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.
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.
Or Pontarlier, Malbuisson, Mouthe, Morez, Lajoux Bellegarde-sur-Valserine... Authentic towns and villages of the mountains where you're guaranteed a warm welcome.
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.
The Château des Ducs de Wurtemberg in Montbéliard
Near Pontarlier, the Château de Joux built up on a rocky outcrop at an altitude of 950 m
The famous Morteau salted meats
The Lac Saint-Point, one of France's biggest natural lakes
Pontarlier, the famous absinthe and aniseed-flavoured beverages
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.
Every day there are wonderful new discoveries to make!
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!
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!