If you are looking for the perfect French Adventure holiday, far from the crowds, in a very natural setting, then our signature trip in the Jura is made just for you. Lying just north of the French Alps, the Jura forms an impressive arc of pretty, undulating limestone hills.

The western foothills are known as the Revermont and are home to unique wines, dramatic closed gorges that harbor medieval towns and villages, and stunning waterfalls. Further east, the land rises in steps with verdant forests, turquoise lakes, and summits that gaze out towards the French Alps and Mont Blanc. You’ll be discovering these wonders of the Jura at your own pace through a great mixture of multi-day and single-day activities, including horse-riding, hiking, and biking.

Leave the beaten tracks and discover the Jura, a land full of beauty and delicious local delicacies, ranging from cheeses like the famous Comté to the 'vin jaune,' or 'yellow wine'—one of the driest and most unique wines you’ll ever taste! The Jura in Eastern France is also synonymous with the work of Louis Pasteur, who worked in vineyards near the pretty town of Arbois. Discover this beautiful and unique region, wondering why you’ve never heard of it before. Just make sure you keep it a secret! 

Highlights

Day By day

Let’s the Adventure begin

To start your active French adventure, the closest airports are Lyon and Geneva. We can organize a stay in either of these beautiful historic cities to kick off your active trip. If you arrive in France's second city Lyon, then you'll first explore Pérouges where you'll meet your private guide: let this medieval town uncover its historical charm, medieval architecture, and local stories. Stroll through its streets, and you’ll feel transported back in time to the Middle Ages! Don't hesitate to stop for lunch or a snack in one of the many restaurants to try the local specialty – tarte au sucre. Next, stop off in Lons-le-Saunier, the capital of Jura. Join a guided tour of the old town to learn more about the history of Lons or visit the “Vache qui Rit” - Laughing Cow Museum. Yes, the brand of spreadable cheese originated from this area! Then, hop in the car for a quick drive to your exceptional guest house in the heart of the region. Overnight: Revermont

Perfect Picnic in Scenic Jura

For the first full day of your active tour in the Jura in eastern France, we highly recommend starting with a visit to the local market to gather ingredients for your homemade picnic! Afterward, make your way to the picturesque village of Baume-les-Messieurs, with its historic abbey. Its location at the convergence of 3 gorges makes this a truly amazing and unique place. You have the choice of several walks depending on how quickly you want to get active! We organise self-guided walking holidays in the Jura and so have years of experience to offer in proposing the best hikes just for you. All the hikes go to the end of the main gorge where you’ll discover 'La Cascade des Tufs,' a picturesque waterfall where the interaction between limestone, vegetation, and water means that the fall is constantly changing form. Here, take a guided visit of an amazing cave, discovering the underground karstic world of the Jura. Afterward, you’ll climb steps cut into the cliffs to reach a viewpoint offering a magnificent panorama of the gorge and the fortified village of Baume-les-Messieurs. The hike can be extended by traversing through cooling forests to reach more superb viewpoints, including one at Grange sur Beaume where you can buy some local cheese at its fromagerie. Overnight: Revermont

From White Gold to Yellow Wine

Dive a bit deeper into the gastronomic history of the Jura by exploring two historic sites connected to the salt trade. First up is Salins-les-Bains, a town of character overlooked by historic fortifications, where the local salt deposits made the town prosperous in the Middle Ages. Visit the old mine, a UNESCO World Heritage site with an interactive tour that takes you through the underground passages where this 'white gold' was extracted before heading to the Salt Museum, to learn about the difficult conditions of the workers. Next, it's onto the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, where the salt was treated after being excavated from the mine. Built under the orders of the French King Louis XV, it’s a rare masterpiece of industrial architecture. Explore this wonderful site which covers 13 hectares of parkland, an immersive Center of Lights, permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as 30 tree-lined gardens. Later in the day, drive to Château-Chalon, renowned as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France' and the birthplace of yellow wine (vin jaune). Stroll through its medieval streets, marvel at the stunning panoramas the village offers, and be enchanted by its ancient charm. There are plenty of wineries where you can taste and learn more about the famous vin jaune, which is matured in barrels for more than 6 years before being bottled! The wine that evaporates (part des anges) is not replaced, and so this reduced amount is represented by the unique squat bottles in which the wine is sold. Overnight: Revermont

Two-Day Horse Riding Retreat in the Wilderness

Welcome to 'your journey within the journey' as you saddle up for one of the most unique experiences we offer. If you're seeking exceptional memories in remote places, this is the perfect activity for you. You’re going to enjoy a two-day guided horse-riding hike with a tour journeying into the remote Jura countryside with just the gallop of hooves and the cry of birds for company. On the first day, get to know your horses and build a trusting relationship with them before setting off on your guided adventure. Ride along an untamed river while the Jura unfolds before your eyes, discovering some of the natural wonders that make the Jura so unique to France. After this tiring day, you’ll be ready to enjoy a delicious and authentic local meal at your overnight guesthouse in the heart of the unspoiled Jura. Overnight: Montadroit

