Creux du Van
The Creux du Van is a natural rocky cirque of approximately 1,400 metres of width and 150 metres of depth on the north side of Le Soliat. It is located in the Val de Travers district, in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. A very well known, amphitheatre-shaped natural attraction of the area, it is located at the heart of a nature reservation area of 15.5 km².
It was created by natural water erosion from a local glacier that was linked to the Rhone glacier, causing land slides of a semi-circular shape.
On foot, or by car:
- Le sentier des quatorze contours (the path of the 14 bends) is a reputed itinerary that starts in Noiraigue (Val-de-Travers).
- Le sentier du Single leads to the summit directly from the area called La ferme Robert.
- Other paths, however unmarked, allow the access to the summit via la crête du Dos d'Ane or also from la Fontaine Froide via le Pertuis de Bise (a breach into the wall of rocks).
Parking is available at la ferme du Soliat, 5 minutes walk away from the summit of the rocky cirque. Access is from Saint-Aubin-Sauges, community on the Neuchâtel litoral, or from Couvet, Val-de-Travers. One can also allow for some hiking by leaving the car in the first parking lot located on the road out of Couvet in direction of St. Aubin, toward the Creux-du-Van. Some hiking paths are indicated, via les petites Fauconnières.