Tracks and Trails / Trail Running / Scheduled Departures / Trans Jura Trail

Trans Jura Trail

Trail Running in the Jura

Run the Mont Jura

Join us for more than just a trail run! The French Jura, famous for gastronomy, farming, stunning scenery, history and is steeped in tradition also offers a network of varied running routes. We run a 5 day point-to-point journey across a lush green landscape whilst soaking up the regional delights along the way.

Our itinerary discovers the diverse countryside of the Regional Nature Park of the High Jura whilst taking in sections of the classic French 'Grand Randonées' of the GR5, GR9 and the Grand Traverse of the Jura. The route, which totals approximately 115km, crosses pastures, climbs through ancient pine forests, links valleys, glacial lakes then ridge tops and even reaches crests and summits where the peaks of the Alps and even Mont Blanc can be viewed.

The Route

  • Up to 115km or trail running/walking
  • 5 days of linked trails on classic GR routes
  • 3000m of ascent & descent
  • Stay in lodges and small hotels
  • View the Alps from the high Jura crest
  • Run with a small pack whilst your luggage is transferred daily

A Runner's High 

REVIEWS!!! Our running camps have been joined by many keen sporty journalists including; Susan Greenwood writing for the Guardian, Claire Maxted for Trail Running Magazine and Katy Dartford for Zest Magazine and Sport Sister. To read these & more reviews go to our News and Press pages.

Departures

Trip Departure date End date Price Status
JUR3 17 Sun 3 September 17 Sat 9 September 17 £1245 Places available | Make a Booking

The quiet and traditional Jura region sits north east of Geneva and crosses both French and Swiss turf. It's Jurassic limestone geology makes it the perfect outdoor playground. The Grand Traverse of the Jura (GTJ) was established in the 1970's and can be undertaken on foot, cross country ski, horse back and by bike – and is recognised as one of France's GR's. Our itinerary allows you enough time to get the most out of the daily trail run but with enough time to enjoy the places that you pass through along the way. We run from village to village passing through lush meadows & climbing through steep forests to reach high plateaus and on a clear day we get amazing vistas.

This guided trail run is designed for regular runners, with off road experience, experience in a variety of trails and conditions would be useful. Enjoy running each day with the luxury of your luggage being transported to the next location, so you only have to carry a light day pack. We leave our accommodation by 10am and arrive by 2pm running where possible over rolling terrain & uphill walking on some steeper ascents and descents. The distances we cover are the stages suitable for regular hill walkers...we simply run them! We use a mixture of running and hill walking all on good trails and occasional road covering between 18-25km (11-15miles) per day. The route travels from east to west starting from Les Rousses ending near Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, close to the Swiss frontier.

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. Arrival in to the Jura – Les Rousses

Your guide will meet you in the small town of Les Rousses at 6pm. Les Rousses sits by a lake of the same name between the forests of Risoux and Massacre. Your guide will answer any last minute questions and brief you on the days a head. Les Rousses is accessed easily by train and is not far from Geneva. We can arrange a group transfer for this trip so please contact about this option. Our accommodation is centrally located in Les Rousses at the Hotel Le Loge with easy access to outdoor shops, banks, supermarkets, restaurants/cafes and pharmacy in case you need any last minute items. Sleeping altitude: 1000m.

Day 2. Les Rousses – Lajoux, Septmoncel

We begin our Jura traverse from Les Rousses heading west on the GR5/GR9 first passing the old military fort through the valley of 'Bief Chaille' in the direction of the Forȇt du Massacre. Our route is on good paths through rolling meadows to Premanon, the home of the French National Cross Country Ski school. Soon we leave the GR5 and follow the GR9 into the Forȇt du Massacre, we climb on good forestry trails to the Chalet de la Frasse,1293m where we can break for coffee and cake! We continue onto the summit of the Crêt Pela 1495m which is the joint high point for the departments of the Jura and the Franche-Comté. The Pela offers fine views of the of the Monts Jura and also of the Mont Blanc Massif. The rock type here offers the perfect habitat for alpine flowers such as the 'adenostyles' and the 'martygon lily'. We descend down on smaller footpaths to the Combe å la Chevre for more views, of the Hautes-Combes (valleys) and the Haute-Chaine of the Jura - then onto good trails through the forest and down to the meadows of Lajoux. From Lajoux we can walk/run the final steps to the charming 'Eco Gite' - La Chandoline where we sleep the night.

