My French Jura escape, by Floriane Brisotto
Floriane Brisotto, Presenter of the “Montagne TV” television broadcast station, is a real and authentic globetrotter: Africa, Asia, South America etc… After having lived a number of exciting human adventures, she has now decided to launch into a completely new adventure just 2 hours away from Paris: the discovery of the French Jura over the large and diverse selection of rambling and walking trails, the French Jura escape (300 km between Dole and Saint-Claude, passing through Les Rousses).
“My programme was 13 days hiking. From the low lying plains to the heights of the French Jura. The starting point of my trek was Dole, a town rich in art and history”.
Over the first part of the circuit, between the Dole region and vineyards, Floriane discovered the rich heritage of the French Jura, between UNESCO sites (Arc-et-Senans, and Salins-les-Bains), some of the ¹”Plus Beaux Villages de France” (¹The Prettiest Villages in France), amongst which Château-Chalon and Baume-les-Messieurs, and ²”Petites Cités Comtoises de Charactère” (²Small Characteristic French Jura Villages) some of which a nestled in a steep-head valley (Reculée), a typical French Jura geological formation.
“On the seventh day, I reached the halfway point of the 260 km journey, and I am still charmed and in awe of the region. I passed near Lons-le-Saunier, a Spa town, also the French Jura Local Government town, just before moving up to the 1st plateau. The Ain river is never very far away, and the landscape became more abrupt which I think will make the hike more visually pleasant and challenging”.
The second part of the French Jura escape was definitely much more rural and wild. There is water just about everywhere in one form or another, with a large number of natural lakes with cool refreshing water (Chalain, Chambly, Le Val, Ilay, Narlay, Petit & Grand Maclu amongst others), very impressive gorges with twisting and twirling waters (Langouette, Saine, Flumen), and a selection of remarkable waterfalls in the Hérisson River Valley.
“After 200 km of trekking, the change of landscape is now noticeable… It is now a mountain range! My last climb was up to Les Rousses on the Swiss border. The French Jura escape then continued on to Saint-Claude, but I decided to stop at Les Rousses. I Felt as if I was missing-out on something, as I did not make it to the Hautes-Combes which is one of the most picturesque parts of the circuit. It will have to be for another time! In any case, I will never forget the 13 days spent here, strong sensations and many good memories. The French Jura has enabled me to live an exceptional and unexpected adventure”.
The French Jura escape is not simply a trek; it is the guarantee of an adventure where you can meet the locals who are very proud to claim the “French Jura welcome”!
Photo credits: Stéphane Godin/Jura Tourisme, Didier Lacroix/CDT Jura