Final Gallop Around Lake Vouglans

Begin the morning with a traditional French breakfast before outdoor vacation continues with your second day of horse-riding! Discover Lake Vouglans, with its turquoise waters contrasting with the deep green hues of the Jura forest. Perched 430 metres above sea level between Lons-le-Saunier and Saint-Claude, Vouglans Lake stretches for 35km, offering 35km of emerald-green water and a playground of choice for summer activities. Ride around the lake before stopping for a well-earned picnic on the shores, where you and the horse can dip your toes in the refreshing waters. Enjoy these last moments with your equine companion before returning to your beautiful guesthouse in the western Jura to relax by the pool. Overnight: Revermont

Waterfalls Wonders

Today on your off-the-beaten-track tour in the Jura you'll discover the finest series of waterfalls in France, as well as a region of lakes often likened to the Canadian wilderness. The first stop is the Cascades du Hérisson, a succession of waterfalls stretching over several kilometers, where a picturesque trail allows you to explore the stream as it cascades its way down the mountain. The first two falls are the most impressive, each with drops of over 50m! Choose between different length hikes before heading to a beautiful nearby lake. Picnic on the shores before embarking on a hike around four glacial lakes in a pristine natural landscape of forest and upland meadows. The more adventurous can climb to 'Pic de l’Aigle' for great views across the Jurassic wilderness. You’ll feel rejuvenated by nature as you return to your guesthouse, where we have arranged a massage for you. Overnight: Revermont

Say Cheese!

Take a break from your active outdoor adventures, and let's focus for the day on the gastronomy of the Jura. First, join a guided tour of Poligny, the town where you will be staying tonight. Although it may seem like a very small village, it is indeed the sixth most populated town in the county of Jura with a little more than 4,000 inhabitants. As you’ve probably already understood, Jura is one of the least populated counties in France! The town has many historic buildings, with our personal favorite being a church that has been converted into a wine cellar where you can try the local wines! After your tour, head to the Maison du Comté to discover the history of this famous cheese from Jura and how it's made, and of course, don't hesitate to buy some to bring home, along with the less well-known but equally tasty Morbier! If you get itchy feet and need to stay active, there is a lovely walk of the nearby gorge leaving from Poligny, which traverses a prestine Jura forest where you feel like you’ve stepped into a lost world, straight out of a Jules Verne novel! For the night, head to your nearby hotel nestled in the wild with amazing views of the Jura. Overnight: Poligny

Flavourful Bike Tour

Continue your gastronomic discovery of the Jura with an exceptional biking tour, including a winery visit and a cheese tasting. Accompanied by our insightful guide, set out from Arbois and bike through the 'Reculée des Planches,' home to an amazing river and magnificent views of the valley. The tour is 17 kilometers long and suitable for all, but we can adjust the difficulty as you wish. End your exploration with a visit of Arbois and the house of Louis Pasteur, famous for his work on pasteurization. This is a unique heritage site, still regularly visited by scientists. Preserved in the same state as when Louis Pasteur lived in it, the house immerses visitors in the life and work of the scientist. Afterward, return to your accommodation and unwind with a massage and sauna session to relax your muscles! Overnight: Poligny

Keep an eye out to spot the wildlife

Today, explore the Jura's iconic wildlife with a naturalist guide. Learn about the beautiful and protected animals that call the Jura home as you venture through hills offering stunning views of the Jura and snow-capped Alps. Let your expert guide lead you in discovering chamois, lynx cats, marmots, or the peregrine falcon. Next, cross the highest pass in the Jura, leaving France behind to enter Switzerland, and descend into the city of Geneva to drop off your car. Explore its old town in the evening and enjoy dinner at a fine restaurant. Overnight: Geneva

Final Explorations in the Heart of Geneva

After breakfast, take a stroll through the city and explore the beautiful lake as your outdoor French adventure comes to a close. If you're a chocolate lover, you're in for a treat!

With the Alps within touching distance, why not extend your European adventure by including a hiking tour?

Take a look at out self-guided walking holidays to find out more

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Our Expertinsight

"The Jura is truly unique in France with beautiful landscape that you won’t find anywhere else, but sitting right next to the Alps it tends to get overlooked, which is great for those people who like to avoid the crowds. But it’s not just the landscapes that are special, there are also the unique wines, famous cheeses and wonderful mushrooms. You can’t leave the Jura without having tasted the famous “vin jaune”, but it’s best enjoyed with some local cheese, of which my personal favourite is Morbier. Local free-range chicken with wild mushrooms cooked with vin jaune would be my recommended dish. We regularly run walking holidays in the Jura and so we’ll provide you with a guidebook which means you can pick and choose your walks as you wish. To experience the waterfalls at their best, I would choose the months of May or October."

William, Local Expert

Testimonials

guillemet

Each day was different. Lovely accommodation with interesting places to visit. I liked the freedom of cycling into a town and finding a cafe. Lovely food and wine. Many thanks for your friendly but unobtrusive help and attention to detail.
Jenny and Chris P.

guillemet

We enjoyed the time to relax together, enjoying excellent food and wine, easy and interesting walks with some fabulous views.....another excellent antidote to the hassle of modern life!
Angela & Neil B.

We are

a full-service Tour Operator and our trips generally include:
accommodation, transportation, visits, immersive experiences, personal crafting, unique roadbook creation and assistance on the ground (meals &amp, flights excluded). Please note that this trip price will vary based on factors such as your hotel preferences, your favourite transportation mode, whether you want to take part in shared group activities or private experiences, travel dates, and more. To receive a customized quote for your tailor-made trip, please reach out to us directly.

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