Highlights: Estavayer-le-Lac (& Castle), Grande Cariçaie nature reserve, Yverdon-les-Bains
Overview of the entire Route 5 (Mittelland Route: Romanshorn–Lausanne):
SwitzerlandMobility.ch (veloland.ch/en/routes/route-05.html ) describes Route 5 as an easy and pleasant ride along mostly traffic-free trails, at low altitudes, and 370km long (divided in 7 sections). It alternates between lakes, rivers, farmlands and villages/town, from the Bodensee to Lac Leman
Route 5: Section 6 (Ins 430m–Yverdon 430m)
Stats from SwitzerlandMobility.ch (veloland.ch/en/routes/route/etappe-01052.html): length 51 km; total height difference 180m in either direction. Their site has the full profile.
April 2017 (1-day trip)
This time I biked 2 sections (6 &7) for a total of 100km.
Section 6 has nice trails, traffic-free, through farmlands and parks, with distant views of the Jura mountains. It parallels the entire eastern side of Lake Neuchâtel, which, however, remains mostly hidden from view.
It also runs along or inside one of the most beautiful marshlands and nature reserves in Europe: the “Grande Cariçaie”. This nature conservation area is one of the largest in Switzerland. It spans for about 40km along the entire eastern shore of the lake.
I started the trip at the Ins train station and went south. After a few kilometers I passed through the Pont Rotary, an interesting and modern wooden bridge on the canal that connects Lake Neuchâtel to Lake Morat.
About 20km from Ins, I reached the small lake village of Portalban with nice sandy beaches for swimming, clear waters and a little harbor full of small boats and sailboats. It was very peaceful this time of the year.
The nearby village of Gletterens has a reconstructed Neolithic village called “village lacustre”, but I skipped it. It is supposed to depict the prehistoric settlement and life of people living in the area during the Stone Age (village-lacustre.ch/fr/wordpress/)
I then entered the charming medieval town of Estavayer-le-Lac with its amazing Savoy Castle from the 12th century (estavayer-payerne.ch/en/). Another historic site is the Gothic abbey church.
Between Estavayer & Yverdon the ride is mostly through nature reserve parks and marshland, somewhat in the shade of trees.
In Yverdon (yvonand-tourisme.ch/fr/yverdonlesbains)(yverdonlesbainsregion.ch/mobile/en/), which is the end of Section 6, the path finally opens to the lake. This small town, has another 13th century Savoy castle in the center square. It is also one of the largest thermal centers in Switzerland thanks to its sulphur- and magnesium-rich waters, and was probably already known in Roman times (the town was then called Eburodunum).
After Yverdon, I continued to Section 7 towards Lausanne.
Here are the links to Introduction and other sections of Route 5: