Northern French and Swiss Jura
Northern French and Swiss Jura
Northern French and Swiss Jura
Northern French and Swiss Jura

Northern French and Swiss Jura

14-Day hike along the Doubs river

  • Hiking tour with luggage transfer
  • Delicious regional cuisine
  • Moderate hiking stages of approx. 20 km
  • Car-free hiking holiday
  • Comfy accommodation

Discover the beauty of the Jura landscapes along the Doubs and the Swiss border on a hiking route adapted by the GTJ (Grande Traversée du Jura). From Montbéliard, you will hike amidst the lush green landscape and in the evening you will enjoy the delicious homemade regional cuisine of your hosts.

Price from 1.699,- €

Northern French and Swiss Jura

Self-guided tour, 14 days

Difficulty level

Itinerary

Below is a sample itinerary for this hiking tour. You can start, shorten or extend the tour in Madeure, Pont de Roide or Foncine le Haut, Champanole, as you wish.

Day 1: Arrival in Montbéliard, city of art and history

Participants will be expected at Montbéliard TER for the city centre, Belfort-Montbéliard TGV + shuttle bus) or may drive to the starting point by car.

They will take some time to explore the former principality of the Dukes of Württemberg, who left the city a rich and colourful heritage and a Protestant heritage. Montbéliard has been awarded the label "Villes et Pays d'Art et d'Histoire" and is known regionally for its unique history and atmosphere . Overnight stay in a hotel. Dinner in a restaurant serving regional cuisine in the old town.

Day 2: Mandeure - Pont de Roide

Individual transfer from Montbéliard to Mandeure. Your walk begins at the foot of the famous Gallo-Roman theatre, whose remains bear witness to Mandeure's importance in ancient times. This easy stage offers a good entry point to the surrounding countryside and the Doubs. Arrival in Pont de Roide. Dinner and overnight in a 2-star hotel.

Day 3: Pont de Roide - Saint Hippolyte

After breakfast, the group set off in the direction of the Creux Serré. On the way, you will pass Fort des Roches (615m), the former earth fortification built after the defeat in 1870, which offers a view of the Doubs valley. After the village of Creux Serré (810 m), they head downhill towards the south. After leaving the village of Chamesol, the trail leads to the Chapel du Mont, (beautiful viewpoint over the valley). The trail then descends to Saint Hippolyte. Dinner and overnight stay in a hotel**.

Walking time: 5 hours - stage length: 16km - altitude difference: + 540m

Day 4: Saint Hippolyte - Goumois

If you haven't visited the small historic town of St Hippolyte the day before, you can take some time to do so before you set off to admire the old streets and houses from the 16th and 17th centuries. On the way, you will pass the Courtefontaine washing area, a remarkable site with Corinthian columns.

Goumois lies on the edge of the Doubs valley. Goumois has the particularity of being crossed by a bridge that serves as a border. So you can enjoy a cross-border break from one bench to the other. Overnight stay at Hotel****. Dinner of your choice at the hotel's gourmet restaurant.

Walking time: 6hrs 30min - stage length: 26km - altitude difference: + 1,000m

Day 5: Goumois - Le Petit Philibert or Maison Monsieur

Whilst still in the valley, you can be a tightrope artist on the famous ladders of death: a succession of ladders,20, 15 and 3 metres in height, that brave smugglers risked their lives climbing to avoid surveillance by the Gabelous (customs officers). But rest assured, the ladders, once made of wood, are now made of metal and very solid. Dinner and overnight stay in guest room***.

Walking time: 6 hours - altitude difference: + 500m - stage length: 21km

Day 6: Le Petit Philibert - Villers le Lac

As you approach Villers le Lac, you gradually leave the Doubs gorges. But the river is still omnipresent, first transforming into a thunderous 27m waterfall, the "Saut du doubs", before giving way to the calm waters of Lac de Chaillexon. The three basins that make up the lake stretch between steep limestone cliffs about 50m high. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel***.

Walking time: 7 hours - altitude difference: + 1,050m - stage length: 24km

Day 7: Villers le Lac - Les Seignes

In the land of watchmaking, a visit to the watch museum is a must. The place offers an immersion in 5 centuries of watchmaking history through exhibitions, reconstructed workshops and a film.

Wood craftsmanship - Behind the mountain. On the edge of a remote area, the small hamlet of Derrière-le-Mont is worth a short detour (750m from the GTJ). In a preserved setting, the village has built its identity around the craft of wood. Come and discover sculptures, workshops and a shop selling local items. You will stay in a comfortable accommodation in the village. Dinner and overnight stay in a guest room***.

Walking time: 5 hours - Altitude difference: + 1,050m - stage length: 22km

Day 8: Les Seignes - Les Petits Cernets ( Switzerland)

The hike now leads to the Swiss border. Participants hike up to the border at a 1,200-metre altitude. The painted Hirche house serves as a signpost with views of the French and Swiss mountains. The trail leads over mountain ridges to the French village of Les Alliés behind the valley. From there it is uphill towards Switzerland via Mont des Divois to Petits cernets. Dinner and overnight stay in a hotel***.

Walking time: 5 hours - altitude difference: + 635m - stage length: 18.5km

Day 9: Les Petits Cernets - Pontalier

Today's hiking route takes the group back to France, over higher altitudes with the crossing of Mount Larmont. At the village of "Grange des Miroirs", take the time to admire the first signs of a more bucolic Jura: Alpine pastures, chalets, panoramas of the lakes. You will spend the night in comfortable accommodation in Pontarlier (off the official hiking route). Dinner and overnight stay in a guest room***.

