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Vallorbe Caves - Orbe - Grandson castle - The Menhirs at Clendy - Yverdon-les-Bains

Price: 83.00 EUR
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Countries: Switzerland
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Route: Lausanne - Vallorbe Caves - Orbe - Grandson castle - The Menhirs at Clendy - Yverdon-les-Bains - Lausanne
Duration: 11 h
Our firs stop in this tour vill be at Vallorbe Caves which is one of the best-known attractions in the Yverdon-les-Bains region. The rich geological formation combined with skilful lighting creates a magical atmosphere for visitors to these caves. Although you’d probably imagine the underground tunnels to be wreathed in silence, this is not the case at all: the river roars noisily but eventually dies down until all you hear is the light trickling of water down the walls. The Cathédrale, at over 30 m high, is the natural theatre for a sound and light show. The visit concludes with the Fairy Treasure Trove, an amazing collection of 250 minerals from all over the world.Our next stop will be at Orbe  which is a strategically and economically important town: a villa with the air of a palace and its famous mosaics from the Roman period show that Orbe enjoyed the splendours of royalty in the Middle Ages. The visit to the town  will begin at the market place and continues towards the church, then to the esplanade of the castle and its round tower (360 degree panorama). The tour  will continue in the direction of the old prisons, then to the great Abbey, which housed the first orthopaedic establishment in the world. After crossing the Moulinet bridge we will walk alongside the Orbe by passing in front of the house of Pierrefleur and the Bernard Tower, once a tower of the ramparts and return to the market place.Our next stop will be at the 2nd biggest castle in Switzerland overlooks Lake Neuchatel, in the centre of Grandson, a historic and cultural town. The mediaeval town and castle of Grandson illustrate this area’s long history. Built in the 13th century, the castle played a key role in the Burgundian Wars against Charles the Bold. Now listed as a national monument, it houses collections of armour and crossbows. In August, the Mediaeval Festivals known throughout Switzerland are held here. Visit the Maison des Terroirs to sample local wines and products and Saint Jean-Baptiste Church, a fine and respectfully refurbished example of 12th century architecture. Our next stop will be at the Menhirs at Clendy which is the unique formation of the Clendy Menhirs is the most important Neolithic site in Switzerland. Situated on the shores of Lake Neuchatel, it comprises 45 standing stones that were erected more than 6000 years ago, and are carved with human form. Some are 4.5 metres tall and weigh up to five tonnes. They are comparable to the carved statues of the Mediterranean Neolithic. As the site was not covered with trees in those days, there was a view from east to west, from the rivers to the mountains, from the stars to the Moon. Some claim that benign waves can be felt there. Our last stop in this tour will be at the spa town of Yverdon-les-Bains which has an exceptional historical heritage, from the Celts through occupation by the Romans and the Savoyards, to modern times. During the visit you discover 6000 years of the town’s history. Thanks to its geographical location the town of Yverdon-les-Bains has always played a strategic role as an economic and military crossroads. The oldest traces of human presence date back to the Neolithic Age, as evidenced by the field of menhirs of Clendy, as well as the numerous menhirs in the region and the palaphitic UNESCO site. Later the Romans built a Castrum and exploited the thermal spring that survives today. From the 13th century, Pierre de Savoie had a castle built as well as a new town. The 18th century was a prosperous period for Yverdon-les-Bains, which hosted the work of the famous encyclopaedist Fortunato Bartolomeo De Felice. Thanks in particular to the salt trade between Arc-et-Senans and Berne, many spectacular buildings of this period have been preserved. After free time we will return to Lausanne.
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Countries: Switzerland

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