In the west of Switzerland, the Jura Route winds its way through undulating hills stretching from Basel to Lake Geneva. On the way, it passes lonely plateaus with vast meadows and magnificent fir trees, winding through unspoiled forests, picturesque valleys and mysterious upland moors. As a cyclist, you will scale steep peaks which will reveal unforgettable views as you follow the Jura Route. You will cycle along shimmering rivers and wild streams, enjoying lush pastures with grazing cows and horses in pastures lined with straight dry stone walls that are typical of the Jura.
The 180 miles (290 kilometers) long Jura route takes you in six stages from Basel to Nyon on Lake Geneva. You will ride through the Jura mountains as they stretch along the French border for the whole ride, passing highlights such as the Lac de Joux or the Jura Vaudois Nature Park along the way.
With 5000 meters (16,400 feet) of climbing, the route is challenging. If you are looking for a slightly easier ride, you can easily cut the stages in half as there are many overnight accommodation options along the entire Jura route, such as camping sites, holiday rentals, and hotels. You could also shorten the stages by taking the train: each start and end point, including Basel and Nyon, can be reached by train and you will also find railway stations en route. So, don't worry about your fitness level, you can take on the Jura route as slowly as you want.
Start of the Jura Route is in Basel. You can get to the lively city by train. Basel is approached by both national local and long-distance traffic as well as international trains from Germany or France. After you have looked around the city on the Rhine and paid a visit to the beautiful market square with the red town hall, it starts.You cycle from the old town and through various suburbs to the south. It goes uphill continuously. In Therwil, turn right and drive past picturesque fields to France. At the small detour to the Upper Alsace you circle the Landskronberg, on which the ruin of the castle of the same name sits enthroned.Back in Switzerland, you will climb the first hills of the Jura and enjoy the beautiful nature, which is characterized by lush meadows and dense forests. Along the border La Lucelle you drive on Swiss, sometimes on the French side to the Lac de Lucelle. Through a gentle hilly landscape you then cycle to the stage goal Courtemautruy. In the village there is a rest stop. You can spend the night in neighboring Courgenay. There is also a train station if you only want to drive this one stage.
Right at the beginning of the second stage, a steep climb awaits you, which will take you over the Col de la Croix, whose pass is at 789 meters. A long descent will then take you past beautiful pastures populated in many places by happy cows, and through beautiful forests.At the lowest point of the stage you reach the medieval St. Ursanne, which lies on the Jurassic River Doubs. In the picturesque town, you can take a break to gather new strength for the next ascent.Full of energy then you crank up altitude for altitude up on the plateau of the Franches Montagnes. Once at the top you can enjoy wonderful views over the wide, tranquil Jura landscape with lush meadows and romantic forests. Here and there you can also see some satisfied cows and horses grazing. Through this idyllic landscape you cycle on a relatively flat stretch to the stage destination Saignelégier. In the village you will find rest stops as well as accommodations and a train station.
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The third leg of the Jura Route begins with a hilly stretch that takes you past the mysterious Moor pond Etang de la Gruère and the pretty Jura farms. Some places that are suitable for small breaks, are also on the way.About halfway there is a steep climb waiting for you, which brings you to the Mont-Soleil, which is with 1.289 meters the highest point of the mountain range of the Montagne du Droit. On the summit you can expect a huge solar power plant and several wind turbines, but also peacefully grazing cows and a magnificent view. Just below the summit you will find the mountain station of a funicular railway as well as a restaurant and café to stop off.Strengthened you enjoy the ride over the flat ridge of the Mont-Soleil, which holds some climbs, but also many refreshing downhill runs for you. Finally, you reach the stage destination La Chaux-de-Fonds. Well worth a visit to the International Watch Museum with over 4,500 exhibits. In addition to the museum, the city also offers rest stops, a wide range of accommodation and a train station.
Today, on the fourth leg of the Jura Route, it's a bit more relaxed, with fast descents and long, flat stretches waiting for you next to the typical climbs.Right behind La Chaux-de-Fonds, you will cycle through the typical Jura countryside, with rolling green hills adorned with lovely woods. After reaching the highest point at 1,166 meters, it's off in a fast descent to La Sagne. Through the Vallée des Ponts and the bog Les Ponts-des-Martel, you will cycle on flat stretches past vast plains framed by wooded hills.After a last climb you enjoy a long, fast descent down to Travers. Through the beautiful Val-de-Travers you cycle directly along the river Areuse. On completely flat paths you drive so directly on the shore to the finish Fleurier. In addition to a train station you will also find numerous restaurants and various accommodation such as hotels or a campsite.
At the beginning of the fifth stage you cycle comfortably through a beautiful valley along the river Le Buttes to the town of the same name. Afterwards, the first big climb of the day awaits you, taking you through refreshing forests to a wide plateau.In L'Auberson, make a detour to Sainte-Croix, which will take you across the Col des Etroits. In Sainte-Croix, which is almost halfway, offers a long break. If you want to shorten or halve the stage, you will find here a train station to continue or overnight accommodation.With renewed strength you drive back to L'Auberson and past lovely meadows and through untreated forests over the Col de L'Alguillon. After a rapid descent through wonderful nature you reach the place Baulmes at the lowest point of the stage. From here you cycle through the hilly landscape of the Jura to the final destination Vallorbe, where you will find a good selection of accommodation, restaurants and a train station.
Today, the last stage of the Jura Route is on and this is once again very beautiful and varied.Immediately after leaving Vallorbe, you will dive into the wonderfully quiet forests that will take you up to the picturesque Lac de Joux. You cycle along a relatively flat stretch along the long lake, passing beautiful beaches where you can take refreshing bathing breaks or just enjoy the view of the clear water.Then it goes uphill again, into the beautiful nature park Jura Vaudois. Here your gaze wanders over the lush green meadows with their typical dry stone walls. Happy grazing cows and the romantic fir forests make the idyll perfect.On a long descent you finally roll through the beautiful nature, various villages and vineyards down to Nyon on Lake Geneva. Here you have reached the destination of the stage and the Jura route. On the shores of Lake Geneva with a view of the opposite Alps, you can end this beautiful bike ride duly, before you start the journey home from the station.