Solothurn Region - Diversity without Limits
You want to spend recreational or active holidays in nature? You want to experience culture and history and see impressive architecture? You want to try delicious local specialities, go on long shopping tours and party at night? The Canton of Solothurn offers all this.
Geography - From the Swiss Plateau to the Jura Mountains
The Solothurn Region (also called the Canton of Solothurn) is located in the north-west of Switzerland and lies both on the Swiss Plateau and in the Jura Mountains. Its capital is the town of the same name but its biggest town is Olten. The Canton of Solothurn has an area of 791 km² and a population of 262,965 people. No other Swiss canton is as ramified as Solothurn. It borders on the cantons of Bern, Basel-Landschaft, Aargau, Jura as well as on the French Alsace. The canton itself used to be divided into ten districts but these were combined to form five electoral districts (each consisting of two former districts) in 2005. These new electoral districts are called Bucheggberg-Wasseramt, Dorneck-Thierstein, Thal-Gäu, Olten-Gösgen and Solothurn-Lebern. The climate in the Canton of Solothurn is temperate with 120 rainy days per year on average, most of which occur in the summer months. The highest temperatures in summer are 23 °C.
Nature - Biodiversity in the Thal Nature Park
The canton's highest peak is the Hasenmatt in the Jura Mountains with a height of 1,445 metres. There is only one bigger body of water: the Dünnern, a headwater which is also located in the Jura Mountains. Important rivers are the Aare, Emme and Birs. The most important lake is the Burgäschisee, part of which lies in the Canton of Bern. The area of the Solothurn Jura Mountains is mostly covered in forests and home to untouched nature with scenic streams. This region is also characterised by smooth hills and juicy Jura pastures. It accommodates the district Thal, the first Swiss region (after the Entlebuch Biosphere) which was declared a regional nature park of national significance. Of special importance is the natural tourism, in particular the hiking tourism along the Thal Jura. If you are patient, you might spot lynxes, golden eagles, wood grouses, Woodland Browns (a species of butterflies) and asp vipers here. The flora also offers a number of rare plants such as various types of orchids, gentian, the cheddar pink and the iberis saxatilis. The Thal Nature Park is the ideal location for relaxation and recreation.
Culture - Travelling back to the baroque period
The Canton of Solothurn is a German-speaking canton. It comprises four regions: the town and region Solothurn, the town and region Olten, the Schwarzbubenland (Dorneck-Thierstein) and the Thal Nature Park. While the Schwarzbubenland is considered a local recreational area for the neighbouring Canton of Basel-Landschaft and the Thal Nature Park is characterised by natural wealth, the regions Solothurn and Olten are of particular interest to lovers of culture. One of Switzerland's most important film festivals is the Solothurn Film Festival (Solothurner Filmtage). An especially popular destination is the mountain Weissenstein, which is 1,291 metres high and offers a view of the Swiss Plateau and the Alps. There are numerous castles, ruins, churches and chapels along the Jurasüdfuss (the southern egde of the Jura Mountains). The capital Solothurn was awarded with the title of the most beautiful Swiss baroque town. Its most impressive building is St. Ursus Cathedral with the two stone statues Samson and Moses. You can see more stone testimonies from the baroque period in the Stone Museum Solothurn. Other sights travellers should not miss out on are the Froburg ruin in Trimbach near Olten, one of Switzerland's oldest castle complexes, or the Botanic Jura garden in Weissenstein. Furthermore, you can enjoy a cold drink in the Rathskeller restaurant while you marvel at its collection of medieval weapons.
Experience - Feasting in an attractive environment
Gourmets will love Solothurn's cuisine - especially those who like their food hearty. Local delicacies are the Funggi (mashed potatoes with apples), the Solothurn pot roast and roast beef, but also the Röschti or Rösti (hash browns) and the Ofenguck, a potato casserole made of mashed potatoes, whipped egg whites and diced ham or bacon. Travellers can enjoy Switzerland's most wonderful river boat tour in Solothurn. On the trip from Solothurn to Biel/Bienne on the river Aare, you stop at the stork settlement in Altren, where you find the greatest number of wild storks. The town Olten is particularly attractive to visitors because it offers an idyllic strolling zone with many shopping facilities. The town's active music scene and lively nightlife with a number of clubs is especially popular with young people.
Activities - Perfect active holidays for the whole family
The Canton of Solothurn offer an abundance of leisure activities. Travellers can go hiking or relax in the region's many forests and be active in Switzerland's greatest climbing crag, the Seilpark in Balmberg. Golfers are in good hands in Wylihof and the Limpach valley. In addition, you can go cycling, hang gliding, paragliding, horseback riding and skating in the Solothurn Region or bathe in the river Aare. Mountain bikers can follow a number of Jura high routes. The Burgäschisee is greatly suited for fishing as pikes, European perches and carps can be caught here. You can also take a boat trip on this lake. A highlight for the whole family - but most of all for children - is llama trekking in Bucheggberg or alpaca trekking on the Balmberg Pass. The pumpkin labyrinth in Lüterkofen contains winding and mysterious paths lined by different types of pumpkins for children and their parents to explore.
The Canton of Solothurn can easily be reached by public and private transport - whether you are arriving by car, bus, train or plane. The nearest airports are in Bern-Belp (BRN) and Basel-Mülhausen (BSL).
The Solothurn Region leaves nothing to wish for as it offers wonderful nature with a distinctive flora and fauna, fascinating towns with historical atmosphere, culinary specialities, a number of sporting and leisure activities for the whole family but also an attractive nightlife for young people.