From the Dole plain to Haut-Jura, this region of Franche Comté stretches over altitudes from 200m to 1500m. It is characterised by a great variety of landscapes and bountiful nature. Come to admire the beauty of its characterful villages, try the local flavours and practice outdoor sports. And let us not forget discovering the Jura wines and notably vin jaune, which earned the destination an award from the EDEN 2008 "Tourism and Intangible Heritage" competition.
The Dole plain and Bresse jurassienne
Rich heritage and unspoilt nature characterise the north of Jura. Dole, a wonderful town of art and history, has numerous listed monuments including the Notre-Dame collegiate church dating back to the 16th century. The Forest of Chaux and Bresse jurassienne complete the landscape of this green and wooded region. It is the land of the famous AOC (controlled designation of origin) poultry, cream and butter of Bresse.
The vineyard country and Revermont
It is here, 200 to 400m high, that the most famous wines in Jura are produced which received an award from the EDEN 2008 competition. They have no less than 7 AOC (controlled designation of origin), including Arbois and Crémant du Jura. 135 wine-growing estates and restaurants will welcome you all year round, so you can discover the treasures of the region, including the famous Comté cheese.
It is also a region of remarkable villages, like Château-Chalon, which is one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France", and historical monuments like Les Salines de Salins-les-Bains and d’Arc-et-Senans, listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The land of lakes and small mountains
Fans of nature will be delighted with the landscapes of this part of Jura, made up of beautiful hills rising between 400 and 700m high. Belvédère des 4 lacs and Pic de l'Aigle offer superb views. It is a region ideal for outdoor activities and hiking. And let us not forget the heritage, with, for example, the remains of the Château de Présilly dating back to the 13th century or the Romanesque church Sainte-Marie de Saint-Hymetière from the 11th century.
On the border with Switzerland, this region which reaches 1495m high is notably made up of the Haut-Jura Regional Natural Park. Its mountain nature will be enjoyed by visitors eager for fresh air. In summer and winter, the region offers a great diversity of activities to discover the riches of the region. In the spotlight: the expertise of industrial sites like Saint-Claude, French pipe manufacturing and diamond working capital, as well as the gastronomy with Morbier cheese in the town of the same name.
The major events
All throughout the year, Jura is buzzing with major cultural and sporting events. On this calendar are a few unmissable occasions.
For more information visit: www.jura-tourism.com
The Jura vineyard stretches along 80km of plains and hills. In 2008, the EDEN competition honoured the former Route des Vins du Jura, now replaced by a network of passionate winegrowers and charming villages, from Salins-les-Bains to Saint-Amour. Come and discover the wine growing estates of the region and enjoy the authentic flavours of the terroir. Wines and cheeses will draw you in with their character.
The Jura vineyard, no need to see it in moderation!
The Jura vineyard is a perfect destination for the visitor who wants to combine gourmet delights with visits to exceptional historic sites. Come and discover Arbois, the capital of Jura wines, where the Louis Pasteur site is located. Visit Poligny, the capital of Comté cheese, Salins-les-bains, the Grande Saline of which is a listed UNESCO World Heritage site, Château-Chalon, the birthplace of Vin Jaune and even Baume-les-Messieurs and its imperial abbey.
Wine of 5 colours
The region has over 200 farms producing Jura wines. The red wines come from Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot noir grape varieties. The whites from Chardonnay and Savagnin. The Jura vineyard includes 7 AOC (controlled designation of origin), including 4 geographic AOCs: Arbois, Côtes du Jura, l'Etoile and Château-Chalon and 3 product AOCs: Macvin du Jura, Crémant du Jura and Marc du Jura.
Characterful wines, the Jura wines combine perfectly with the flavours of local specialities like the Morteau sausage or Comté fondue.
Vin Jaune and straw wine
Vin Jaune, emblematic of the region, comes from the Savagnin grape variety. Its unique character comes from a very long ageing process, 6 years and 3 months minimum, in oak barrels. During this period, no outside intervention is allowed, not even to taste. Out of 1 litre of nectar at the start, 62cl remain of a golden wine with complex spice, nut and dried fruit aromas, which therefore fill a bottle especially designed for it: the clavelin.
