St. Petersinsel, 3235 Erlach, Switzerland
Photo courtesy of swiss-image.ch / Gian Marco Castelberg & Maurice Haas
An Island that isn't an IslandSaint Peter's Island in Lake Biel isn't an island and hasn't been one for more than a hundred years. When the lake's water level fell in the nineteenth century, it became a peninsula, connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. Despite that, it still retains that atmosphere unique to and typical of many islands, removed from the bustle and busy-ness of daily life in quiet isolation.
A monastery has stood here since the 12th century, though it has since been converted to one of Switzerland's most charming historic hotels. It was on St. Peter's Island that Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote his final work, Reveries of the Solitary Walker, in which he reflected on his alienation from civilization and the solace he found in plants and nature. You will likely find the same peace here that he did two centuries earlier.
St. Peter's Island is one of the highlights of Switzerland's French-speaking cantons, Neuchâtel and Jura, that you'll visit on travel advisor Cari Gray of Gray & Co.'s Switzerland with a French Flair itinerary. Check out it and other itineraries in Switzerland on AFAR Journeys.