Departure : Montbéliard (Doubs)
Arrival : Culoz (Ain)

The Grande Traversée du Jura (GTJ) by bike is a unique opportunity to ride across the Jura Mountains, along fairly quiet routes. Cycle touring enthusiasts will be riding far from the main roads, from the Pays de Montbéliard in the Doubs as far as Bugey in the Ain, via the Haut-Jura Nature Park. This is a fascinating and welcoming area, with extraordinary, varied landscapes. The route is 375-km long and can be adapted to everyone's needs and level of ability.

378 km GTJ total distance
241 m Min. altitude
1198 m Max. altitude
30/40 km Average distance per section
© Stéphane Godin/Jura Tourisme
Cyclistes devant une maison à tavaillons du Haut Jura © Stéphane Godin/Jura Tourisme
Benjamin Becker / BFC Tourisme
Vélo dans les Hautes Combes

Vélo dans les Hautes Combes - GTJ vélo

Benjamin Becker / BFC Tourisme
Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Tourisme© R.Jacobs
Randonnée vélo aux abords du Château de Joux Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Tourisme© R.Jacobs
Contemplation

A route through a superb natural environment!

Whether you are used to cycle touring or not, this route is guaranteed to please everyone! It is a route that is accessible for road bikes, it avoids the busy main roads, and it runs across rolling hills with natural scenery that will literally take your breath away! This is the perfect cycle touring route for cyclists who want to embrace their surroundings.

The Grande Traversée du Jura (known as the GTJ!) by bike will take you past the most beautiful places in the Jura Mountains. 

Nature reserves, the Haut-Jura regional nature park, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, gorges and steephead valleys, small valleys and sheer ridges, cirques, lush green pastures, vineyards, peatland, hilltop villages, and so much more. The scenery is so diverse. The wide variety of landscapes will provide a wonderful change of scenery.

Find out more on the official GTJ website

Some of the beautiful landscapes along the route

Stops

Towns to visit along the way

From Montbéliard, the 'City of Princes' with its château and pastel-coloured houses, to Culoz in the south, you'll be crossing through some pretty towns and authentic villages:

These peaceful destinations are all surrounded by breathtaking scenery and are the perfect places to stop for a break and learn more about the secrets and traditions of the Jura Mountains.

A.S.O.Pauline Ballet
Alternatives

For sporty cyclists!

The itinerary was created with one goal in mind: to provide an opportunity to explore different areas of the region in an enjoyable way, without risk or difficulty. This is not the kind of route with a succession of uphill climbs! If you encounter any difficulties, there are alternative routes available.

And to make sure everyone is happy, there are other routes available that will take you up the legendary mountain passes:

- the Col de la Faucille (1,323 m and 703 m positive incline),
- the Mont d’Or (1463 m and 958 m positive incline),
- The Col de Menthières (1,136 m and 620 positive incline) and the Col de Cuvery (1,178 m and 355 m positive incline)
- or even the Grand Colombier (1,498 m) from Culoz (18.30 km and 1,255 m positive incline!), a historic uphill climb that is only suitable for experienced cyclists.

Find out more about the alternative routes
Favourite

Little GTJ by bike

This last route was created in 2021 and is a 256-km alternative with a whole host of surprises in store.

This loop trail passes by several UNESCO sites and crosses some breathtaking landscapes: Lac de Chalain, Cascades du Hérisson, Gorges de la Langouette, Lac Saint-Point, Source du Lison, Vallée de la Loue, vineyards, etc.

Every day there are wonderful new discoveries to make!

Guidebook

Plan your cycling trip

Detailed descriptions of the itinerary, alternative routes, maps, accommodation and stopovers, tourism and cultural must-sees, historic and natural heritage sites, and so much more. So much practical information to help you plan your cycle touring experience.

This guidebook was specifically designed to help you plan your GTJ by bike, and offers suggestions to divide the route up into 10 sections of around 40 km each, to do at your own pace!

Purchase the guidebook

The full route and the stopover towns

Practical guide

Checklist of what you'll need
© Jura Tourisme_
  • a 2-litre bag of water
  • one or two inner tubes and a tyre changer
  • pump
  • helmet, gloves, shorts, jersey
  • trainers or special cycling trainers
  • sunglasses
  • raincoat, tights, a windproof jacket or lightweight fleece
  • knife
  • picnic or energy bars
  • proof of identity
  • travel sheet if you're staying at a refuge or stopover gite
  • a casual outfit and lightweight footwear.
  • toiletries

Checklist to print out

Hire and charge your bike

Do you like riding in areas where the uphill climbs are a bit too much for you? Choose to use an electric bike for a more all-round experience of the GTJ!

The specialists and cycling establishments along the route can provide all sorts of options (electric bikes with on-board GPS, electric MTBs, hybrid bikes, etc.), the GTJ guidebooks are being updated and there are now plenty of Bosch latest-generation charging stations in the various towns along the way. The entire 370-km cycle route is now equipped meaning that you can set off with peace-of-mind and without all the strenuous effort!

Map of Bocsh charging stations

On foot, by MTB, cross-country skiing or with snowshoes!

The other GTJ trails, something for everyone

En résumé
A propos
Cyclistes devant une maison à tavaillons du Haut Jura © Stéphane Godin/Jura Tourisme
Vélo dans les Hautes Combes

Vélo dans les Hautes Combes - GTJ vélo

Benjamin Becker / BFC Tourisme
Randonnée vélo aux abords du Château de Joux Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Tourisme© R.Jacobs