Through hamlets, forests, meadows and vineyards, prospecting for white gold: information panels guide you along this educational trail as you follow a channel that used to carry salt water. At the end of the trail, you can visit the salt mine in Bex.
Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of "white gold": in the 15th century, Switzerland's first salt-water spring was discovered in Salins. It dates from the era of the primeval sea, when the Alps were formed. Salt has since made this region famous as intellectuals such as Nietzsche and Dumas travelled to Bex for a salt cure.
You can learn more about the history and importance of this precious commodity along the Salt Trail at the foot of the Vaud Alps. This educational trail links Salin-sur-Ollon to the Bévieux saltworks near Bex. It follows a brine pipeline made of larchwood that transported water from the very first salt spring. Panels at various stages along the route display information worth knowing about salt mining. They guide hikers through forests, across fields, past quaint villages and vineyards, and to waterfalls with the Alps as backdrop. The route is also suitable for children, who have their own special section with stories, handicraft ideas and songs.
The hike's destination is Le Bévieux, now home to the production facility for the Bex salt mines. You should include a detour into the subterranean maze in your planning. The mine and museum illustrate the various phases and methods of extracting salt – from the first mining tunnel in 1684 until today. Different varieties of the Alpine salt that has been extracted from the mountain at Bex for centuries are marketed commercially under the "Sel des Alpes" name.