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Trans Jura Swiss

TJS Trans Jura Swiss

The Swiss Jura a Nordic Ski Paradise

The 'Trans-Jura Swiss' is a 'tracked' point-to-point cross country ski journey over the Swiss mountains of the Jura. Following the success of our Grand Traverse of the Jura (GTJ), which is mainly in France, we are pleased to now offer the 'TJS' - the Swiss version. Starting within easy reach of Geneva the journey, first made in 1976, is made on classic cross country skis. If it is peace and tranquillity and a true taste of authentic mountain life you seek, then look no further!

Our route starts at the Col Givrine and travels eastwards along the Swiss/French border finishing at the well named 'Vue des Alpes'. Nearly all on prepared, pressed tracks covering 154km, the route keeps high along the Jura ridge and offers superb views into the Canton of Jura and southwards towards the Alps and Neuchâtel. Each day we aim to cover between 17-35km whilst carrying a small day pack. The trail keeps high and sometime feels very remote ensuring the best snow conditions. The terrain changes continuously amidst a beautiful landscape. Each night we arrive at our hotel to find our luggage waiting for us.

  • A 6-day point-to-point ski tour across the Swiss Jura
  • Ski 154km on prepared trails - West to East - Ascend: 3630m - Descend: 3545m
  • Hotel accommodation, some with saunas
  • Single rooms available most nights
  • We are one of the few operators offering this classic ski journey
  • All luggage transported for you - so carry just a day pack

Thank you Vlad Plasternak for your video from our January 2015 GTJ - a great week!

Departures

Trip Departure date End date Price Status
TJS1 18 Sat 20 January 18 Sat 27 January 18 £1795 Places available | Make a Booking
TJS2 18 Sat 3 February 18 Sat 10 February 18 £1795 Trip Guaranteed | Make a Booking
TJS3 18 Sat 17 February 18 Sat 24 February 18 £1795 Places available | Make a Booking
TJS4 18 Sat 24 February 18 Sat 3 March 18 £1795 Places available | Make a Booking

Trip Level 

The TJS traverse is designed for those that can confidently get on their skis and go! Due to the distances, ascent and descent we grade this trip as Advanced. On our first day we will spend time to find our ski legs, but we do expect participants to be able to ski a variety of terrain and longer journeys of 20-35km per day. Participants should be able to ski at a good pace and have mastered a controlled snowplough for both undulating and any steeper descents and turns. You should be at a very good fitness level and be able to ski up to 6 hours per day.

Trans Jura Swiss or GTJ in France? 

The Jura north, north east of Geneva runs along the border of France & Switzerland and is a ‘must do’ region for all cross country skiers.

Our two tours are for experienced cross country skiers wishing to cross either the French or the Swiss range, point-to-point, from valley to valley. Both trips offer well groomed with first class trails and soak up the history, culture and gastronomy along the way.

The French side is the ideal trip to first experience the Jura with offering a challenging over all distance and daily profile whilst visiting several small villages on route. Our accommodation is in a mix of characterful auberges and small hotels with a chance to try local dishes over your 3 course evening meals! There is one night in Switzerland on this tour and only a few nights are possible to arrange single rooms.

The Swiss experience is a more challenging tour involving more distance, ascent & descent, with the occasional section of un-groomed trail. Due to it’s occasional sections above the tree line and higher elevation the ’Swiss’ side has a more remote ski touring feel to it. This tour has one night in France offers all hotel accommodation with single rooms options available.

Developed in 1976 the Trans Jura Swiss (TJS) and our other trip the Grand Traverse of the Jura (GTJ) offer wonderful point-to-point journeys all on nordic/cross country skis. Nearly all on prepared trails the TJS is certainly the lesser 'known' route making the trails quiet and only used by locals and the occasional set of huskies!

Sitting on the border of both France and Switzerland, the Jura, a limestone plateau, lies north of Geneva stretching across to Neuchâtel and beyond. Steeped in history, geology and gastronomy it's mountains go on for miles, but unlike the jagged peaks of the Alps it's of the 'Nordic rolling' variety perfect for the enjoyment of cross country skiing!

The TJS features first class skiing linking farming meadows, mountain ridges, villages, lakes and high passes with one of the highlights being our final day completing our journey with a night at the col named 'Vue des Alpes'. The trail keeps high to seek the best snow conditions and in true Swiss style we of course expect to find well-pressed and maintained trails!

Bespoke Jura Trips

This trip can also be organised as a custom tailor-made holiday where the itinerary can be changed to match the quantity of days, ski locations and distances that suit the requirements of your group.

Itinerary

We always aim to complete the itinerary as outlined below, however, the following itinerary will be followed only when conditions and weather make it appropriate, both in terms of safety and enjoyment. Your guide will make a decision on your route based on those conditions.

Day 1 Meet in Les Rousses, France

For ease of ski rental and getting to the trail head we meet in Les Rousses, a French part of the Jura, close to Geneva. This typical French farming town has ATM's, a tourist office, post office, sports shops, supermarket and pharmacy, useful for any last minute purchases. It is also well known in the cross country ski world for hosting one of France's most important races the Transjurasienne. Close by are the towns of Morez and Morbier well known for their 300 year history in watch, clock, spectacle & cheese making.

