Featuring three mountain lakes, Nordic landscapes, watchmaking and culinary specialties, Joux Valley has been an attractive region for all lovers of nature and authenticity for many years. This hike leads around Lac de Joux, the largest lake in the Jura massif.
The Vallée de Joux with the lake of the same name lies nestled between two Jura chains. With its rugged, unspoilt natural environment, the valley is also known as the cradle of watchmaking. Find out more about its beginnings at the museum in Le Sentier. Discover the largest lake in the Jura massif by taking an entire round trip on foot. Lake Joux and the two smaller lakes Brenet and Ter enhance Joux Valley, which nestles in an area of dense fir forests called Risoud and verdant pastures stretching from Mollendruz to Marchairuz.
The first community after Le Sentier, Les Bioux, consists of connected ribbon developments. They're part of the community of L’Abbaye. In the early 14th century, the village grew around the monastery, which was built in 1326. Only the Gothic steeple remains of the former church as the valley's oldest monument. It serves as a belltower for today's church. Le Pont, situated at the lake's northern end, also belongs to L’Abbaye. The village forms a circular arc around the lakeshore. Especially eye-catching are the different building façades, separated by narrow alleyways. Behind them are courtyards, gardens and orchards. And farther in the distance: a breathtaking, hilly landscape. On the way back along the lake, the Le Revers limestone ridge will be in plain sight until you reach Le Lieu. The lakeshore is, therefore, surrounded by steep, rocky terrain at times. Passing the Le Rocheray beach, you return to your starting point at Le Sentier.
Take advantage of various vantage points and wild beaches all along the way to have a break and cool down. The passages in the forests and the paths along the lake or near the reedy marshes turn this hike into a diversified adventure full of surprises. The region's main economic activity for centuries has been high-range watchmaking and has therefore marked its inhabitants. The former watchmaking farms inhabited by farmers/watchmakers are representative of this heritage all along the hike.