Another speciality of the Jura vineyard, straw wine comes from the best grapes, selected with care from the Chardonnay, Poulsard, Trousseau and Savagnin bunches, before being dried for 6 weeks minimum (traditionally on straw) and pressed. It is then aged for 3 years in barrels to become a liquor-like and sweet wine.
Excellent produce and expertise
The reputation of Jura terroir produce has already been proven. 14 AOCs showcase an excellent expertise: 7 wines, 3 cheeses, 2 types of poultry, butter and Bresse cream. Other leading products, Cancoillotte, Mont d'or, salaisons franc-comtoises (salted meats), chocolate and also Jura beer. The Routes du Comté cross the routes of the Jura vineyard and lead you to a gourmet epic. From the rustic restaurant to that of a Michelin starred chef, the Jura gastronomy presents a wide range of gustatory pleasures. Jura has no less than 4 Michelin starred chefs (Jean-Paul Jeunet, Pierre Basso Moro, Joël Césari and Romuald Fassenet).
Arbois, the gourmet capital of Jura, famous for its wine, invites you to the Musée de la Vigne et du Vin du Jura. A fun journey through a Franche-Comté vineyard awaits you. It is also a chance to visit the home of Louis Pasteur, a pioneer of microbiology and inventor of the vaccine against rabies.
A little further, to the south of the Jura vineyard, allow yourself to be tempted by a wine tourism visit. In Orbagna, the site of La Caborde offers exhibitions, concerts, debates, workshops and tasting sessions in a setting with modern architecture. A hedonist's paradise!
Lastly, throughout your discovery of the region, you will come across farms opening their doors to visitors for a tasting session of the local crus. Don’t hesitate to stop by!
Thanks to its geology, Jura benefits from a great variety of landscapes. Between plains and mountains, admire the beauty of the majestic sites. On foot or by bike, discover an exceptionally well-preserved nature. As a family or among friends, come and make the most of the numerous nature activities on offer and allow yourself to be surprised by the treasures of this region.
The region's water-based activities
Did you know? Jura is a region dotted with superb lakes which invite numerous water-based activities. Therefore, the Route des lacs has 20 of the 70 lakes in the region. Holidaymakers will be tempted by a cruise on Vouglans-le-géant. Chalain will appeal to bathers while the Lac de Vouglans will surprise you due to its emerald colour. Waterfalls, caves, springs and gorges — Jura is a water region which gives it an impressive variety of natural sites to discover.
An ideal region for walking
Jura is crossed by 5,300km of marked trails. Its generous and unspoilt natural environment make it a paradise for walkers. Walking for a day or Grande Randonnée trails, there is something for everyone and at all paces. Among the main ones, the Echappée jurassienne will lead you from the Plaine de Dole to the high massifs of Saint-Claude: 270km which can be covered in 16 days, unless you would prefer to choose certain sections over 1 or 2 days.
To discover the secrets of the mountain, take inspiration from the various routes offered in the Jura site. And for greater peace of mind, don’t hesitate to call on the services of a travel guide with the Haut-Jura office in La Pesse. And to keep the little ones happy, choose the trip with pack donkeys in Baume-les-Messieurs.
The cyclists' paradise
The diversity of the Jura relief means all cyclists can find their niche there. Veloroutes and green ways, mountain bike trails and Eurovelo route 6, pedalling has never been so much fun. In 2015, Jura was chosen as the cycling destination to visit by the FFCT (Fédération Française de Cyclotourisme - French Federation of Cyclotourism).
In total, 26 marked cycling routes cross the territory. The 2 Jura tours, 250km and 155km with 11 hills and remarkable climbs, and the Grande Traversée du Jura cyclo which crosses 3 départements including Jura, are reserved for long-distance cyclists. For families or less hardened sporty people, the lake tour (33km) or the Voie des salines (28km) are more accessible. Ideas and maps are easily viewable on the Jura website.
