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ViaBerna - stage 06 Biel – Aarberg

Hiking Trail · Switzerland
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Berner Wanderwege Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Photo: MAMO Photography, Interlaken, Berner Wanderwege
m 600 550 500 450 400 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
Discover mysterious witnesses to long forgotten times and unspoilt river landscapes on this hike. The pretty town of Aarberg awaits at the destination.
Distance 19.9 km
5:00 h
330 m
310 m
608 m
429 m
The trail leads out of the city of Biel/Bienne and onto Nidau. Along the banks of the river Thielle, you pass the inconspicuous castle and later the back of the historic small town. The route then follows the Thielle in the direction of Port, where the wide Nidau-Büren Canal is crossed by the dam. In Port the route swings left to Portwald, with a steep ascent via sunken lanes to Jäissberg, one of the highest mountains in Mittelland. There is a gentle descent from the mountain through Studewald to Studen. The trail takes you close to the ruins of the temple complex of Petinesca, goes around the gravel pit and arrives on the other side of the town in Studegrien on the Alte Aare. You initially follow the wild course of the river towards Busswill and then skirt around the edge of the town from Lyss onto Aarberg. The original course of the Aare passes through largely untouched landscapes. However, the peace is disturbed at times by the nearby road and the go-kart track at Kappelen. The picturesque old town of Aarberg is worth a visit at the end of the hike.

The Bernese Seeland kept being flooded in the Middle Ages. Help came in 1868 - 1891 in the form of the Jura water correction. The Aare was diverted from Aarberg into Lake Biel (Aare-Hagneck Canal), and the Thielle Canal, the Nidau-Büren Canal and the Broye Canal were also constructed. An exhibition at Nidau Castle Museum is dedicated to this pioneering work.

Jäissberg is a long hill with a lot of interesting things to discover. During the Iron Age, the fortified settlement of Helvetti was situated in the middle of the hill. To protect the village, they dug a deep trench to the west and built up a wall of earth, which led to the name Keltenwall. The distinctive pile on the very top of Jäissberg was once a castle built not from stone but from tree trunks and branches. That is why the area is still known as Chnebelburg today. The Petinesca temple complex is also on the hill. It was once the site of several temples and chapels that belonged to a nearby small Roman town. Only the foundation walls remain today.

The course of the Aare between Aarberg and Büren an der Aare used to be a busy transport route for people and goods. This stretch of water lost its importance with the Jura water correction and became the “Alte Aare” (Old Aare), a nature reserve. This benefited the plant and animal world, along with people, who could enjoy a beautiful river and riverside landscapes.

Aarberg’s location meant that it was once a flourishing place for trading. The Romans had already crossed the Aare here, followed by the merchants, boatmen and raftsmen of the Middle Ages. But the town lost its importance when the Hagneck Canal opened. What is left is one of the most beautiful small towns in Switzerland.

Author’s recommendation

Accommodation tip - Biel/Bienne:  LagoLodge Hostel, Uferweg 5, 2560 Nidau, Tel. + 41 (0) 32 331 37 32,,

Accommodation tip - Aarberg:  Hotel Krone, Stadtplatz 29, Tel. + 41 (0) 32 391 99 66,,

Shopping: Various shops in Biel/Bienne and Aarberg. Small shops in Nidau, Port, Studen and Lyss.

Profile picture of Markus Schluep
Markus Schluep 
Update: December 02, 2022
Highest point
608 m
Lowest point
429 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 12.02%Dirt road 2.32%Forested/wild trail 38.72%Path 28.61%Road 15.64%Unknown 2.66%
2.4 km
Dirt road
0.5 km
Forested/wild trail
7.7 km
5.7 km
3.1 km
0.5 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Minigolfanlage Florida
Restaurant Kartbahn Lyss
Hotel Krone

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


Biel/Bienne, railway station (432 m) (432 m)
2'585'093E 1'220'105N
47.131757, 7.242147
47°07'54.3"N 7°14'31.7"E
32T 366688 5221305
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Aarberg, railway station


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


Getting there: by train to Biel/Bienne railway station

Coming back: by train from Aarberg railway station

Getting there

By private car to Lyss railway station. Then by train to Biel/Bienne.

Return by train from Aarberg to Lyss railway station.


Chargeable parking at Lyss railway station


2'585'093E 1'220'105N
47.131757, 7.242147
47°07'54.3"N 7°14'31.7"E
32T 366688 5221305
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

swisstopo Wanderkarte 233T Solothurn 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

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19.9 km
5:00 h
330 m
310 m
Highest point
608 m
Lowest point
429 m
Public-transport-friendly Linear route Flora and fauna Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest


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