Iron ore deposits and large supplies of firewood made Vallorbe an industrial site from very early on. The location on the French border also awarded the town in the Vaud Jura strategic importance and made it a traffic hub.
Vallorbe lies at 750 m altitude in a valley basin between the heights of the Dent de Vaulion to the south and the Mont d'Or to the north. The town became a key location for the iron industry from the Middle Ages on. Iron ore was mined on Mont d'Orzeires with the first smelting oven built as early as 1285
The main touristic attraction in the municipal district is the Grotte de l'Orbe, a vast cavern with stalactites and stalagmites, a circular path and the Schatz der Feen (Fairy Treasure) mineral exhibition. This is the source of the River Orbe, its water originating from the subterranean run-off from two nearby lakes, Lac de Joux und Lac Brenet. Neither lake has an outlet above ground but together have created this karst cavern.
Another sightseeing attraction is the «Juraparc» at Chalet du Mont d'Orzeires , in forest between Vallorbe and le Pont, with bears, wolves and bison. Vallorbe’s former town smithy houses the Musée de Fer which deals with the history of iron processing and the railway in the local area. The Fort de Pré-Giroud is a former subterranean Swiss Army complex from WW II, which can now be visited as a museum. The artillery defences once guarded the nearby national border.
The countryside around Vallorbe and the Vallée de Joux – embedded between the Dent de Vaulion and Mont Tendre on one side and the densely forested Risoux chain on the other, is a summer paradise for hikers and bikers. The ridge of the Risoux chain forms the border between Switzerland and France. Fans of water sports use the Lac de Joux and Lac Brenet. In winter, skaters pirouette on the frozen lakes and the cross-country ski paradise in Vallée de Joux is one of the most extensive in Central Europe. The austere landscape also delights winter walkers and showshoe trekkers. Skiers and snowboarders will find smaller skiing areas in the Vallée de Joux at L'Abbaye, L'Orient and Le Brassus as well as on the French side at Mont d'Or.
- Karst cave at Vallorbe – the subterranean run-off of the Lac de Joux has created a spectacular cavern of stalactites and stalagmites. With the Feenschatz (Fairy Treasure), a collection of minerals from all over the world.
- Fort de Vallorbe, Pré Giroud fortress – something which from the outside looks like a small chalet is revealed as an underground fortification system from WW II.
- Musée du fer et du chemin de fer Vallorbe – museum dedicated to iron ore processing and the railway near Vallorbe.
- Juraparc Mont d'Orzeires – halfway between the Vallée de Joux and Vallorbe, large enclosures with American bison, bears and wolves never fail to fascinate visitors
- Parc jurassien vaudois – an impressive nature reserve and a lovely hiking area on the first Jura chain between Lac Léman and the Vallée de Joux.