Your guide will meet you at your accommodation to assist with organising any ski hire and to brief you on the days ahead. Dinner will be a traditional French Jura style menu.

Day 2 La Givrine to Col du Marchairuz

We begin our journey with a short transfer to La Givrine just over the Swiss / French border where we can buy our ski pass for the week.

Our route begins with a short climb from a road pass at 1228m. We soon link into a network of well pressed tracks through woodlands and mountain pastures. The trail undulates along a ridge keeping at 1300m winding it's way to the 'alp' and ski chalet of Pralets where we can stop for a picnic lunch. Continuing along rolling terrain we make the final climb to reach a mountain pass, the Col du Marchairuz at 1447m where we check into our first hotel for the night. We are rewarded too with the option of a sauna before supper. Total distance skied: 21km Ascent: 460m Descent: 230m.

Day 3 Col du Marchairuz to Col du Mollendruz

Leaving the Col du Marchairuz we enjoy much of the skiing today in open countryside linking high pastures below the peak of Mont Tendre (1678m) where in the summer the cows produce milk for both Tomme and Gruyere cheeses. Well situated for our lunch break is the 'Refuge Bon Accueil' an old railway carriage now offering an ideal mountain refuge at 1500m. We then commence a superb descent via the Chalet Mollendruz to taste the local coffee and cakes to reach the Col Mollendruz at 1200m where we finish today's ski. Here a taxi awaits to transfers us down to 1100m to our accommodation by the Lac de Joux for the night. Total distance skied: 17km Ascent: 340m Descent: 700m.

Day 4 Lac de Joux to Metabief

Today is one of the longest days and means for a prompt start. We resume our trail today in Pont by the Lac de Joux. Pont was once famous for it's 'ice-railway' as when the lake froze over jobs were created in cutting and shipping it's produce to the ice houses of wealthy family homes. The TJS then soon reaches the village of Les Charbonnieres named so from it's history of charcoal production. We then climb the Forêt de Risoux - the home to the famous wood used to make the stradavarius violins to Le Porteau on the French border. Here we find a 5km section of 'untracked' trail in the forest where we make the trail ourselves! We plan to have our lunch at the delightful Auberge Le Petite Echelle deep in the heart of the woods. Our afternoon ski meets again with good tracks before commencing a superb 300m descent below the Mont d'Or. A final 7km on rolling terrain finally gets us to Métabief a small ski town and our destination for the day. Due to limited accommodation here it is often necessary for our group to taxi to a neighbouring village for the night. Métabief is in France and has some shops including a pharmacy, bakers, supermarket, sports shop and an ATM. Total distance skied: 29km Ascent: 740m Descent: 755m.

Day 5 Metabief to Les Cernets

We rejoin the trail in Métabief and continue our crossing with another long but satisfying stage along the French/Swiss frontier. Through open farmland and deep forests we reach the Swiss liaison at Les Fourgs where we stop for our lunch. Gently well maintained trails continue before we reach a short section where we must remove and carry our skis for a walking descent. We walk over the Swiss border & customs control today at Les Verrieres-des-Joux - so don't forget your passport! If the snow is good we will now be back on track to complete Day 5 with a final 200m climb to reach our hotel for the night at the hamlet of Les Cernets. Total distance skied: 33km Ascent: 800m Descent: 730m.

Day 6 Les Cernets to La Brevine

A shorter day today means we can enjoy a later start. The trails from Les Cernets offer first class skiing as they regularly are used for both local and international cross country ski races. Meandering through small settlements and farmland we have now reached the canton of Neuchatel. Our destination is La Brevine known to locals as Swiss Siberia due to the fact that it once recorded Switzerland's lowest ever temperature of an amazing -40 degrees! To celebrate it hosts the annual Fête du Froid (cold festival) but don't worry we are promised that was a one off! Total distance skied: 21km Ascent: 500m Descent: 590m.

Day 7 La Brevine to La Vue des Alpes

Our final day on the Swiss Jura traverse crosses two valleys. The first 10 kilometres leaving La Brevine is on flat open trails to reach La Chaux-du-Milieu. We then climb over the 'La Grande Joux' giving us views north to the Val de Morteau in France. We aim to lunch at the auberge at Som Martel. A fun descent through the woods to La Sagne brings us to our second valley crossing where we commence our final 300m climb to reach the col of the Tete-de-Ran where we have views down to la Chaux de Fonds, birthplace of architect Le Corbusier. We complete our traverse with an easy ski down to La Vue des Alpes where on a clear day we are rewarded with views of the Jura as well as a stunning panorama of the Alps. We overnight here and enjoying a well deserved celebratory meal. Total distance skied: 33km Ascent: 790m Descent: 540m.

Day 8 Departure

Today is departure day and the package ends after breakfast. From the Hotel la Vue des Alpes a number of buses link down to La Chaux de Fonds where onward travel by train is possible via Neuchâtel to Geneva (2h20) or Basel (2h20). Travel information will be provided with the trip joining information or feel free to contact us for further details.

