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Lakes, waterfalls, forests, peaks, and traditional towns and villages: these are the hallmarks of the Jura Mountains. Let your gaze wander and soak it all in!
Bellefontaine lake - ©Comité Régional du Tourisme de Franche-Comté
The Jura Mountains are also home to outstanding historic attractions!
> Château de Joux: work first began on this fortress in the 11th century. Perched atop Rocheux spur, a few short kilometres from the Swiss border, the castle stands sentinel over the road that was once the only way through the Jura Mountains.
> Baume les Messieurs Abbey: a unique site that combines a grand natural setting, history, and heritage. Baume imperial abbey was founded in the 6th century and is nestled away in a spectacular natural canyon with three vertical walls stretching up to 200m.
"des Tufs" falls, Jura - ©CRT de Franche-Comté
Contrary to popular wisdom, holidays in the mountains don’t have to be all about physical exertion. Protected, almost always wild, and boasting extraordinary flora and fauna, the Jura Mountains also offer the perfect opportunity to admire Mother Nature’s many facets:
Firstly, of course, the iconic mountain peaks, which are represented in the Jura Massif by the Mont d’Or, rising to 1463m, and the Crêt de la Neige, the highest summit in the Jura Mountains at 1720m.
The next most abundant feature is water. Discover peaceful lakes that provide the perfect setting for quiet contemplation: the Lac de Châlain, Lac de Vouglans, Lac Saint Point, and the Ilay Narlay and Maclu glacial lakes form magnificent, as yet undeveloped landscapes. Not to mention the waterfalls and springs that dot the region. Saut du Doubs is a national heritage site with a drop of 27m: Hérisson falls, with a chain of no less than 31 falls, the Lison springs and their spectacular limestone architecture, and the Ain gorges where water and stone collide... each one of these not only a unique site but also a natural paradise that delights philosophers and other dreamers.
In order to truly appreciate and understand the Jura's mosaic of open expanses, forests, pasture, prairies, cattle, and its inhabitants, plan a visit to the Parc Naturel du Haut-Jura, where the fragile natural environment has been protected since 1986.
The outstanding natural heritage is matched by an equally flourishing cultural heritage. A stroll through the region’s charming villages reveals another side of the Jura Mountains: Set out to discover Pontarlier, one of France’s highest villages at 850m above sea level, and absinthe capital of the world. Visit Goumois, “the pearl of Doubs and home of fly-fishing”, stop by Grand Combe Chateleu, the village with most farms in the region, or spend some time in Nozeroy, a medieval town built in sandstone. Visitors can also pay a visit to two of “the most beautiful villages of France”:Château Chalon and Baume les Messieurs.