Outdoor family activities in the French Jura mountains

You don't have to travel the world to experience something special - the best things are often found closer to home. One thing's for sure though: in the middle of the natural landscape of the Jura - away from the hustle and bustle and the crowds - you'll find everything you need to escape from everyday life and really disconnect ... whether it's a family hike in unspoilt nature, a visit to explore local savoir-faire or a picnic with local specialities.

Breathtaking natural sites

You'll get a real health kick in the Jura mountains thanks to their many beautiful rivers, springs, lakes, waterfalls and impressive landscapes. The Saut du Doubs waterfalls, Cascades du Hérisson, Sources du Lison, Source de la Loue and Pertes de l'Ain are not to be missed. Some of the Jura's waterways are particularly exceptional, such as the Valserine River, which has been awarded the 'Wild Rivers' label. And if you're looking for crystal clear waters without heading to sea, the whole family will love swimming in the lakes near Lamoura, Saint-Point, Genin, Les Rousses, Chalain and Vouglans. The wild landscapes of the Pays des Lacs are made up of some 20 lakes formed during the Ice Age. The picturesque marshes and lakes of the Jura play a fundamental role in our ecosystem and have been honoured this year by their inclusion on the list of protected Ramsar sites.

The Jura waterfalls (External link)

Family mountain biking in Métabief

The resort of Métabief offers a well-developed network of cycle tracks which extends over 25km. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced cyclist, you'll enjoy your descent with remarkable views of Switzerland and the Alps. Take the VTT Enduro de Métabief course with your family: between forests, meadows and hills, this course is adapted to children from four to 12 years old. Enduro is a mountain bike discipline which combines downhill and cross-country courses.

Have fun exploring the mountains

Want to experience mountain life in the French Jura up close? In the Montbéliard area, children can even take part in milking cows! A visit to the Maison de la Vache Qui Rit (External link) is also worthwhile. The famous cheese is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Fancy a trip back in time? Then plunge into prehistory and learn how to make fire in the Cerdon caves (External link) or travel back to medieval times in Montcornelles. The whole family will have fun!

Try a giant zipline

Looking for an exciting activity for teenagers on your holiday? You'll have an unforgettable experience in Mijoux, where a giant zipline (External link) connects the top of the 1,323-metre-high Col de la Faucille with the village of Mijoux at 1,000 metres. Two people can whizz down the mountain side by side at the same time!

Have a speciality picnic

There are many specialities in the Jura mountains that you should try during your holiday, the highlight being the famous Comté du Jura. This year, the brand new Maison du Comté opens its doors, an original combination of museum and cheese factory in the form of a cheese wheel. Immerse yourself and your family in the world of France's most popular cheese and learn all about its production.

Other popular cheeses are also made in the Jura include Mont d'Or, Morbier, Cancoillotte and Bleu de Gex. In addition, parents will enjoy tasting the delicous wines of the Jura: Vin jaune, Trousseau, Poulsard and Savagnin with PDOs Arbois, Château-Chalon and Côte du Jura, as well as the Bugey, Macvin, Vin de Paille and Crémant varieties.

Nature-focused accommodation

Eco campsite Le Valserine (External link) is situated at the foot of the highest peak in the Jura and on the banks of the Valserine. In 2020, it received the label 'Valeurs Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Jura', which recognises eco-friendly, sustainable development in the Jura. The campsite is not only a friendly place for holidaymakers, but also home to many animals: goats, chickens, rabbits and other residents delight the campsite's younger guests. In addition to 60 pitches, the site also offers cabins. Children can have fun in the pool too.

The various Cabanes du Val de Loue (External link) chalets are suitable for both couples and families. Each of the Scandinavian-style wooden cabins has its own private Nordic bath at the edge of the forest. Ideal for relaxing after a day of exploring!

Nature accommodation in the Jura (External link)