Price

Included: The fees of a qualified Nordic Ski Instructor who is also an International Mountain Leader and their expenses. Based on two people sharing, 7 nights half board accommodation and local taxes in hotels and on one night in a family run guest house. Twin, double or single rooms can be arranged. If a single room is requested a supplement will apply (please ask if you would like this option upon booking). Transfer to the trail head and luggage transfers (1x bag per person) to each hotel are also included in the trip price. Accommodation arrangements are dependent on our group numbers and availability at the time of booking.

Not included: Insurance, flights & transfers, the TJS ski pass (approximately 45 CHF for the week), ski hire (145 Euros), drinks, lunches & snacks.

If in the event of a poor winter season it could be that the complete traverse is not possible and that we are required to ski in different locations each day using a vehicle to transfer us along the lower sections. Depending on the group size this may or may not incur an additional fee, however previously when we have used a vehicle back up it has not cost our clients any more.

Minimum numbers

This trip requires a minimum of 4 clients to run. We take a maximum of 8 clients.

Insurance

Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. You must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. With regard to this please be sure you have read the Insurance section in our Terms and Conditions.

Ski Rental

Cross country skiing equipment, which includes 'fishscale' classic skis (not skates or waxables), Salomon compatible or NNN boots, bindings and poles, can be hired locally at the start of the traverse. The total ski hire for the week is 145 Euros per person (this includes the cost of returning the equipment to the hire shop at the end of the trip). You will make your payment for ski rental directly to the guide (cash only). All equipment hire must be arranged in advance, as it will be necessary to pre-order correct sizes. Please note your equipment hire on our booking form. We will need to know your height, weight, normal shoe size (you must give us your everyday shoe size and not your personal adjustment for wearing boots) and the measurement of your height up to your armpits (for ski pole hire). At the start of the trip your guide will accompany you to the hire shop, and at the end of the trip will collect any hire equipment and organise its return.

Further Information

Upon booking a full list of the necessary suitable clothing will be provided. As this trip uses mainly hotel accommodation it is not necessary to bring a sheet sleeping bag.

Both Euros and Swiss Francs are needed on this trip. Two nights will be spent in France.

Maps of the route are possible to pick up along the trail as you reach each new ski domain.

Getting to Les Rousses

The Jura is easily reached by road, rail or air. The easiest way to arrive to Les Rousses is by rail to La Cure, just 3km away. The small tourist train climbs up from Lake Geneva to La Cure, which is the Swiss/French border, and offers a beautiful panoramic view of the Lake and the Alps with Mont Blanc behind. The nearest airport is Geneva which is just under 90 minutes by rail - you need to change once at Nyon. Once in La Cure local buses or a taxis can be arranged to Les Rousses. If arriving after 18:30 we can help organise a taxi on your behalf - but please advise us of this as soon as you know.

Please refer to the Swiss Rail website to make connections to La Cure and our Travel pages for low cost airlines and international rail & coach services. A single train fare from Geneva to La Cure is approximately 25 CHF. The rail ticket includes municipal travel around Geneva if you have time to spare. Advanced bookings are not necessary.

For further details and a map on how to reach the resort please refer to the Les Rousses tourist office website.

The Grand Traverse of the Jura and Trans Jura Swiss are classic cross-country ski tours and we are one of only three UK companies to offer this holiday. Tracks and Trails work as the main winter-specialist ground agent for booking this trip on behalf of other UK tour operators. Our clients could therefore join up with other adventurers who have booked via one of the few other specialist UK companies.

Accommodation Arrangements & Bad Weather Options

Our complete Trans Jura Swiss is approximately 154km, which means we will ski anything from between 17-35km per day. The 30km days include some easier terrain. The accommodation available is varied in its facilities and due to availability we do not always use exactly the same places so it could mean the daily distances on the day to day itinerary vary by a few kilometres. Please note that your guide will try to fulfil the stated itinerary but this is dependent on weather/snow & track conditions at the time.

On this tour you will only need to carry a day sack whilst skiing and your main baggage will be transferred every day between accommodation points. Luggage will be mainly transported in cars and small vans so we would ask that you keep both size and weight of luggage to a respectable limit of around 15kg (and only one bag per person), it is worth noting that you will be required to carry your own bag up and down from your accommodation every day.

Lunches will normally be picnics bought from either our accommodation, bakeries or in cafes when we pass them - please feel free to bring additional hill snacks from home.

We run our Jura traverses at a time of year when the snow is most reliable and the tracks are well maintained. However, in the event of poor snow conditions we will offer an alternative Jura ski itinerary visiting the highest Nordic ski areas both regionally and on the traverse offering the same quantity of kilometres per day.

Our Partners

As our niche trips such as the TJS are of a specialised nature we work with our partner companies to attract sufficient clients to reach the minimum number of participants to allow these trips to go ahead, meaning you are more likely to have your chosen holiday 'guaranteed'. If you have any queries with regard to this please contact us.

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