Idyllic moments and maximum relaxation are guaranteed at the beautiful Lac Brenet. The Swiss lake is located in the Vallée de Joux right next to the famous Lac de Joux and Dent de Vaulion. The lake can even be circumnavigated in a one-hour walk with a knowledge trail.
Text and pictures by Marc Gottwald
Lac Brenet: The most important in a nutshell
- – Walk around the Swiss lake Lac Brenet with knowledge trail takes about an hour
- – Various bathing spots available
- – Bench at the football pitch of Les Charbonnières with lake view
Western Switzerland offers fantastic landscapes, some of which are completely unknown. For us German-speaking Swiss, for example, this is the Vallée de Joux (but not Vallèe de Joux). You can visit three beautiful lakes called “Lac de Joux”, Lac Brenet “and” Lac Ter “.
But the hilly surroundings also offer a completely different landscape than we are used to. Flora and fauna are especially beautiful here. On the second picture you can see the algae bloom that takes place practically every year in spring at the Swiss lakes of Lac Brenet and Lac de Joux.
Bathing, walking and enjoying the idyllic Lac Brenet
Lac Brenet , a Swiss lake in the Vallée de Joux, is very idyllic! As it is only 200 meters away from the larger Lac de Joux, it is worth visiting both lakes. By way of comparison, a hike around Lac de Joux takes around 6 hours. Around Lac Brenet is a good 6 times faster (1 hour).
But Lac Brenet is something very special. Right next to its big neighbor “Lac de Joux”, it stands out like a little jewel in the landscape. It was created in the 13th century when a high moor was dammed.
The movement of the water with its royal blue color is unique. With the view of the 1400 meter high mountain “Dent de Vaulion” crowned with the many conifers makes the picture even more perfect.
Do you want to know the best place to relax? It is for me by the football pitch at Les Charbonnières. There’s a bench from which you can enjoy the brilliant lake view over Lac Brenet. But the place also invites you to swim.
And here the good news: The football field is only 5 minutes away from Les Charbonnières train station and parking is available right next to the field.
The place is also ideal for a leisurely walk around “Lac Brenet”. As already mentioned, the entire lake can be circumnavigated in just one hour respectively 4 kilometers. With the knowledge trail, interesting facts about the lake and the region can be learned.
From where comes the water?
It is exciting that Lac Brenet has no natural water inflow compared to Lac de Joux . Actually, the water from Lac de Joux would have flowed directly into the Orbe river, which lies 200 meters lower. But in order to obtain water for the power plants in Vallorbe, the lake was converted into a storage reservoir. The only inflow into Lac Brenet therefore comes from Lac de Joux. And that water is from France.
Ice exploitation in winter
Once upon a time!
Did you know that in Switzerland, thousands of ice blocks were cut from various lakes and glaciers with saws every winter? And then it was transported with horses and trailers to the rest of Switzerland and abroad? This was also the case with Lac Brenet.
Since there were no refrigerators yet, this was one of the few refrigeration options for quickly perishable goods during the warm months.
If you want to experience even more in the region of the Vallée de Joux, it is worth visiting the neighboring lake “Lac de Joux”. Situated at an altitude of 1000 meters, the lake also offers beaches. This is a rarity in Switzerland, but you will find them relatively often in the Vallée de Joux.
What you may notice in the Vallée de Joux are the huge wooded areas. This is due to the government, which ordered in the 17th century that the border region with France must remain forested. These results in the largest contiguous forest area in Switzerland, which is located in the Vallée de Joux.
Journey to Lac Brenet:
Take the train to Les Charbonnières, then 5 minutes’ walk to the football pitch, where the bench with an impressive view is located. By car, you can park directly on the site.
Lac Brenet Restaurants: There are very few options. The best restaurant in the region is at Lac du Joux (Restaurant du Lac with 4.5 according to Google rating).