Highest point: Crêt Pela 1495m. Sleeping Altitude: 1165m. Ascent: 600m. Descent: 370m. Distance: 25km. Approximate walk/run time each day: 4-6 hours.

Day 3. Lajoux – La Pesse

Lajoux is a traditional French farming village famous for it's local cheese. Our second day leaves the GR9 and continues on the GTJ (Grand Traverse of the Jura), first along quiet lanes and farmers tracks to La Vie Neuve where the local Gite awaits with coffee or hot chocolate boost. We pass traditional farm buildings and then arrive in the small village of Les Moussieres, known for – The House of Cheeses. We stop here for a rest and can also buy the local produce, choose from: Bleu de Gex, Le Comté or Morbier. Perfect running fodder! We start again on country lanes to the next hamlet of Embossieux and then finally onto la Pesse where we sleep the night at a simple hotel Gite Chez Burdet.

Highest point: 1330m. Sleeping Altitude: 1162m. Ascent: 390m. Descent: 250m. Distance: 22km.

Day 4. La Pesse – Lélex

We leave La Pesse and start by making a gentle descent through the rolling meadows of the 'Combe Froide' and then into the woods to start a steady climb. If conditions allow we will climb the Crêt de Chalame, 1548m, a beautiful peak offering stunning views. With yet another chance to see Mont Blanc and a good warm for the following days. Then onto la Berbois at 1289m for a morning drink stop. We then skirt around the Crêt au Merle on wide forestry trails where we reach the historic site of of the Borne au Lion at 1289m – once a hide out for the French resistance fighters during the second world war. We then continue to a mountain pass offering beautiful views of the Monts Jura. We complete our day by descending to the quiet ski village of Lélex at 904m to the Relais du Mont Jura.

Highest point: Crêt de Chalame 1548m. Sleeping Altitude: 904m. Ascent: 300-500m. Descent: 385-800m. Distance 15-22km depending on route choice.

Day 5. Lélex - Menthières

The next two running days offer trails along the Monts Jura and in good weather first class panoramic views. We initially power walk and climb from Lélex on good tracks passing two mountain huts, le Ratou and then the le Loge, to reach mountain trails leading to the Grand Crêt on the crest of Haut Jura. A little more climbing soon takes us to the Crêt de la Neige at 1720m and then onto the summit of Le Reculet at 1718m, which are highest points of our traverse and the highest summit of the chain of the Franco-Suisse Jura. From here we keep our height and enjoy more than 10km of ridge running and are now back on the GR9 taking us along the 'Reserve of the High Chain of the Jura'. We drop down to the village of Menthières for our gite accommodation for the night.

Highest point: Crêt de la Neige 1720m. Sleeping Altitude: 1060m. Ascent: 1370m. Descent: 1100m. Distance: 25km.

Day 6. Menthières – Lancrans

We start our final day with a steady warm up walk back to the GR9 trail and 'crest' of the Jura we can then start to jog again soon leading us to the summit of Crêt de la Goutte and then the Grand Crêt d'Eau 1621m where we reach a superb panoramic view – one certainly to be proud of. This is the final peak of our classic Jura traverse and where we begin our long descent to our final nights accommodation near Bellegarde at 550m where we enjoy a well earned celebratory meal at either the Logis de France - Hotel Sorgia.

Highest point: Grand Crêt d'Eau 1621m. Sleeping Altitude: 550m. Ascent: 590m. Descent: 1070m. Distance: 15/17km (depending on hotel used).

Day 7. Departure Day

Today is departure day and your package finishes after breakfast. We can arrange a group transfer for this trip back to Geneva Airport.

