Trekking - History of the Earth Trail

Discover the history of the Earth on this walk which is like a journey through the ages, with explanations written by Professor André Maeder, from the Observatory of Geneva University.

Embark on a discovery of the history of the Earth... between Bretaye and Villars!

You start the History of the Earth Trail from Bretaye station (alt. 1,806 m), the terminus of the Villars-Bretaye cogwheel train.

With each metre on the ground, you travel through 1 million years in time. So, starting from Bretaye, in the present time, you travel back into the past, with nine stations corresponding to the most fascinating events that have marked our planet’s History along the 4.6 km route towards Villars. These 4.6 km correspond to 4.6 billion years, the age of the Earth and the solar system.

The History of the Earth Trail offers a fascinating journey through time, as we learn about the disasters and extraordinary inventions that have marked life on Earth since it began.

Practical information

Take the train from Villars to the start of the walk in Bretaye.

Parking: Le Centenaire (opposite the station) and in Rochegrise


Office du Tourisme de Villars
Avenue Centrale 140
CP 100
1884 Villars-sur-Ollon

Tel : +41 24 495 32 32

Technical data

Start point
6.5 km
Positive altitude difference
202 Metres
Negative altitude difference
683 Metres

Along your way

Bretaye Alpine pasture

Bretaye Alpine pasture


These alpine pastures stretch all around Bretaye, a delight for skiers during the winter. Farm visits and teas available.

The Crazy Moose

The Crazy Moose

Villars sur Ollon

The Crazy Moose is the restaurant of Maison de Montagne in Bretaye located 1,700 m above sea level. This is the ideal place to share friendly moments at a unique site in the heart of the Vaudois Alps and the ski area of Villars-Gryon-Les Diablerets.

Auberge du Col de Soud

Auberge du Col de Soud


The Auberge du Col de Soud is ideal for a gourmet break in Villars-sur-Ollon. It offers terroir dishes and home-made desserts and a charming sunny terrace in the heart of the resort.

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