I had heard about the Cruex du Van from someone a while ago; the crescent shaped cliffs tucked away in the Neuchâtel region of Switzerland. While searching for it online, I stumbled across another hike in the area through a gorge, which also looked really nice. Unfortunately, The “Creux” and the gorge both looked interesting, but were separate routes, and I didn’t find a guide that linked the two trails together, so I was forced to create my own route. Through my stumbling around to create the trek I hoped to take, I was fortunate to find quite a few helpful resources, posted here.
Once the route was determined, I woke early for a quick two – hour train ride that put me at the starting point of this hike in the town of Noiraigue. The plan was for a combined route starting in Noiraigue, hiking up to and circumnavigating the Creux du Van, down to Restaurant de la Ferme Robert, to and through the Gorges de l’Areuse, and concluding at the train stop in Boudry.
The entire hike took roughly five hours with a quite a few stops for pictures and snacks, not including the four-hour train from Basel (roundtrip). If you stop at any restaurant, it will take longer, but all said, plan for a full day and carry a pack with ample snacks, water and money for the train.
(I recommend using caution at the Creux du Van as it is a cliff. Personally, I do not recommend hiking this with kids, although there was a school group in the area that day)
Info for Creux du Van and Gorges de l’Areuse
http://www.geotrails.ch/3d.php?trailid=57923 (takes a minute to load, interesting virtual hike powered by Google Earth)