Geology - excursions
Examples of geological outings
30 million years in a Bottle of Wine (Lavaux UNESCO, Lausanne region): The story of a vineyard goes back far longer than we usually consider.
The personality of the wines of Lavaux can be traced back to 30 million years ago, when the Alps were starting to emerge. Why can we say that? How was this amazing landscape actually made, through what processes? Come and find out all you ever wanted to know about "terroirs" and why the Lavaux wines are so special. This is an easy walk, it takes place over a half day (PM) and ends with a glass of local white wine, included in the offer.
The Famelon Karst (Leysin region): This hike is an invitation to wander in the somptuous Famelon karstic maze. A full day hike that leads us to a summit with amazing views over the limestone landscape in the Leysin region.
The Swiss Molassic plateau (Lausanne region): A walk in the Jorat hills, into deep-set river gorges and over large fields with a visit to the amazing Pendens "caves" near the village of Mézières. Discover the molasse rock formation covering the entire Swiss plateau: how old are these sandstones, how did they get here, can we find fossils? A very "local" walk, to prove that geology is not only about volcanoes and high mountains. Geological adventure is at your doorstep!
The Pierreuse (Rougemont region): Before the Alps, our region was covered in water. How did the Alps emerge? The Pierreuse area is not only a magnificent nature reserve (one of the oldest of Switzerland), it is also a good location to explore the different rocks that make up the sedimentary build-up of the Swiss PreAlpine tectonic thrusts. This hike takes us up to a remote summit. For good walkers.
The Salt Trail (Aigle region): a hike to discover how important Salt was in the middle-ages. It was virtually as precious as GOLD. Salt needs in Switzerland were immense because of the cheese making process that requires a lot of it. In the Aigle-Bex region, Triassic salt was discovered and exploited from the 16th Century. We will go from place to place in the hills and explore the remnants of a fabulous story. We end up either in Ollon or Aigle for a wine tasting session.
Surfing the Alps (Grimentz region): once upon time there was a hyper-continent called Pangea. It broke up 200 million years ago and a warm ocean started to spread in the middle of it. This ocean grew so much that its shores could not be seen anymore. Dinosaurs were roaming its beaches. But eventually, after a very long time, the ocean started to close again. It's shores got closer and closer and finally collided in a slow but powerful collision: the Alps were formed! Many many years later, geologists exploring these mountains found some strange rocks with green-white and red colourings. They recognised these rocks as the remnants of an ocean floor, which was now high up at 3000 meters in the middle of the Alps! They named this long-gone ocean Thetys. Come out and see for yourself these rocks that originated in an ocean some 200 million years ago! A fabulous walk in the Val d'Anniviers.
Jurassic Hills (canton of Vaud): The Jura hills have always been a controversial geological subject. Are they very old and severely eroded or on the contrary very young and only lightly folded? Why is water so scarce? And why are the rocks all white but the earth around them all black? Come and find out why, and while doing so, explore the most amazing landscapes of these mysterious hills covered in forests. These walks take place in various locations such as: Creux-du-Van (Neuchâtel region), Mont Tendre (Lac de Joux region), St-Cergue (Nyon region).
Derborence or the story of a catastrophy (cantons of Vaud and Valais): have you ever heard the story of the "great fear in the mountains"? It's a book written by C.-F. Ramuz, a famous Swiss author. This story was inspired by a true event that took place at the beginning of the 18th century in a small village above Sion (Valais). It seems a long time ago, but on a geological scale, it 's JUST HAPPENED NOW ! A whole mountain side collapsed, destroyed the village of Derborence and blocked up the valley. We hike up to a viewpoint above Derborence from the Vaud side, starting from above the village of Bex. An out-of-the-ordinary exploration adventure that leads us to a remote plateau with fabulous views over the biggest rockfall recorded in the Alps in human memory.