Walking time: 4 hours - altitude difference: + 140m - stage length: 14km

Day 10: Pontalier - Métabief

Today the gang first set off towards Frambourg and past Pontarlier, the Fort de Joux, then Lake Saint Point mark the approach to the highest point of the Doubs: Mont d'Or (1,463m). From there, a magnificent Alpine panorama. Here you are in the Haut-Jura Regional Nature Park. From the spruce forests to the green ridges, the trail winds through this protected area with a rich natural heritage. Arrival in Métabief. Dinner and overnight in a guest room**.

Walking time: 6 hours - altitude difference: + 980m - stage length: 25km

Day 11: Métabief - Mouthe

Today you leave the village of Métabief in the direction of the mountains. You walk past a chairlift and after about 1km you can take a detour within 10 min from the junction at Gros Morond, which leads to the Mont d'Or peak (1,463m). There, another Alpine panorama awaits you. The trail then descends past Granges Raguin (1,140m). The trail crosses the Villedieu forest, passing Grange Bousson. They will come to the headwaters of the Doubs River shortly after, which you have been following since the beginning of your hiking route. You leave the forest and walk along the Doubs river. Arrival in Mouthe (938 m). Dinner and overnight in hotel**.

Walking time: 4 hours - altitude difference: - 253m - stage length: 18km

Day 12: Mouthe - Foncine - le -Haut

The group follows the GR 509. You cross the magnificent Combe Simon, which is covered with a beautiful carpet of flowers in spring. The long-distance hiking route takes you past a number of fruit trees. The Baroche fruit farm, as well as other fruit farms, offer participants a gourmet break where they can learn more about the Jura cheeses: Comté, Morbier, Bleu de Gex, Mont d'Or, etc. You then walk through the Haute-Joux forest before arriving near the source of the Saine. Surprisingly, its source is a boulder field in a bubbling stream. Dinner and overnight stay in a guest room***.

Walking time: 7 hours - stage length: 26.5km - altitude difference:+ 350m

Day 13: Foncine le-Haut- Pont de la Chaux - Champanole

This last, somewhat sporty stage departs from the GTJ and takes you to Pont de la Chaux via another beaten trail. On the way, you will pass through the village of Chaux des Crotenay. The surrounding area boasts gorges, the waterfalls of the Langouette and the panoramas of the Haute Vallée de la Saine. After the hike a taxi will take you to the hotel in Champagnole, also called the "Pearl of the Jura" because its location amongst the most beautiful fir-tree forests in France. Overnight stay in a 2* hotel and dinner in a restaurant close to the hotel.

Walking time: 6hrs 30min - stage length: 20 km - altitude difference: + 950 m

Day 14 - Departure

Breakfast marks the end of the tour.

Champagnole has a train station (TER) from which you can return to Montbéliard if you left your car there, or to Besancon and other TGV/Mainline connections. Trains also go directly to Dole or St Claude to continue your adventures with "L'échappée jurassienne".

Travel dates

Indicated price is per person in a shared double room.

The trip starts at Montbeliard station and ends at Champagnole station.
Participants are kindly asked to make their own travel arrangments to and from Montbeliard station. They may extend their stay in the area if they wish.

Services

Price includes:

13 nights in a double room with breakfast, 12 dinners, luggage transfer, taxi transfer to Champagnole, detailed itinerary and our mobile GPS app Mhikes, tourist tax.

Guaranteed Departure

Guaranteed for groups of 2 or more.

Trip generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility.

Last possible cancellation by the tour operator: 21 days before the start of the tour.

Accommodation

Accommodation in double room with breakfast in 2, 3 and 4 star hotels and guest rooms subject to availability (accommodation subject to change).

All accommodation is in small villages or in the city centre. In the evening you will enjoy traditional regional cuisine. Picnics can be ordered the evening in advance (not included in the tour price, to be paid on site). Please note that only one piece of luggage per person is allowed - 15kg max.

Level: intermediary

Good physical condition required, touring experience desirable, knowledge of the instructions on our travel app.
Average daily hikes: 5-7 hours, on well-marked low mountain trails, on hiking trails with elevation differences averaging 550m (1,805ft). You will only require your personal belongings and the prepared picnic lunches.

The Region of Jura

The Jura massif is a low mountain range divided between France and Switzerland. A crescent of mountains between the Vosges in the north and the Alps in the south, the Jura variety of landscapes, atmospheres and reliefs. This holiday is largely based on the famous GR 509 - Grande traversée du Jura - a hiking trail measuring 400km in total. From Mandeure, the starting point of the trail, to Pontarlier, you will cross a landscape and a land marked by the Doubs. This river, which lends its name to the Doubs department, offers at times chaotic reliefs: gorges, waterfalls, etc, as well as peaceful ones such as lakes and lazy rivers.

The Pays Horloger et des Fruitières boasts many culinary delights: Morteau sausage, Comté, Morbier, Mont d'Or, to name but a few, not forgetting the famous Côtes du Jura crus or the famous absinthe. Your itinerary will also take you through towns and villages with a rich past and a remarkable cultural, artisanal, and industrial heritage.

Your itinerary will take you almost entirely across the Doubs department to the Pays de Mouthe. Only the last two stages will take you into the Jura Regional Nature Park, to the source of both the Ain and the Saine.

Getting there

We recommend a low-carbon train ride to Montebéliard.

General information and tips on travelling to France can be found here.

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