbonnières. The Vacherin Mont-d'Or Museum pays tribute to the famous soft cheese from the Vallée de Joux: Les Charbonnières is the birthplace of this delicacy, which is only produced between August and March.

As you leave the cool clear charms of Lake Joux behind you, it's already time for another bracing uphill section. And wherever there are mountains, there are also passes. But wherever there are passes, there are also motorbikes that make cyclists' ears ring as they zoom past. You leave the main road before the top of the Col du Marchairuz pass, and then you traverse the stunningly beautiful countryside of the Jura Vaudois Nature Park in the far west of Switzerland. Covering 530.6 km², this regional park was inaugurated in 1973: it consists of a mosaic of forests, meadows, moors, sinkholes (funnel-shaped karst depressions), karst rocks and huge anthills, with a few Alpine chalets scattered here and there.

There could hardly be more contrasts on the descent towards Lake Geneva. Blossom-strewn wheatfields, vines and pretty wine-growing villages create a Mediterranean ambience. On reaching the village of Bassins, pause to admire the "Six Historic Fountains of Bassins". The oldest mention of these fountains dates back to 1688. If you haven't entirely drained your batteries after this long and intensive stage, you should take time to visit its destination: the town of Nyon. An enchanting castle, 16th-century townhouses and the Lake Geneva Museum directly on the shore make a stopover well worthwhile. Fans of pop and rock music are likely to be familiar with Nyon because of the annual Paléo Festival staged here at the end of July.
The cool clear waters of Lake Joux provide an oasis of peace in the high valley. Countless thousands of ants bustle about in the Jura Vaudois Nature Park, surrounded by artistically assembled low drystone walls. With mounting enthusiasm, you finally embark on the descent towards the cheerful shores of Lake Geneva.
Some distance away from the cycle route, between Vallorbe and little Lake Brenet, you will find the dripstone caves of Vallorbe. Surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites, you plunge down into a different kind of world where the mercury stays at a cool 10 degrees. The roaring waters of the Orbe flow underground here before they emerge from the mountain at another point. But you'll not find it easy to "go with the flow" on your cycle now: the uphill forest track is rather bumpy. The striking Dent de Vaulion peak (1,483 meters) is nearby, but you can't see it for trees. You also have to use your imagination to picture Europe's largest ice-skating rink – you can hardly expect Lake Joux to be frozen over when you take your cycle tour. There is a small but excellent cheese museum at Les Charbonnières. The Vacherin Mont-d'Or Museum pays tribute to the famous soft cheese from the Vallée de Joux: Les Charbonnières is the birthplace of this delicacy, which is only produced between August and March.

As you leave the cool clear charms of Lake Joux behind you, it's already time for another bracing uphill section. And wherever there are mountains, there are also passes. But wherever there are passes, there are also motorbikes that make cyclists' ears ring as they zoom past. You leave the main road before the top of the Col du Marchairuz pass, and then you traverse the stunningly beautiful countryside of the Jura Vaudois Nature Park in the far west of Switzerland. Covering 530.6 km², this regional park was inaugurated in 1973: it consists of a mosaic of forests, meadows, moors, sinkholes (funnel-shaped karst depressions), karst rocks and huge anthills, with a few Alpine chalets scattered here and there.

There could hardly be more contrasts on the descent towards Lake Geneva. Blossom-strewn wheatfields, vines and pretty wine-growing villages create a Mediterranean ambience. On reaching the village of Bassins, pause to admire the "Six Historic Fountains of Bassins". The oldest mention of these fountains dates back to 1688. If you haven't entirely drained your batteries after this long and intensive stage, you should take time to visit its destination: the town of Nyon. An enchanting castle, 16th-century townhouses and the Lake Geneva Museum directly on the shore make a stopover well worthwhile. Fans of pop and rock music are likely to be familiar with Nyon because of the annual Paléo Festival staged here at the end of July.
61 km
Asphalted: 58 km
Natural surface: 3 km
1000 m | 1400 m
difficult

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Vallorbe
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

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Saving metres in altitude
There is a train between Vallorbe and Le Pont that saves about 300 metres in altitude.
Traffic volume
Beware: brisk excursion traffic at weekends on Le Brassus–Col du Marchairuz stretch

Hints

Biking in swiss parks
While crossing the Jura Vaudois Nature Park we follow the Lac de Joux, the largest lake in the Jura. The ascent to the Col du Marchairuz opens up magnificent pastured woodlands, before the rewarding descent entices down towards the Lake of Geneva.
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Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Nyon
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Services

Accommodation

Hôtel de la Concorde
Hôtel de la Concorde
Vallorbe
Chambre d’hôtes Au fil de l’Orbe
Chambre d’hôtes Au fil de l’Orbe
Vallorbe
B&B Labase
B&B Labase
Le Lieu
Chambres d’Hôtes Les Fûves
Chambres d’Hôtes Les Fûves
Orient
Hôtel de Ville Le Sentier
Hôtel de Ville Le Sentier
Le Sentier
Chambre à la ferme Bassin
Chambre à la ferme Bassin
Marchissy
Rando Relais
Rando Relais
St-Cergue
Nyon Hostel
Nyon Hostel
Nyon
Baumgartners B+B
Baumgartners B+B
Nyon
B&B Domaine de Bois-Bougy
B&B Domaine de Bois-Bougy
Nyon
Hostellerie du XVIème Siècle
Hostellerie du XVIème Siècle
Nyon
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Bookable offers

7 Jura Route Basel - Nyon
7 Jura Route Basel - Nyon
La Route Verte
La Route Verte
Roundtrip nature park Jura Vaudois
Roundtrip nature park Jura Vaudois
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Places

Vallorbe
Vallorbe
Le Pont
Le Pont
Le Sentier
Le Sentier
Col du Marchairuz
Col du Marchairuz
Nyon
Nyon
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Places of interest

Roman road track to transport salt
Roman road track to transport salt
Pré-Giroud artillery fort
Pré-Giroud artillery fort
Vallorbe caverns
Vallorbe caverns
Jura Parc
Jura Parc
Dent de Vaulion summit
Dent de Vaulion summit
Vacherin Mont-d'Or museum
Vacherin Mont-d'Or museum
Vallée de Joux
Vallée de Joux
Over the Col du Marchairuz
Over the Col du Marchairuz
Glacière de Saint George
Glacière de Saint George
Jura Vaudois Nature Park
Jura Vaudois Nature Park
Garenne Zoo
Garenne Zoo
Swiss National Museum Prangins
Swiss National Museum Prangins
Musée du Léman
Musée du Léman
Château de Nyon
Château de Nyon
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Swimming

Outdoor pool Colovray in Nyon
Outdoor pool Colovray in Nyon
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