The high plateaux of the Jura mountains (wjura-tourism.com) guarantee good snow cover in winter, but they also lack the steep gradients of the Alpine peaks further to the south; it is this high but level terrain which has made the Jura into France’s most popular destination for cross-country skiing, or ski de fond. The goal of any superfit fondeur is the 175km Grande Traversée du Jura (GTJ), which crosses the high plateau from Villers-le-Lac to Giron, a town in the south of the Parc Naturel Régional Haut Jura.

The same gentle topography and established infrastructure that enable cross-country skiing have made this region an ideal high-summer venue for mountain biking, with hundreds of waymarked cross-country skiing pistes used out of season as trails for adventurous mountain bikers. The 360km GTJ–VTT, which starts near Montbéliard (just to the south of Belfort), has become the greatest long-distance biking challenge in the area. Many people cycle on the road; there aren’t many cars, so if you can handle the hills, then go for it.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

France features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Paris

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Paris

All the clichés about Paris are true – stylish, romantic, glamorous and utterly compelling – yet it retains surprises that continue to delight even the mos…

26 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
7 reasons why Lyon should be your next European weekend break

7 reasons why Lyon should be your next European weekend break

The ingredients for a great European weekend break are simple. You’ll need a walkable city centre, a handful of excellent restaurants, some cool bars, afforda…

26 Aug 2016 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
22 incredible pictures of Corsica

22 incredible pictures of Corsica

Just off the south of France, and closer to the coast of Italy, the small, mountainous island of Corsica lies in wait for the three million tourists that visit …

14 Jul 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month