Home to mountains, valleys, lakes and vineyards, Jura’s natural beauty will take your breath away. Stephanie Sheldrake explores one of France’s hidden treasures
Somewhat overshadowed by the Alps further south, the Jura Mountains are without doubt one of France’s best-kept secrets. The mountain range, which stretches north to south along the Swiss border, is a magnet for lovers of the great outdoors.
One of the best ways to enjoy this area is on foot: the mountains are home to the Grande Traversée du Jura (GTJ), a 400km trail which runs form Mandeure in the neighbouring department of Doubs to the north, down to Culoz in the department of Ain to the south. The paths of the Haut-Jura were first made by Benedictine monks and have been used throughout the ages by all sorts of travellers from peddlers and smugglers to farmers and children on their way to school. The GTJ is now one of Cross-country skiing