Stargazing in the Vallée de Joux

Set off on snowshoes or on foot in the Risoud forest to observe the sky through one of Switzerland’s largest telescopes.


Duration: late afternoon and evening

Level: easy

From CHF 250.-/person and CHF 800.-/group

Max. 6 participants

Randonnée - Risoud


A telescope just for you

The Astroval Association owns one of Switzerland’s largest telescopes, on the edge of one of Europe’s largest forests. In winter, I propose a 2-hour snowshoeing tour in this unique setting. We’ll enjoy a fondue in one of the forest’s woodcutters’ huts. Afterwards, we’ll observe the sky with the explanations of an astronomer and the help of his telescope. The telescope will be specially reserved for you. Duration: 2 hours. The best time to observe is in winter, when the sky should be clear. Late autumn and early spring are also possible, but on foot.


Stage 1: Starting point

Meeting point and departure point are at the observatory parking lot, at the top of Chemin de la Capitaine in Le Solliat (commune of Le Chenit) above the village of Le Sentier, at the extreme south-west of Lac de Joux, at 4.00 pm. We’ll take a loop through the forest before returning to the site at nightfall.

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Stage 2

Snowshoeing (or hiking) in the forest

Let’s set off for a snowshoe hike (or walk) of just over 5 km, with a vertical drop of less than 200 meters. Twilight atmosphere guaranteed! We’re alone, surrounded by spruce trees and wildlife. Along the way, we stop off at a lumberjack’s hut for our evening meal.

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Stage 3

Fondue in the wilderness

The Risoud forest is home to countless woodcutters’ huts. They offer a stove, table, benches, wood and candles – in short, everything you need to share a fondue. Afterwards, in the dark, it’s just a few minutes’ walk to the observatory and our cars.

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Stage 4


After a brief introduction to astronomy by an astronomer, we gather under the observatory dome: the moon perhaps, the planets of the moment, the Andromeda galaxy, and many other celestial objects will be within reach of our eyes. As the evening draws to a close, so does our hike. It will be 10:30 p.m. at the latest.

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What’s the right equipment?

Snowshoes in winter and good hiking boots the rest of the year.

Autumn, spring

Whatever the season, warm clothing is essential: it’s cold in the observatory dome, and we often stand still.

Warm clothing, even if it means leaving a few layers in the car before the hike.

Snowshoes or hiking boots depending on season

A full thermos, meal included in the price

Headlamp if possible.


Individual price up to 3 persons

Prices include private use of the observatory, lunch and guiding during the hike.

If the sky is not clear.

Announced 48 hours before the agreed date, by email.

CHF 250.-

Individual price

Up to 3 participants

CHF 800.-

Group price from 4 participants

Max. 6 participants


They share their adventures with us

Hikers in groups, families, couples or solo: everyone leaves with a smile on their face.


Eating a fondue in front of a breathtaking panorama, then spending the night in a tent at 2000 meters, is a pure dream. Thanks again to Jean Rémy for organizing this event and sharing his knowledge of mountains, flowers and geology in a timeless setting.


Jean Rémy led us on a wonderful hike into the heart of the Entlebuch Biosphere : from Restaurant Stäldeli high above beautiful alpine meadows, through high moors and sparse forests to the almost alpine looking summit of Schafmatt. Jean Rémy knows trees, flowers and birds as well as geology and geography. A true and interesting hike. Merci !

Ariane and Markus

Jean Rémy took us on a week-long dream trek in the Grisons. He organized a route of varying difficulty, adapted to our level. The images and thrills of the magnificent landscapes are still fresh in our minds.

Axelle and Christian

Introduction to snowshoeing between Tignousa and the Hotel Weisshorn in a grandiose setting. We discovered the flora and some of the birds of the Swiss Alps. My warmest thanks to Jean Rémy for his guidance, kindness and professional advice.


Jean Rémy organized a wonderful snowshoe walk in the Risoud forest. We really enjoyed the fondue stop in a woodcutter’s hut, followed by a visit to the Astroval astronomical observatory. Very original and much appreciated.
Thank you so much!

Delphine and Nicolas

I’ve hiked the Salève countless times. But I rediscovered this mountain thanks to Jean Rémy’s skilful narration, mixing rock history, ammonite fossils and anecdotes about 19th-century Geneva geologists. Thank you JR for a thrilling hike!


Jean Rémy organized a wonderful snowshoe walk in the Risoud forest. We really enjoyed the fondue stop in a woodcutter’s hut, followed by a visit to the Astroval astronomical observatory. Very original and much appreciated.
Thank you so much!

Laurence and Henry

Jean Rémy takes us on snowshoes to the heights of Grimentz in the direction of La Brinta. At the edge of the forest, we were shuffling through deep snow and admiring the nearby peaks. It was a wonderful discovery, away from the ski slopes.


Thanks to his meticulous preparation, Jean Rémy led us with ease on snowshoes through the Risoud forest above Le Brassus for over 6 hours. The atmosphere was magical. A memorable day that we wouldn’t have experienced on our own.



Images of Risoud forest by ASTRAC, Morges.

As well as offering ideal celestial viewing conditions, this immense forest is a great place to recharge your batteries, summer and winter alike.


Answers to your frequently asked questions

This hike must be done on a clear night. It is therefore advisable to reserve 2 dates to maximize the chances of good sky observation.

It takes about 1h30 from Geneva, Martigny and Neuchâtel and 1h from Lausanne.

You will be notified 48 hours in advance if skywatching will be held. If not possible, we can maintain an outing with snowshoes or on foot. The Risoud forest at twilight and at night offers magnificent views. The cost of the observatory team’s services will be deducted from the price of the outing.

It belongs to the Astroval association, which promotes the practice of astronomy. I’ve had the opportunity to show visitors around their center and the observatory as part of snowshoe outings. It’s a truly exceptional place. The fact that we have exclusive access to it is undoubtedly a great advantage.