Other Jura sites
Don’t forget to admire the exceptional vistas of the region. The Pic de l'Aigle rises 993m high and offers a superb panorama over all the Jura plateaus, the Hérisson valley, Grandvaux and even Mont Blanc in clear weather. The Belvédère des 4 lacs presents you with a magnificent view of the Lakes of Narlay, Ilay, Petit and Grand Maclu. Finally, in winter, go skiing on the slopes of the Les Rousses resort, especially popular with the locals.
Jura offers the visitor a rich and varied cultural landscape, forged by time and nature: château, abbeys, salt-marshes, etc.
Nestled on the edge of a cliff, Château-Chalon offers a breath-taking view of the vineyards. Here an exceptional wine is produced with the eponymous name — Château-Chalon. It is in the Maison de la Haute-Seille, a historic residence which was formerly a hostelry of the Abbey of Château-Chalon, that you will discover the history of the local area, via various activities. On the programme: exhibitions for children and adults, wine tasting, screenings and accounts.
Ranked among the "Most Beautiful Villages of France", Baume-les-Messieurs will draw you in via its fabulous site in the hallow of a valley. On site, visit the imperial abbey the story of which begins in the 9th century. The stone cutting museum, stained-glass from the 8th century and Burgundian statues from the 15th century showcase a rich history and expertise from the region.
Fans of the famous cheese will come to visit the Maison du Comté in Poligny. An interactive space offers children and adults the chance to discover the secrets of this cheese, key to Franche-Comté gastronomy. The Routes du Comté and all the heritage which is associated with them have also been recognised by the EDEN competition. You will therefore find them presented in detail here.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Grande Saline de Salins-les-Bains is one of the most beautiful monuments in the département. The salt resources have meant that the site has been prosperous for its 1,200 years of activity. The Musée du Sel (Salt museum) retraces the history of a flourishing period via an exhibition, a guided visit of an underground gallery and an educational space for children.
Twenty kilometres away, in Doubs, the Saline royale d'Arc-et-Senans is also a World Heritage site. Even more impressive, it is one of the emblematic monuments of the industrial architecture of the 18th century. The architect, Ledoux, wanted to create a space here reflecting a utopia of the period: a perfect city where the residents would have been able to work, live and spend their spare time. Although part of it remains incomplete, the fact that these buildings form a perfect semi-circle is, all the same, the reflection of this idea, with workshops, the manager's house, the workers gardens, etc.
The town was built around the Lédonia spring, a very salty cold water spring. This water town houses wonderful springs at the heart of a vast tree-lined park. The site welcomes both spa clients (osteoarthritis, rheumatisms, etc. are treated there) and visitors wanting to make the most of a relaxing and well-being experience in the institute, the Turkish bath, the sauna and the spring water basin.
Lons-le-Saunier is also the birthplace of another famous cheese of the region, La Vache qui rit (Laughing Cow). Created in 1921 by Jules Bel, originally from the south of Jura, the cheese loved by young and old alike has had, since 2009, a museum which is dedicated to it. An historic and fun route retraces the history of the famous cow. Advertising films, posters and boxes will satisfy your curiosity.
Re-immerse yourself in the 18th century during a visit to the Château d'Arlay. The exceptionally well preserved setting, the furniture, the items and the romantic grounds bring the château back to life. The site offers a wonderful view of Bresse and Revermont.
Strengthened by its industrial activity during the 19th and 20th centuries, Jura has some remarkable sites like the Forges de Baudin. This wonderful example of the steel expertise of the region, which produced cookers, kitchen utensils and even balustrades, is presented to the visitor via installations and the visit of the infrastructure of the period.
Let the beauty of this wine-growing region with a rustic charm take you by surprise. In order to make the most of your stay, here is a selection of quality establishments. Michelin starred gourmet restaurants, local flavours, charming hotels and cabins in the woods, vary the delights!
Where to sleep
Where to eat
In Jura, treat yourself to local cheeses, especially Comté, Morbier and Mont d’Or, not forgetting trout, morels and even coq au vin jaune.
Through beautiful hiking trails, you will enjoy this great biodiversity.