Coincidentally, on Wednesday afternoon, my older son was at a friend’s house, the younger son was at a birthday party, and I stayed home alone with our little one. But it wouldn’t be me not to come up with something in such beautiful weather at the end of summer (even though it’s already mid-September, astronomically it’s still summer, right?). And since our little one, like me, is a lover of hiking (which you could see during our last hike from Langnau to Hohwacht), she didn’t resist the idea of going on a hike together again. Although this time on a much shorter hike. Plus, not uphill, on a plain. Actually, more like such a walk. But a beautifully fragrant walk.
Wangen an der Aare – getting there
Wangen an der Aare is a small town in the Oberaargau region at the foot of the Jura Mountains, about 40 km north of Bern.
By car: from Bern on the A1 motorway you are here in 35 minutes, take the exit Wangen an der Aare and the center is less than a kilometer away.
By train: the best way to get here is from Olten, which is a railway junction (even if you take a train from Bern, you have to get to Olten first, and then back to Wangen).
Although the start of the Duftweg route is indicated at the train station, it basically doesn’t matter where you connect to the route (although it should be at one of the four points where information flyers are available). So if you come here by car, I recommend not to drive from the highway to the town center (Städtli), ie. cross a covered timber bridge, but leave the car in the parking lot on its left or right side. Parking for 3 hours is free, and this is more than enough to complete the Duftweg.
Behind the implementation of the Duftweg, ie loosely translated as a path of scents, is the local association “regioW“, which has set itself the task of making Wangen an der Aare even more attractive to its inhabitants and visitors and enlivening them with special attractions.
Each junction where the route changes direction is marked with a blue arrow.
The route of the Duftweg
There are a total of 24 stops on the route, of which 4 have an information leaflet with a clear map. There is a snapped sheet of absorbent strips on the leaflet, which you will need along the way so that you can smell the scents better. At each stop, you pluck one strip from the sheet and insert it into a round hole on the bottom of the information board (by the way, a pretty good exercise for your children’s fine motor skills). The strips should only be inserted briefly in the hole so that they do not soak up completely (you could then end up like me, that the smell of hated cumin sticks to your fingers for a long time 🙂 ).
And while the children are trying to insert the strip into the hole, you can read about the individual scents and essential oils on the information boards: where they come from, what their use is and what their effects are, for example, in aromatherapy. And if the children don’t let you read everything in peace, you can take a look at the Duftweg website, where you will find all the additional information (in German only).
The circular route measures about 5.3 kilometers. It leads along the banks of the Aare River, as well as the local residential area, which gives you a glimpse into the local atmosphere, the Ceramic ARENA company, where you can admire ceramic sculptures, as well as the Air Creative company, which has been involved in fragrances for more than 25 years and is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the Duftweg.
Of course, the biggest highlight is the historic center of the town and about 600 years old covered timber bridge.
- This easy route along the plain is very suitable for smaller children and also for strollers (terrain in nature is not difficult)
- You can find the map and 3D profile on the Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ website, where I also found inspiration for a free Wednesday afternoon.