If you love nature, you’ll adore Jura. With its fragrant pine forests, cascading waterfalls, crystal-clear rivers, high lakes and craggy outcrops, this is the place to feast on fresh air and immerse yourself in the sights, activities and aromas of some of central France’s most beautiful countryside.
In short, Jura is a haven for mountain biking, walking, fishing, hiking and generally exploring. Plus Keycamp’s walking notes can really help you make the most of this region.
The Jura are regions of stunning natural beauty, with wonderful lakes, cascading waterfalls and meandering rivers and streams hidden amongst the densely forested hillsides. In the heart of the Jura, the beautiful lakes at Chalain and Clairvaux are near grottoes and caverns carved out of limestone hills. The Vosges, part of the Lorraine region of France, has sweeping vineyards in the foothills of the forested Vosges Mountains, dotted with open, grassy pastures and glacial lakes, and valleys cut deeply into the mountains.
Perhaps the most impressive of all Jura’s lakes, Lac de Chalain covers an area of approximately 230 hectares and is ideal for fishing and watersports, including sailing, rowing, kayaking, windsurfing and canoeing. Plus there are also many excellent woodland trails nearby. As the lake and its surrounding area have been designated a protected zone, motorboats are prohibited; something that ensures a trip to Lac de Chalain is particularly peaceful.
The third largest artificial lake in France, Lake Vouglans stretches out for over 30 kilometres and provides opportunities for fishing, water-skiing and jet skiing, as well as canoeing, sailing and rowing. Located between Orgelet and Moirans en Montagne, the lake also has three well-equipped beaches.
Don some sturdy footwear, pack a waterproof and head off to Hérisson River Valley for an amazing natural treat. Starting its life high in the mountains at Lake Bonlieu, after ploughing through some particularly narrow ravines, the Hérisson river plunges in truly spectacular fashion down a succession of seven magnificent waterfalls.
Capital of Alsace, this ancient city is dominated by the soaring spire of one of the loveliest cathedrals in France. Petite France is the most picturesque area of old Strasbourg where the river divides into four canals spanned by covered bridges.
Beautiful hanging valley, or reculée, near Lons-le-Saunier. The valley-floor is lined with fascinating caves.
Germany’s Black Forest stretches from Strasbourg in the north to Basel in the south. Enjoy long walks in the countryside or drive along the Rhine valley.
The attractive village of Doucier is surrounded by natural lakes. From here follow the beautiful woodland trails along the River Hérisson.
Beautiful Swiss city set amidst stunning alpine scenery on Lac Leman. Steamer trips operate across the lake. Walk along the Quai du Mont Blanc and see the highest fountain in the world, the magnificent Jet d’Eau.
This region offers stunning countryside for walking in beautiful surroundings, stopping off at places such as the Hérisson Waterfalls, or charming medieval towns. We provide detailed walking notes for customers at the campsites at Lac de Chalain, describing local routes.
Enjoy the many bike trails taking you through stunning scenery near these campsites, from demanding mountain climbs to gentle rides around the lake.
A fascinating frescoe shows the evolution of animal and human life from pre-history. A great day out for children near sites in the Jura.
Follow a sign-posted walk of about two hours to the cave where the notorious bandit and smuggler Mandrin found shelter.
Lively watersports centre on the banks of Lake Géradmer, surrounded by spectacular walking country.
Once the capital of the Free Province of Burgundy, Dole is perhaps best known for the old town that nestles around the 16th Century church of Notre Dame. Dole’s origins actually stretch back to the 11th Century and a stroll around the old town and the Place Nationale will not only provide a fascinating lesson into the history of architecture, but also a trip back in time. The birthplace of Louis Pasteur in 1822, Dole proudly offers the opportunity to visit the Maison Natale de Pasteur and Musée Pasteur. In the nearby Musée des Beaux Arts, you can discover more about the archaeology of the region, as well as view a good selection of French paintings and contemporary art.
One of the most picturesque towns in the Jura, Arbois sits amongst impressive forests and some of the region’s most celebrated vineyards. With several wine cellars open to the public, you will be able to taste a good selection of local wines during your visit. Don’t spend too long in the wine cellars, however, or you’ll miss the chance to visit Maison de Pasteur, the boyhood home (and favoured holiday destination) of Louis Pasteur, the scientist most famous for discovering pasteurisation. While in Arbois, wander around the Place de la Liberté, with its 18th Century houses, look inside the yellow-ochre coloured church of St Just and soak up the views from the Pont des Capucins bridge.
Pretty medieval town with narrow cobbled streets, lined with 16th century half-timbered houses.
Picturesque village with a fortified bridge, overlooked by castle ruins that form part of the town walls.
One of the best-preserved castles in the region. Superb views over the valley.
An old Roman town close to the vineyards and Jura plateau.
Situated on the shoreline of the beautiful Lac de Chalain, 4km from Doucier, this is an ideal base for exploring the lakes, forests, waterfalls and hills of this stunning area.
Set in a beautiful location on the shores of Lac de Chalain and close to the stunning Cascades du Hérisson waterfalls, this parc is a perfect walking and hiking spot.
Enjoying a rural setting in the former estate of a château. Canoeing on the river that runs past the parc is very popular, while the lakeside beach offers both fishing and pedalos.
The perfect opportunity to have a second Keycamp holiday!
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