Massive valleys in the Jura

Explore the Swiss cheese landscape with cheezy . Our Tour de Suisse cheese box leads through the Jura in December. A hiking report by Jürg Studer:

Many hikers are familiar with the high-altitude trails in the canton of Jura, but it is precisely in the valleys that you can make delightful discoveries. The Doubs leads into a foreign world, through untouched landscapes that are unknown to many.

Visit to the Fromagerie des Franches-Montagnes
The round trip starts in Le Noirmont in the Saingnelégier district of the Republic and Canton of Jura. The village's starting point is therefore in the western tip of Switzerland's youngest canton, on the border with France. A small loop leads from the station to the Fromagerie des Franches-Montagnes, which is open to visitors with its large parking lot and show dairy.

Behind high glass panes on one side, the cheesemakers work on large copper vats and on the other side, the cheeses are stored in high-bay warehouses. On the visitor platform and in the basement, displays and videos explain how the fruity, strong Gruyère AOP or the regional specialty Tête de Moine AOP are made from the regional milk of the Franches-Montagnes in various processing steps. Incidentally, the latter is also available as popcorn - a tasty discovery that I had never made before.

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Start of the hike in Le Noirmont
The path leads westwards in winter back through a snow-covered village and past the schoolhouse. After the last houses of the village are behind you, the path turns right into the forest, then left ... I could continue the route description in this way, because the 400 meters of altitude difference down to the Doubs have to be overcome on sweeping hairpin bends along the slope. The vegetation on the damp north-western slope is also remarkable. It is advisable to stay on the path - because it is slippery in places and there are always large rocky ledges at the bottom. A mountain hiking trail that requires good equipment and surefootedness.

Before reaching the river, we recommend a detour to La Goule with its small but important hydroelectric power station for the region. The dammed lake, the abandoned border guard's cottage and the stone bridge provide photo opportunities at any time of year. The small restaurant surprises with a large menu and delicious dishes - served on an idyllic terrace in summer.

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We follow the Doubs
The forest is hardly managed here, older trees and many branches are covered in moss due to the high humidity, creating a picturesque scene. In Le Theusseret, you could fortify yourself for the ascent in the well-known trout restaurant. Because the path turns and leads again on sometimes quite slippery stones under and above rocky ledges, around a mountain nose, into another valley cut. Those who are satisfied with the distance and altitude will probably take the direct route back to Le Noirmont. Otherwise, I recommend taking the loop via the ruins of the Spiegelberg. In the Middle Ages, an impregnable castle stood on the razor-sharp ridge. Today, a refuge has been built in its place, offering a magnificent view over the Doubs valley. Back in Le Noirmont, be sure to take a look at the old and new churches.

The most important facts in brief
13.76 km, 4:13 h, 631 m up and down. A discovery in the Doubs valley in a wild, mystical landscape.

The following QR code takes you to the hiking route:



Simple, convenient and always surprising. Swiss cheese enjoyment at home.