View from Pic d'Aigle
Petrifying waterfall at Cirque du Fer à Cheval
Garlands at Arbois
Source du Lison
The Franche Comté region extends
from the Swiss border north of Lac Leman (Geneva) and includes the Jura
and Doubs departments which are almost half woodland.
This area has many charming villages,
spectacular gorges and blind valleys (cirques and reculés) with sheer
cliffs. We spent several days in this area in 2005 visiting Lac de St
Point near Pontarlier (aire) and St Laurent en Grandvaux (good campsite).
The two main towns south of here are St Claude, known for pipes (the
smoking variety) and Morez, home of spectacles with a museum of course!
(both industrial but had internet cafés)
Travelling north-west the viewpoint at Pic de l'Aigle is worth
a stop but is quite a steep and rocky 1km climb to the top.
Further north near the town of Poligny is the Reculée des Planches, a
pretty quiet village surrounded by wooded cliffs with caves and petrifying
waterfalls at the nearby Cirque du Fer à Cheval.
An unexpected sight at the pretty town of
Arbois was the town square totally covered with garlands ready for their
Suddenly in the small village of Mouchard we passed this huge clothes peg.
Apparently it is the City of wood (with 1440 inhabitants and the only
school of wood (craft?) in France)
Other places we visited were more
waterfalls at the Source du Lison near Salins-les-Bains and the cliffs and valleys of the
Roche du Prêtre and the Cirque de Consolation with its abbey.
Cirque de Consolation
Saline Royale - Arc et Senans
Main saltworks building
Indian garden at Saline Royale
Also worth a visit is the Saline Royale
(royal saltworks) at Arc-et-Senans NW of Salins-les-Bains. an eighteenth
century industrial purpose built village with fascinating exhibitions
and gardens from around the world.
view from portico
We found a delightful small campsite near the Saline Royale at Champagne
-s-Loue (well signposted but on narrow roads)
see also Jura
for Baume-les-Messieurs and the Cascades du Herisson which we visited on
a previous tour
Saline Royale (english)
Saline Royale (french)