From Dole to Saint-Claude, a bucolic trip through the Jura

Between Doubs and Saône-et-Loire stretches a department endowed with an exceptional natural heritage where vineyards succeed spruce forests. A territory with a generous and endearing personality, forged by a mosaic of terroirs.

The ideal destination for a nature getaway, the Jura, to the east of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, is one of the greenest departments in France. Its territory, alternating forests, meadows and gentle mountains, from which emerge Comtois steeple churches and imposing isolated farms, also has the particularity of having one of the smallest French vineyards in terms of its area (1,850 hectares) renowned for its unique wines such as macvin, vin jaune or vin de paille.

Like wines, cheeses are the pride of this gastronomic destination which has no less than 11 AOCs, cheeses, wines and poultry, some of which, like the county, particularly popular with Germans and Americans, have acquired international fame.

Homeland of Paul-Émile Victor, the poet and playwright Rouget de Lisle et de Pasteur, born in Dole in 1822, the Jura has a rich historical and cultural past but also an important industrial heritage as evidenced by the many museums related to the sectors that punctuate the territory: the glasses with the museum of Morez, the museum of the Pipe and the Diamond in Saint-Claude, the museum of the toy in Moirans-en-Montagne, the museum of the Boisellerie in Bois-d ‘Upstream, or watchmaking with the Japy Museum …

From Dole to Saint-Claude, a concentrate of Jura

The line of swallows connects Dole and Saint-Claude in 2h30. Jack Carrot / Jura Tourism

To appreciate all the richness of this destination, board a TER of the line of swallows. On a route of 123 kilometers and 2h30, between Dole and Saint-Claude, its fully glazed panoramic trains allow you to appreciate the diversity of the Jura landscapes, from the Doloise and Bressane plain to the Haut Jura mountains via the vineyards. of the land of Lons and the land of lakes.

Want to travel in “slow” mode? Still between Dole and Saint-Claude, the Echappée Jurassienne offers an itinerant hike without particular difficulty, on 312 kilometers of perfectly marked paths to be covered in 18 days (but you can perfectly do only part of the route).

Another option: take one of the many thematic routes – Routes du Comté, route des vins du Jura, route du Bugey, route des Sapins or route de Pasteur – which combine cultural and natural heritage discovery activities, hiking routes , events and demonstrations …

The Jura spirit in 8 emblematic stages

The Grande Saline of Salins-les-Bains. Jura Tourism

Whatever the route, it all starts at Dole, gateway to the Jura massif. Capital of Franche-Comté until 1678, this city of art and history which saw the birth of Louis Pasteur and the rise of Marcel Aymé, is appreciated for its heritage and its gourmet addresses.

But also for its proximity to the Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains and the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, located half an hour’s drive away. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and formerly linked by a 20-kilometer brine pipeline, they are, along with the Lons-le-Saunier saltworks, the oldest known industrial production sites of fire salt, obtained by artificial evaporation as opposed to salt marshes (adult admission € 8 / child € 4).

A little further south, the charming village ofArbois, set in the vineyard, is the cradle of the Arbois wine appellation, the first AOC in the territory in 1936 and the headquarters of the family house of Pasteur, where this genius scientist developed pasteurization (adult entry 6, 80 € / child 4.20 €). It is also a gourmet city with the presence of Maison Jeunet, the only two-star restaurant in the Jura, and of the chocolatier Hirsinger, whose academician and politician Edgar Faure, adopted Jurassian, was a loyal customer.

Known for its county, the charming village of Poligny is home to a number of creameries and cheese dairies. Adobe Stock / barmalini

Along the way, we will stop at Poligny, a delightful city of character between meadows and vineyards, but above all the epicenter of the county and the blue of Gex which is home to a profusion of fruit farms, creameries and the County House (adult admission 5 € / child 3 €).

And at Chateau-Chalon, birthplace of the famous yellow wine. Delicately placed on the edge of a cliff, this wine-growing village with a view of the Seille valley had so capsized the heart of Bernard Clavel, Goncourt 1969, that he had settled there for five years.

Another little heritage gem, Baume-les-Messieurs, nestled in the hollow of three spectacular retreats, typical of the Jura landscape, and its equally remarkable caves.

After Lons-le-Saunier, charming prefecture of Jura also birthplace of Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, an officer famous for having composed The Marseillaise, the road stops at Saint-Claude, in the Haut Jura, world capital of the briar pipe since the 19th century, whose know-how is perpetuated, among others, by the Chacom factory (showroom open to visitors). Also renowned for the cut of diamonds and precious stones, Saint-Claude enjoys an exceptional location in the heart of the vast spruce forests of the Haut Jura Regional Natural Park, a stone’s throw from ski resorts and a stone’s throw away. (precious) from Switzerland. So many reasons to extend the road and your stay.



