Recognized as a landscape of national importance by the Swiss government, the vineyards along the northern shore of Lake Biel (German) / Bienne (French) provide a pleasant backdrop for a scenic day hike. Over 50 different grape varieties are grown on these sunny hillsides that slope down to the lake. This 15-kilometer vineyard trail includes impressive views and plenty of chances to taste some Swiss wines. If you want to discover this wine-making region of Switzerland, I have some tips to help you plan your trip.
Lake Biel / Bienne Vineyard Trail – At a Glance
Trail name: Bielersee Rebenweg (German) / Sentier des Vignes (French)
Distance: 15 kilometers (9.3 miles)
Estimated hiking time: approximately 4 hours (without stopping)
Level of difficulty: Easy to medium
Elevation change: 400 meters (about 1,300 feet) uphill and 400 meters downhill
Starting point: Biel / Bienne main train station
When you exit the train station in Biel / Bienne, turn left and follow the hiking signs marked for the “Standseilbahn Magglingen.” You will walk about 2 kilometers to get to the start of the trail.
As you leave the city streets of Biel/Bienne and head uphill to the trail, make sure to stop and enjoy the view. Look beyond the grapevines and out across Lake Biel/Bienne, and you will see St. Peter’s Island (St. Petersinsel / Île St-Pierre).
The Village of Twann: Grab a bite to eat
About 9 kilometers along the trail, you will reach the picturesque village of Twann. You can stay above the village and continue walking, or you can descend into town for a closer look. Twann has several restaurants to choose from, such as Restaurant Zum Alten Schweizer and Restaurant Traube. Please be sure to check in advance and make sure they will be open when you arrive.
Vinothek Viniterra: Stop for a glass of wine
In Twann, you can learn about local wines from the Bielersee region at the Vinothek Viniterra. This small wine shop and tasting room, which can also be reserved for private events, features over 40 different wines from more than 60 local vineyards.
Vinothek VINITERRA Bielersee, Im Moos 4, 2513 Twann
+41 (0)32 315 77 47, +41 (0)79 659 13 04, email@example.com
5:00 to 9:00 p.m. – Tuesday to Friday
2:00 to 8:00 p.m. – Saturday
2:00 to 7:00 p.m. – Sunday
The Village of Ligerz: Visit a wine museum
Soon after you leave Twann, at about the 11-kilometer mark along the trail, you will arrive in Ligerz. Slightly smaller than Twann, this village also has a few restaurants to choose from, as well as a small winemaking museum housed in a 16th century building on the western side of town. Opened in the 1970s, the Rebbaumuseum focuses on the wine culture and history of this region.
Opening hours: May through October, the Rebbaumuseum is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:30 to 5:00 pm. Registered groups can visit the museum throughout the year.
Rebbaumuseum am Bielersee «Hof», Schafis, Bielstrasse 66, 2514 Ligerz,
+41 (0)32 315 21 32, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carnotzet de Poudeille: Another glass of wine?
Once you have left Ligerz, you will have about 4 kilometers remaining until the train station in La Neuveville. For one final stop along the vineyard trail, I recommend visiting the Carnotzet de Poudeille. Located at the Cave de Poudeille, you will find a small seating area, both inside and outside.
At the Carnotzet de Poudeille, you can order some wine — perhaps an Oeil-de-Perdrix, a rosé made from Pinot Noir grapes, or a planchette of cheese and dried meat, among other options.
If you would like to visit the Cave de Poudeille, I recommend contacting them in advance to make sure they will be open. Maybe you’ve already had enough to drink on this hike? No worries. You can buy a bottle at this vineyard to take home instead.
Vignoble Cave de Poudeille – Rolf Clénin, Vignoble 35, 2520 La Neuveville,
+41 (0)32 751 13 31, email@example.com
Ending point: La Neuveville train station
Special events in Bielersee region:
- Caves ouvertes: The vineyards around Lake Biel / Bienne typically hold their open caves event in early May, when the various vineyards welcome guests to sample wine.
- Fall festivals: Several of villages, such as Twann and Ligerz, host fall wine harvest festivals in September and October.
- Treberwurst: From January to March, the wine caves in the Bielersee region serve Treberwurst, a special sausage cooked in the marc, the remains of the grapes after being pressed for making wine. You can make reservations directly with the participating caves.
For more information: