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ViaBerna - stage 01 Bellelay – Tramelan

· 4 reviews · Hiking Trail · Switzerland
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Berner Wanderwege Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Photo: Markus Schluep, Berner Wanderwege
m 1100 1000 900 800 10 8 6 4 2 km
ViaBerna begins in Bellelay. Enjoy the beauty of Jura and discover its old stories starting from the small village with the familiar name and passing through moorland, forests and pasture. The first stage ends in Tramelan.
Distance 11.4 km
3:15 h
340 m
390 m
1,184 m
888 m
From Bellelay, ViaBerna takes you along the La Sagne high-moor bog through Côte au Roy to La Rouge Eau. At La Bottière, the route heads right and takes you up an old road and through the forest to the Montbautier mountain. Enjoy a well-earned rest at the wonderfully situated picnic area with a breathtaking view into Vallée de Tavannes. The route then takes you along pasture over to Rière Jorat and onto Haut de Bémont. Here, the hiking trail swings slightly to the right. Through partly wooded Jura pasture, you now keep following the ridge as it gently descends to the picnic area at Pâturage du Droit, where the peaceful route goes down to Tramelan, the destination of the first stage.

Bellelay is a small place that is known far beyond the region because of the abbey of the same name. The first mention of the abbey was recorded in 1141. The abbey, with its eventful history, had extensive land in the 15th century. Former buildings of the abbey are now used as a clinic.

Bellelay is also the home of the speciality cheese “Tête de Moine”. The full-flavoured, semi-hard cheese is said to have been invented by the abbey’s monks. The easily carried whole cheese was once used as a means of payment in the region. Even now the cheese is still shaved into rosettes instead of being cut. There is a historic cheese factory with a discovery tour in Bellelay.

The hike also takes you past high-moor bogs. Turf from the moors was once used for heating in the winter. But the moors are now protected. The subsoil of Jura is water-permeable limestone. In this dry landscape, expanses of water and wet areas are especially important habitats for animals and plants.

Montbautier is one of Jura’s mountain ranges. The boundary between the cantons of Bern and Jura runs over this mountain. Montbautier was once home to Mennonites who had been driven out of Emmental.

Situated at the edge of the Freiberge district, the watchmaking town of Tramelan stretches along the entire length of the valley. The town itself is surprisingly diverse. This little country town offers a variety of activities and has some buildings with daring architecture.

Author’s recommendation

Accommodation tip - Bellelay:  Hôtel de l'ours / Auberge de Bellelay, L'Abbaye 1, Tel. + 41 (0) 32 489 52 52

Accommodation tip - Tramelan:  CIP Tramelan, Ch. des Lovières 13, Tel. + 41 (0) 32 486 06 06,

Shopping: Just a cheese factory at the starting point. No shops en route. Various different shops at the destination of Tramelan.

Profile picture of Markus Schluep
Markus Schluep 
Update: November 15, 2022
Highest point
1,184 m
Lowest point
888 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 30.09%Forested/wild trail 3.95%Path 42.97%Road 12.79%Unknown 10.17%
3.4 km
Forested/wild trail
0.5 km
4.9 km
1.5 km
1.2 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Auberge de Bellelay
Startpunkt ViaBerna - Maison de la Tête de Moine
Scheidegger Ranch
Hôtel/Restaurant CIP Tramelan

Safety information

This stage exclusively follows marked routes in the hiking trail category.

Tips and hints

ViaBerna is a multi-day hike made up of 20 stages that takes you from Bellelay straight through the canton of Bern to Susten Pass. Hikers on the trail get to experience the diversity of the canton of Bern in Jura, Mittelland and in the Bernese Alps. The entire distance is signposted with route number 38.

You can find information about the ViaBerna multi-day hike at


Belleley, “Le Domain” stop (940 m)
2'579'543E 1'234'638N
47.262328, 7.168333
47°15'44.4"N 7°10'06.0"E
32T 361431 5235943
Show on Map


Tramelan, railway station

Turn-by-turn directions

From Bellelay, the trail goes along La Sagne high-moor bog to La Rouge Eau. The route heads right before Le Fuet and there is a gentle climb through the forest to the Montbautier mountain. The hiking trail goes along pasture to Rière Jorat and swings right in Haut de Bémont. Through wooded pasture you reach Pâturage du Droit, where the tranquil route begins its descent to Tramelan, the final point of the first stage.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


Getting there: You can get the bus to Bellelay from Reconvilier train stop.

Coming back: By train from Tramelan railway station.

Getting there

By private car to Reconvilier. Then by bus to Bellelay.

Return from Tramelan by train to Reconvilier via Tavannes.


2'579'543E 1'234'638N
47.262328, 7.168333
47°15'44.4"N 7°10'06.0"E
32T 361431 5235943
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

swisstopo Wanderkarten 222T Clos du Doubs und 232T Vallon de St-Imier 1:50’000

Book recommendations for this region:

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We recommend the following equipment:

Lightweight hiking boots, lightweight rucksack, sun protection, rain jacket, pocket first-aid kit, light picnic, sufficient fluids, mobile phone.

It is also possible to book baggage transport from stage accommodation to stage accommodation at short notice via Eurotrek. Info and conditions at

Questions and answers

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Ernst Bangerter
September 10, 2022 · Community
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When did you do this route? August 21, 2022
Philip Derungs
April 16, 2022 · Community
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When did you do this route? April 15, 2022
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Photos from others

11.4 km
3:15 h
340 m
390 m
Highest point
1,184 m
Lowest point
888 m
Public-transport-friendly Linear route Scenic Refreshment stops available Flora and fauna


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