Of all the lakes that fall entirely within Switzerland’s borders, Lac Neuchâtel is the largest. Nestled beneath the Jura Mountains in Fribourg canton, its considerable expanse shimmers invitingly during the summer months. Though there’s no shortage of fun things to do at the lake, one of our top recommendations is to go stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP. We’re offering up nine reasons to SUP Neuchatel, which is the perfect place for beginners to give it a try.
Newbies to stand-up paddleboarding will love the small but safe beach in a calm, protected swimming area at La Nouvelle Plage. It’s easily accessible to the public with a large parking area nearby.
If you have your own paddleboard, it’s easy to find great access to the lake at several other places along Lake Neuchâtel’s long shoreline.
2. It’s good exercise.
SUP is great for strengthening your core muscles.
This is fantastic if you tend to have chronic back pain because it can help ease the pain. Plus, it provides an excellent full body workout.
We love to kayak, but it’s always a bummer to paddle all day and wake up with burning arm and stomach muscles but your legs and butt didn’t get a workout. Paddle boarding flexes tiny little muscles you didn’t know you had, especially if you alternate positions when you paddle.
3. Dogs are welcome when you paddle Neuchâtel.
Many of the beaches are dog friendly, including La Nouvelle Plage, where we rented our SUPs.
Your furry friend can frolic on shore while you hone your paddling skills. Of course, if your dog loves to tag along for a ride, even better!
Our dog isn’t a fan of SUP.
She much prefers to stay near shore and chase her ball.
4. Anyone can learn to paddleboard, regardless of age.
Not only is the learning curve relatively gentle, but Lake Neuchatel is large enough that you’re guaranteed to find a quiet spot to launch and paddle.
This is nice if you’re worried about having a huge audience when you take your first header off your board.
Plus the good news is when you fall off, it’s easy to get back on. The sandy shore and calm water are ideal.
5. Where else can you paddle with swans?
Lake Neuchatel tends to be quite peaceful with a minimum of sailboats and fewer speedboats.
With the nearby Grande Caricaie wetlands hugging the shore and teaming with bird life, you’ll have no shortage of swans that elegantly drift along with you as you paddle.
6. It’s a nice place for your non-paddling friends to hang out while you’re on the water.
They can always bring a good book to read, enjoy a glass of Swiss white wine, or just watch in sheer entertainment when your paddleboard ditches you, again.
Ahhh, how lovely to have friends on shore to cheer you on…
Insider Tip: If you can’t resist skinny dipping (presumably at night, but hey, nojudgement), try not to make too much of a ruckus. It’ll save you from alerting security, being spotlighted, and needing a friend to do some fancy talkin’ in French to get you out of paying a fine.
7. Sunset. ‘Nuf said.
8. Paddleboarding merges well with other types of sports.
For example, if you’ve perfected the Flying Pigeon, Firefly, or Peacock on land, maybe you should give SUP yoga a try.
Two sports in one.
It’s like cheesecake ice cream, and who doesn’t love that?!
9. Dinner will taste even better after your SUP workout.
Lake Neuchâtel is littered with restaurants around the perimeter, but it would be a shame if you didn’t indulge in the best crepes in Switzerland at La Nouvelle Plage’s adorable little beach eatery.
Go for the Grand Marnier and cinnamon crepes served with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream.
So there you have it. Nine reasons why you really should SUP Lake Neuchatel.
So what are you waiting for?
Hit the lake!
Lake Neuchatel Map
Paddleboards are available for rent on the beach at La Nouvelle Plage in Estavayer-le-Lac on the shores of Lake Neuchatel. Expect to pay around 20 CHF per hour, per board.
Visit the Alphasurf page directly for current rates, opening hours, etc. They offer dorm-style lodging and other water sports. Inquire directly with them for info about guided tours in the nearby wetlands and other activities in the region.