One of the opulent rooms of the castle of Germigney. Press photo

Germigney Castle. As opulent as you want and stamped Relais & Château, this 4 * address located in Port-Lesney, in the Pays de Dole and Val d’Amour, invites you to bucolic and tasteful pleasures. In addition to its 19 rooms and suites and its perfectly maintained park, this small castle nestled in the countryside is indeed renowned for its gourmet cuisine. Room from 150 €, breakfast 23 €.

The Château de Germigney, 31 rue Edgar Faure, 39600 Port-Lesney. Phone. : 03 84 73 85 85.

Auberge de Chavannes. A Mecca of Jura gastronomy today run by a couple who fell in love with the region, this Logis de France 4 * has 11 perfectly renovated rooms. The ideal address to discover Lons-le-Saunier, Baume-les-Messieurs or Château-Chalon. From € 118 for a double room (€ 14 for breakfast).

Auberge de Chavannes, 1890 avenue de Chalon, 39570 Courlans. Phone. : 03 84 43 24 34.

The 49. This completely renovated mansion set in a wooded park is set in the middle of the vineyards of Château-Chalon, cradle of yellow wine. A location that will delight epicureans as well as the 5 spacious bedrooms. From 105 € per night for 2 people. with breakfast.

49, 49 rue de la Belgique, 39210 Domblans. Phone. : 03 84 25 08 26.


Le Bouchon du Château. Press photo

Le Bouchon du Château. Cuisine, dressage, wines, panorama, welcome, value for money… This Château-Chalon restaurant is as much worth the detour as the city of character that shelters it. To be tested with eyes closed, taking care to reserve before. Menus from 33 €.

Le Bouchon du Château, 2 rue Saint-Jean 39210 Château-Chalon. Phone. : 03 84 25 18 60.

The Pontarlier. On the edge of the Loue, the guinguette spirit and the fine but unfussy cuisine of the Bistrot de Port-Lesney give a good flavor to the Sunday lunches of yesteryear. On the menu in season, frogs, snails, fried foods, trout and other Paris-Brest. € 32 for a starter, main course and dessert à la carte menu.

Le Pontarlier, place du 8 mai 1945, 39600 Port-Lesney. Phone. : 03 84 37 83 27.

La Finette. Jura institution, this “tavern” created in 1961 showcases the flavors of the Franche-Comté region. Comté, morbier, Jura trout, Jesus de Morteau, morels, yellow wine… Served in a rustic and warm decor, the invigorating cuisine is an ode to conviviality. Menus from € 18.40 to € 47.00.

La Finette, 22 avenue Louis-Pasteur. 39600 Arbois. Phone. : 03 84 66 06 78.

Chateau Mont Joly. In an 18th century mansion overlooking the Saône valley, Michelin-starred chef Romuald Fassenet, best worker in France, and his wife Catherine, sommelier, take us on a tasty tour of the Jura region. € 39 for the market menu, lunch only, evening and Sunday menus from € 76.

Château du Mont Joly, 6 rue du Mont Joly, 39100 Sampans. Phone. : 03 84 82 43 43.


Spectacle museum. Cradle of the eyewear tradition, the town of Morez, in the heart of the Haut Jura regional natural park, is not only home to the oldest active eyewear factory, but also a museum where nearly 2,500 objects are kept, from the 13th century to These days. Until March 31, 2021, a free “Saga Lamy Hand d’Argent” exhibition retraces the history of the Lamy family, a great pioneer family in Jura eyewear.

Lunette museum, place Jean Jaurès, 39400 Morez. Phone. : 03 84 33 39 30.

Abbey Museum. Until April 30, 2021, the Abbey Museum in Saint-Claude is presenting an exhibition entitled “Gustave Courbet, the school of nature” bringing together original works from the Gustave Courbet Institute and the Courbet museum in Ornans closed for works, loans from other museums and a private collection.

Abbey Museum, 3, place de l’Abbaye, 39200 Saint-Claude. Phone. : 03 84 38 12 60.

Polar Worlds Area. Bringing together a museum, an ice rink and a restaurant, this space invites you to follow in the footsteps of the explorer Paul-Emile Victor, to better understand the beauty and the fragility of these icy regions which fascinated this child of the country.

Polar World Space, 146, rue Croix-de-la-Teppe, 39220 Prémanon. Phone. : 03 89 50 80 20.


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