Now this is the kind of mountain town we like! Morteau can be found in the peaceful Doubs valley, very close to the Swiss border, and the town has a wonderful heritage to discover. An unspoilt natural environment, clockmaking history, local specialities. This is a magical combination for a successful holiday guaranteed!

In the midst of a nature park

A town centred around nature

Morteau is a peaceful place at an altitude of 1,114 metres, in a valley of the Jura Mountains, protected by 3 mountains that watch over the town (Meix-Musy, Mont Chateleu and Mont Vouillot). The town is surrounded by mid-mountain landscapes and so many shades of green in the fir and beech tree forests and meadows.

A combination of greenery and water... The river Doubs also flows through here. It is surrounded by mountains and steep cliffs, flowing through the valley, its waters sometimes peaceful and sometimes wild.

From Chaillexon lake to the Doubs lakes, and the Saut du Doubs waterfall, you can explore this 'Grand Site National' on foot, by bike or by boat and admire the picture-perfect scenery all around you.

Find out more about the Doubs Horloger Regional Nature Park

Alain_DOIRE__Bourgogne-Franche-Comte_Tourisme
Saut du Doubs depuis un belvédère Alain_DOIRE__Bourgogne-Franche-Comte_Tourisme
OT du Pays horloger / Drone Haut Doubs
Morteau, entre monts et rivière OT du Pays horloger / Drone Haut Doubs
OT du Pays horloger / Drone Haut Doubs
Morteau depuis le Mont Vouillot OT du Pays horloger / Drone Haut Doubs
Michel JOLY / BFC Tourisme
Les salaisons

Saucisse de Morteau et salaisons locales font partie du patrimoine gastronomique de Morteau

Michel JOLY / BFC Tourisme
Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
Musée de l'Horlogerie

Le Musée de l'horlogerie à Morteau dévoile tous les secrets d'un savoir-faire séculaire

Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
Sandrine Baverel / BFC Tourisme
Balade à vélo à Grand'Combe-Châteleu Sandrine Baverel / BFC Tourisme
Heritage sites

Through the streets of Morteau...

Morteau is a great town to explore on foot, with its welcoming shops, warm and friendly atmosphere and a few treasures that can easily be reached on foot.

Despite some fire damage over the years, there are still some heritage sites that have remained untouched, for a great exploration on foot and a journey through history:

Sandrine Baverel / Bourgogne-Franche-Comte Tourisme
Know-how

Where do these pretty bells come from?

Venture over to the Obertino ironworks. This is one of the last traditional ironworks in France still producing the beautiful steel bells that are carried by Montbéliarde cattle.

Come and take a tour of this 'Living Heritage Company' to see local traditions and expertise with your own eyes, as the bronze bells are cast and the leather straps are made.

Find out more

Intangible cultural heritage of humanity

The clockmaking capital

Since the 12th century, Morteau and its surrounding valley have been a hub for the world of clock and watch making. This legacy began over the nearby Swiss border and was passed on to this small area of the French mountains, for the manufacture of clockmaking components.

Today, the 'Pays Horloger' is proud to showcase the history of its clockmaking industry. It is thanks to this know-how, which has been added to the list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity, that the region is now well-known across the globe.

Come to the Musée de l’Horlogerie to learn all about the local clockmaking industry, through the vast collections of watches, constructions, astronomical clock, machines and tools.

After a visit to the museum, why not then stop by the nearby Musée de la Montre in Villers-le-Lac.

Visit the Musée de l'Horlogerie

Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
Musée de l'horlogerie Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
Musée de l'horlogerie Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
Musée de l'horlogerie Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme

A destination proud of its terroir!

 

It's difficult to know when it was introduced because it's such a longstanding part of our history. The sausage is a product of our local terroir and is reflected in both the landscapes and the constructions here.

Terroir

Salted meats and... the Saucisse de Morteau!

As its name suggests, Morteau owes its reputation to its famous sausage, a local speciality which is now protected by the European Union's PGI label.

This unmissable local product can easily be recognised thanks to its original taste and small wooden stick wrapped around the end of it.

If you would like to take some back home with you and at the same time, learn about where its subtle, smoked taste comes from, then we recommend visiting the Tuyé du Papy Gaby. Here, you'll also be able to discover other salted meats and local specialities. 

It should be clear by now that the Saucisse de Morteau is more than just a local speciality, it is an 'art-de-vivre'!

Visit the Tuyé du Papy Gaby

Farms with traditional 'tuyés' (pyramidal chimneys)

Did you know that way back in the 12th century, the layout of the traditional farms in the region was designed to accommodate the manufacture of smoked sausages and local salted meats

These farms are the ingenious Franche-Comté farms with 'tuyés', used for smoking meat in an effort to preserve it for longer.

These farms can be easily recognised by their large roof and impressive chimney, up to 15-m high! This chimney, known in French as a 'tuyé', is the central focus of the farm, where, even today, meat such as sausages, bresi beef and ham is smoked.

A great number of these traditional houses of Franche-Comté are open to the public. Some of them have been turned into museums, shops or guesthouses. Pay them a visit to learn about how farmers lived in the Jura Mountains. 

Visit the farm/museum

To see nearby!

The Défilé d'Entre-Roches

No need to go to the United States to see a canyon!

The Défilé d'Entre-Roches is a real-life canyon dug into the rock by the river Doubs, and several kilometres long. Come and admire this gorge with steeps cliffs on either side of the river, between Ville-du-Pont and Morteau, with a few additional sights to see along the way, including the Grotte au Trésor, Remonot gorges and the Notre-Dame de Remonot chapel and caves. There is a marked trail here, of average difficulty, around 13 km long, for an approximately 3.5-hour walk.

Unmissable: the Saut du Doubs!

The Doubs can be wild in places!

This is much more than just a waterfall. You can expect some exciting discoveries at the foot of the spectacular canyons shaped by the river.

After winding around the valley, the 27-metre-high waterfall gushes down into a superb area of greenery. The Doubs lakes, classified as a 'Grand Site National', are found at the foot of the impressive cliffs and the Saut du Doubs waterfall is the grande finale.  To explore either on foot or on a boat trip.

Ligne des Horlogers

A train journey with a view

The Ligne des Horlogers is a railway line that links four clockmaking destinations: Besançon (Unesco town), Morteau, Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland.

This is an eco-friendly way to travel and you can enjoy the sights of the beautiful Pays Horloger at the same time.

Explore the Ligne des Horlogers

 

 

Ideas for a relaxing break

Our favourites, revealed... 

Where to sleep, eat and explore... Browse our recommendations in Morteau and the surrounding area. 

En résumé
A propos
Saut du Doubs depuis un belvédère Alain_DOIRE__Bourgogne-Franche-Comte_Tourisme
Morteau, entre monts et rivière OT du Pays horloger / Drone Haut Doubs
Morteau depuis le Mont Vouillot OT du Pays horloger / Drone Haut Doubs
Les salaisons

Saucisse de Morteau et salaisons locales font partie du patrimoine gastronomique de Morteau

Michel JOLY / BFC Tourisme
Musée de l'Horlogerie

Le Musée de l'horlogerie à Morteau dévoile tous les secrets d'un savoir-faire séculaire

Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
Balade à vélo à Grand'Combe-Châteleu Sandrine Baverel / BFC Tourisme
A propos
Musée de l'horlogerie Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
Musée de l'horlogerie Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme
Musée de l'horlogerie Alain DOIRE / BFC Tourisme