Creux du Van
The Creux du Van is a natural rocky cirque approximately 1,400 metres wide and 150 metres deep, 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.
The summit area can be easily reached on foot or by car. A paved road from Saint-Aubin-Sauges (on Lake Neuchâtel) or Couvet (Val-de-Travers) climbs to la ferme du Soliat (1,382 m), which is located a few minutes walk away from the summit of the rocky cirque. Some hiking paths are indicated, via les petites Fauconnières.
Notable trails in the areas include:
- 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).
- Creux du Van (Canton of Neuchâtel Tourist Office)