Biel is a small city that’s easy to get around in. Cycling is a good means to explore some of the very beautiful places around the city. A nice cycling tour is the one from Biel to Murten (distance 36 km, travel time 3 to 4 hours). Bicycle rentals at the train station or directly at Lago Lodge. Ask at the hostel or the tourist information office for a good cycling map.
Or do you like inline skating? This is as well a good means to explore the city and its surroundings. Inline skate rental is possible at the luggage office inside the train station. Open daily 9 am – 7.30 pm, CHF 20.- ½ day, CHF 25.- whole day, (incl. helmet, knee pads and ellbow pads). Deposit required: CHF 200.- or credit card. Call ahead for reservations 0512 26 22 81! www.sbx.ch
The main attractions are strolling in the old town, dropping in on a couple of small museums and taking a boat ride on the lake or the river. One of the best boat trips in the region is the river trip up the Aare from Biel to Solothurn, which takes about two and a half hours and passes a stork colony at Altreu on the way.
St.Peter’s Island, a nature reserve is well-loved and much visited. The political theorist Jean-Jaques Rousseau chose this island as his refuge in 1765, later calling it the happiest time of his life. The best way to get to the island is by boat from Biel (approx. 50 minutes), which calls at several lakeside villages en route.
Northeast of Biel is the beautiful “Taubenloch Gorge” (dove’s gorge)! Take bus no. 1 (direction Eisbahn) until station Taubenloch. There’s a well-engineered path running through the dark and craggy defile for about 2 km, and entry is free (there’s a donations box near the entrance). For adventure operators running canyoning trips in the gorge and for others of the latest adventure opportunities ask at Lago Lodge!
Excursion tip from Nathan (Lago Lodge): Take the funicular from Biel up to Magglingen (Switzerland’s largest sports school; alt. 875m). From the terrace of the school you have a great view of Biel. Follow the yellow signs in the direction of Twannberg/Twannbachschlucht. The walkway brings you without drastic altitude differences to Twannberg (alt. 868m), and from there you can drop down through the Twannbach gorge towards Twann, a little wine village on the lakeside (alt. 435m). Approx. walking time 2 hours 30 minutes. From Twann you can take the boat or the train back to Biel. Or take the boat to St.Peter’s Island and return from there to Biel. From June to September, you even have the possibility to cruise by boat to Neuchâtel or Murten!