Guided Trail Running & Training 

Our coaches are experienced in racing many sporting distances and disciplines. As well as our Trail Running Camps and guided runs around and Mont Blanc and through Provence & the Verdon Gorge we offer bespoke training and coaching for ultra marathons, triathlon and ski racing. So if you have a specific goal in mind and would like personal training or private guiding on the routes then we can help you. Please contact us with any questions.

Price

Included: The guiding services of a fully qualified International Mountain Leader who's also an experienced trail runner. Daily luggage transfers to your next accommodation. Hotel accommodation for 6 nights including bed and breakfast and evening meals based on twin rooms (possibly with a shared bathroom), and in some cases where accommodation is limited, dormitory style sleeping might be necessary.

Meals: Bed and breakfast is included and evening meal package. We find that all runners prefer different day time snacks. Lunches can be bought from your accommodation, local village stores or on some days on route. Budget about 10 Euros per day for daytime snacks and drinks

Not Included: Flights, travel Insurance, airport transfers, lunches & snack food, any cable cars used and personal expenses. We are happy to advise on the best options for airport transfers and flights.

Accommodation

On the trail you will stay in a range of accommodation including comfortable small 2* hotels. One or two nights will be in more basic gite style accommodation where depending on availability dormitory style accommodation might be booked - in this instance it's necessary to bring a sheet sleeping bag & towel - but we will advise you of this in advance. A single room upgrade maybe possible upon request on some nights. When available this will incur a £150 single supplement.

Weather

In mountainous terrain the weather can vary considerably. Temperatures can reach over 30°c in the height of the summer (July/August), but can be as low as 5°c on the passes. It is often sunny with good clear days, but it can rain and snow (even in July or August) so you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°c in the valleys and 5-15°c on the passes.

Luggage

On each run day, there will be vehicle support to carry your luggage to the next overnight stop. To make things efficient during the luggage transfer process, and to prevent any losses, please keep luggage to a minimum i.e. a day sac whilst running and one bag labelled clearly to transfer. Some hotels do not have lifts so please be able to lift your own bag with ease! If necessary there is the option to go with the bags (if tired, injured or if wanting a rest day) as long as the vehicle that comes is not just for luggage like a van or someone who’s not licensed to take people. Sometimes there is an additional cost for this.

Minimum numbers

This week will run once a minimum number of 4 clients have booked, we will take a maximum of 8.

Further Information

Upon booking we will send you a list of suggested equipment and clothing for your trail running week.

If you are unsure of your suitability for this trip then please contact us for more details.

Please note flights are most likely to be in and out of Switzerland where either Euros or Swiss Francs are included. We can help arrange group transfer for guests arriving and departing from Geneva. This is not included in the trip price.

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 (which can be reached from Geneva airport's train station - just 90 minutes away, one change at Nyon). The small tourist train gently 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. Once in La Cure a taxi or local bus can be taken to Les Rousses or at certain times we will offer a shuttle bus service to your accommodation. Please refer to the Swiss Rail website for train times. A single train fare from Geneva to La Cure is approximately 25 Euros. The rail ticket includes municipal travel around Geneva if you have time to spare. For further details and a map on how to reach the resort please refer to the Les Rousses tourism pages - the local bus line to La Cure is the Estibus.

At the end of the tour we will transfer the group to the train station at Bellegarde which is a 5-10 minute transfer from the hotel. You will need to arrange onwards travel by train from Bellegarde to Geneva. Bellegarde is on the mainline TGV railway and it takes about 1 hour to get to Geneva airport costing approximately 12 Euros. Alternatively depending on group numbers, a taxi journey direct from the hotel to Geneva airport takes around 45 mins and costs around 80 /100 Euros this could be shared by up to 8 people. Further details on meeting arrangements will be provided with your booking confirmation.

Please contact us if you need further advise on your specific travel requirements.

Transju'trail Training 

The Jura's natural rolling terrain hosts France's longest cross country ski race - the Transjurassienne. In the summer nordic walking, roller skiing and Transju'trail race also feature on the events list.

Insurance

Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. As we will be running in the mountains 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.

Our Partners

As our niche trips such as the Monts Jura 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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