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.
Accommodation tip - Tramelan: CIP Tramelan, Ch. des Lovières 13, Tel. + 41 (0) 32 486 06 06, www.cip-tramelan.ch
Shopping: Just a cheese factory at the starting point. No shops en route. Various different shops at the destination of Tramelan.
Rest stopsAuberge de Bellelay
Startpunkt ViaBerna - Maison de la Tête de Moine
Hôtel/Restaurant CIP Tramelan
Safety informationThis stage exclusively follows marked routes in the hiking trail category.
Tips and hintsViaBerna 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 viaberna.ch
Getting thereBy private car to Reconvilier. Then by bus to Bellelay.
Return from Tramelan by train to Reconvilier via Tavannes.
Author’s map recommendations
Book recommendations for this region:
EquipmentWe 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 Eurotrek.ch
- 9 Waypoints
- 9 Waypoints