The Grandes traversées du Jura (GTJ)

The Grandes Traversées du Jura offer 6 main routes across the mountains of Jura where you can practice 6 different ways of trekking.

Along these suggested routes are villages where you can always rest and enjoy good company.

Hikers will enjoy the GTJ hiking route which guides you along marked and maintained trails in a well-preserved and wild environment. Stop-overs every 20 kilometres are recommended to enjoy the Jura mountains peacefully.

For mountain bikers, there is the GTJ mountain biking route. This route is partly easy, partly demanding, but bikers of all levels can bike it: when the route becomes too difficult, “lighter” options are provided as alternatives.

The GTJ road biking route guides you along scenic countryside roads throughout the Jura mountains. Whether you plan to ride a hundred kilometres in a row or to take it easy, this route will let you discover the richness of Jura’s heritage.

On the GTJ horseback riding route, riders can enjoy the beautiful scenery from horse back. Riding 30 kilometres or so per day will give you enough time for a picnic or a dip in a lake. It is the only route of the Grandes Traversées that goes through the wine country. Specific lodging facilities for riders and their horses have been selected along this route.

Skiers can take the GTJ skiing route, which offers marked and maintained ski trails across the country. Cross-country skiing in the Jura’s rough winter climate for a whole day can be demanding, but dining on a fondue jurassienne or baked Mont d’Or cheese in a guest house is such a rewarding experience!

Snowshoe hikers will enjoy nature to the fullest on the GTJ snowshoeing route: no groomed trails, no hiking trails, just wild nature! If you happen to be the first one to leave your footprints on powdery snow after a snowfall, the only way to get around is to follow the posts that mark the way.

GTJ Hiking Route

The Grande Traversée du Jura hiking route takes long-distance hikers all along Jura’s crescent-shaped massif on the mythical GR®5 and GR®9 trails.

It begins in the north, in the country of Montbéliard: do not hesitate to stop for a while and visit the city of the Dukes of Württemberg. It quickly veers upward on the highest plateaux and then goes back down toward the beautiful Doubs river. It follows the river’s banks along the Swiss border all the way to Villers-le-Lac, and then goes through a picturesque scenery composed of pastures, where Montbéliard cows graze, and deciduous forests. This is the country of typical comtois farmhouses, with their imposing “tuyé” chimneys where the sausages and ham you will certainly eat at a guest house are smoked. After Pontarlier, it meets the Joux fortress, then the Saint-Point lake, two places in the foothills of Mont d’Or, the highest mount in the Doubs department (1463 m). The summit gives a beautiful and compelling view over the Alps… This is where the Haut-Jura regional nature park begins. The trail winds its way between spruce forests and lush narrow valleys, in a rich and preserved environment. You will then arrive at Mouthe, a village known for its harsh winters and the place where the river you have been following since the beginning of your trip starts its journey. As a side note, the Doubs department takes its name from this river. Further on, the trail will take you to Chapelle-des-Bois, with its narrow valley and two lakes nestled between the Mont-Noir forest and the Risoux cliffs. In Les Rousses, take some time to listen to the story of the Massacre forest before venturing into it. Try to imagine the bird who lives here, because it is unlikely you will get to see it even if you walk in its territory; the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus, Grand Tetras in French) that still inhabits our forests is a very discreet animal. Its presence is the result of a well preserved natural environment, and the heritage of a natural and wild mountainous habitat. Only a short hike is required to walk through the beautiful Hautes-Combes, and you will be able to admire the Haute-Chaîne of the Jura.