Trip to Haut Jura Regional Nature Park
If you want to get away from it all and perhaps feel like you are the only person in the world visit the Jura Mountains. Less than one hour from Geneva, the Haut-Jura region of the Jura Massif is a protected natural park which offers peaks ranging from 800 meters to 1600 meters and is an unspoiled haven for skiers, hikers and simple nature enthusiasts.
Eighty percent of the range is covered by forest but visitors will also find authentic mountain fields covered with snow in the winter and wildflowers in the spring. There are rustic farms with cows, bells rhythmically ringing, in the summer. Small villages nestle at the foot of the valleys where you can buy hand-crafted souvenirs and taste a variety of local food products such as cheeses, smoked or salted meats and honey. This is also a great place to get a glimpse of a traditional Swiss chalet.
Take advantage of the 100 kilometers of downhill slopes and the more than 220 kilometers of Nordic tracks. This area also offers the best options for night skiing in the area. If skiing is not your thing, there are abundant opportunities to sledge, dog sledge and snowshoe. Don’t miss having meal at one of the rustic lodges accessible only by foot and serving traditional fondue, rösti, dried meats, local wines and alcohols.
In summer there are hiking opportunities for all, from leisurely strolls of less than one hour to all day forays into rugged wilderness. One of the most popular hikes is the 2 hour climb from the Col de la Givrine to la Dôle summit. You can also try grass-skiing or swing golf, a rustic version of the traditional game using three-sided clubs and larger ball.
Les Rousses, France
In French park, it is possible to rent ponies from the Tinguely Equestrian Centre for rides in the countryside. In July or August take a swim in the picturesque Lac de Rousses or rent a peddle boat, sailboat, canoe or kayak. In Les Rousses you will also find the Golf du Saint Jean, an 18-hole course complete with putting green, club house, bar and restaurant, as well as Le Fort which served as the training ground for French commando forces until 1997. It is now open public exploration and includes a tree climbing course.
Geneva to Haut Jura Park
From Geneva take the A1 motorway direction Lausanne or if your schedule allows, the scenic “Lake Road” (Route 1). Begin you climb into the mountains from the town of Nyon towards Saint Cergue. Continuing in the direction of la Cure/Dole you will reach Col de la Givrine, pass the border town of La Cure and cross into France. From here you can follow the road signs to Les Rousses.
Train Geneva to Haut Jura
Take advantage of the regular train service from Geneva to Nyon. In Nyon change to the small tourist train travelling to Saint-Cergue / La Cure. This train stops at Saint-Cergue, Col de la Givrine and La Cure but no longer crosses the border into France. A single ticket from Geneva costs around CHF 20 and the trip is approximately one hour 10 minutes.
Accommodation in Haut Jura
If you would like to extend your visit there are a variety of accommodation options to choose from, including hotels, bed & breakfasts, camping and self-catering chalets and apartments.