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Classic Hikes/Fondu Huts in Neuchatel Area

Ghent, New York
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Classic Hikes/Fondu Huts in Neuchatel Area

In 1982 I backpacked through Neuchatel and discovered a remote country farmhouse at the top of the mountains that had a room above a barn where the family served a fondu dinner and wine by request. We were driven there by some local young adults we'd met in town and it was one of the best experiences of my summer. I want to take my daughters back for some hiking in the alps and hoped that this place still existed and I could find it again. If not something very much like it...we drove from Neuchatel, through fields along a drive that was studded with cattle guards. The farmhouse was beamed and plastered (like a country Tudor), there wasn't a tree in sight (top of the mountain) and the tables in the room above the barn were massive, worn over centuries, covered in carvings from travellers with dates from the early 1900's. Any thoughts?

Goldau, Switzerland
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for Lucerne, Zug, Brunnen
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1. Re: Classic Hikes/Fondu Huts in Neuchatel Area


The Neuchâtel area is not in the Alps but in the Jura, the second mountain range in Switzerland. This is a very nice area. I like the Val de Travers (there is an Asphalt Mine Museum at Travers) but do not see a place which would fit to what you discribed.

Many places disappeared these last 30 years for different reasons. I remember one place on Vue des Alpes - http://www.vue-des-alpes.ch/ or a newer one http://www.vuedesalpes.com/home_e.html -.

There are many hikes you can do in the area - see neuchateltourisme.ch/en/…hiking.html -.

I hope somebody else will remember a place like the one you discribed. Otherwise maybe the above links would maybe help you.


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2. Re: Classic Hikes/Fondu Huts in Neuchatel Area


Here is the list of what we call "metairie", these farm restaurants found in the countryside around Neuchatel:


There are lots of them, and most serve fondue. I can't help you with the particular one you're looking for. Some popular ones are around the Creux-du-Van area, like Le Soliat (number 11 on the list) or La fruitière de Bevaix (number 19). But if there was no trees around, maybe you were closer to Chasseral (numbers 56 to 77). Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip.

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3. Re: Classic Hikes/Fondu Huts in Neuchatel Area

I can advise about one nice and rustic one an hour and a half's drive away, but you would probably prefer something closer. It's roughly at the tree line, half of it is still a working dairy, and the access is one card wide road with cattle grids. It is a little traditional looking farmhouse, but is not in the Jura area, so would not be of the design you described.

Lucerne, Switzerland
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4. Re: Classic Hikes/Fondu Huts in Neuchatel Area

I'm 99% sure what you are describing is the Ferme du Soliat, mentioned above by widus. It hasn't changed.

To get there from Neuchâtel, take the train to Noiraigue (runs once an hour, takes 20 minutes), then follow the yellow hiking signposts to Creux du Van, Le Soliat. The hike takes about two hours, quite steeply uphill.

Other nice, similar places:

- Métairie d'Aarberg, above Clémesin in the Val de Ruz

- Métairie de la Grande Sagneule, on the ridge between La Tourne and La Sagne

- Métairie du Mont Dar, a short walk from Tête de Ran

Monte-Carlo, Monaco
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5. Re: Classic Hikes/Fondu Huts in Neuchatel Area

The place you remember is Le Soliat, most directly accessible by car from Couvet in the Val de Travers. It's physically exactly as you remember it, and serves a good fondue with home-baked bread, and excellent smoked sausages.

6. Re: Classic Hikes/Fondu Huts in Neuchatel Area

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