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Self-guided Grand Traverse of the Jura (France) Cross Country Ski

Self-guided Grand Traverse of the Jura 

  • Discover France's stunning Jura mountains

  • 6-day point-to-point self-guided ski tour

  • Follow the famous Transjurassienne race route

Why Choose Cloud 9 Adventure

  • Excellent self-guided maps and itineraries

  • Authentic local accommodation

  • Full luggage support

Self-guided Grand Traverse of the Jura (France) XC Ski: Overview

The Grand Traverse of the French Jura is a challenging cross-country adventure through the beautiful Jura mountains. This route was first completed in 1978, and follows much of the route of the famous Transjurassienne ski race. The Jura mountains are still something of a secret and will allow you to experience true peace and tranquility and a glimpse of authentic mountain life. The rolling landscapes are quite different from the more jagged mountains of the Alps, and have a much more Nordic feel.   

What to expect

As this is quite a remote area the accommodation options are limited, but your itinerary will include the most charming and authentic, where you can enjoy traditional local food, wine and hospitality. There is full luggage support, so you can travel light with just daypacks; your main bags will await you on arrival at your accommodation. 

With the help of our detailed cross-country route maps and GPS tracks, each day you'll aim to cover around 20-30 kilometres of trails, with a fair amount of ascents and descents, so participants need to be able to ski for around 6 hours per day, at a good pace. This trip is suitable for those with previous cross-country or Nordic skiing experience, and a good knowledge of cross-country skiing techniques, particularly the snowplough for steeper descents. If you have any questions at all about whether this self-guided trip is right for you, just ask.


Which traverse of the Jura is right for me?

Both of our Jura Traverse trips are for experienced cross-country or Nordic skiers, looking to cross the Upper Jura mountains on a point-to-point ski tour. 

This self-guided Grand Traverse of the French Jura is perfect for a first cross-country ski trip in the Jura mountains. It covers roughly 146km of pistes, and 2600m of ascent/descent. You'll stay in charming small hotels and auberges along the way, with a night in Switzerland. Due to the nature of the accommodation there are limited single room options. 

The Swiss Jura version of this trip (also available as a guided or self-guided trip) spends its first night in France, before crossing the border to traverse the quieter Swiss route. It is more challenging than the traverse on the French side, with 154km of trails, and 3600m of ascent/descent. This route has higher elevations, sometimes above the tree line, and therefore has a more remote feel about it and you'll stay in hotels throughout, with more options for single rooms.

Self-guided Grand Traverse of the Jura (France) XC Ski: Itinerary


Day 1 - Arrival in Sainte-Croix 

Check into your pre-booked hotel in the Swiss town of Sainte-Croix, allowing time to organise ski hire, and any last-minute kit purchases.


Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Day 2 - Sainte-Croix to Métabief

After breakfast you'll take a short transfer to Les Fourgs, to buy your ski passes for the week. After donning your skis, you'll ease yourselves into the trip with some gentle trails through the pine trees and across snowy meadows. The undulating terrain leads you to Métabief, your base for the night. Please note the evening meal is not included tonight. 


Accommodation: Hotel (dinner not included)

Luggage access

Skiing: approx 3-4 hours

Distance: 12km

Altitude gain / loss: +170m / -300m


Day 3 - Métabief to Mouthe

Today you'll explore the 'Doubs' region, as you continue on the trail from Métabief. You'll ski under Mont d'Or, which is the highest summit in the region at 1463m. You pass through forests and the high pastures that, in the summer months, are home to the cows that produce the milk for local cheeses such as Mont d'Or, Comté and Morbier. The meadows are much more peaceful in winter, with their blanket of snow. You take well-maintained trails up through the pine trees, before stopping for lunch. After this well-earned break you have a gentle downhill ski to Mouthe and La Source de Doubs.  

Accommodation: Gite/hostel, dinner included

Luggage access

Skiing: approx 6-7 hours

Distance: 29km

Altitude gain / loss: +600m / -450m


Day 4 - Mouthe to Chapelle des Bois

For the next three days you will follow the route of the Transjurassienne, which is one of the most important cross country ski races in France, and takes place over two days every February. You'll take a trail through wonderful pine forests to Pré-Poncet, then head into Combe des Cives where you'll start a pleasant descent to Chapelle des Bois. 

Accommodation: Gite/hostel, dinner included

Luggage access

Skiing: approx 7-8 hours

Distance: 23km

Altitude gain / loss: +300m / -300m

Day 5 - Chapelle des Bois to Les Rousses

You leave Chapelle des Bois on fabulous ski trails, and head towards Bellefontaine, enjoying beautiful views along the way. You'll arrive in Les Rousses, which is home to the French National Nordic Ski School and over 220km of cross country trails. It is also your base for the night, and you should arrive with enough time to explore in the afternoon. 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Skiing: approx 5 hours

Distance: 17km

Altitude gain / loss: +300m / -350m

Day 6 - Les Rousses to Lajoux

Start by heading uphill to the forêt du Massacre, named after a historic battle, and home to  the oldest fir trees in France. After a steady climb you reach your highest point of the day, and the charming Chalet de la Frasse (1400m), where you can enjoy a lunch stop in the heart of the forest. You then descend to your hotel in the small village of Lajoux. 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Skiing: approx 8 hours

Distance: 25km

Altitude gain / loss: +425m / -350m


Day 7 - Lajoux to Lancrans

This is the last day of your self-guided ski tour, but also the longest, as you ski through the Hautes Combes. You head to the village of Bellecombe on a winding trail up and along a limestone crest, with stunning views of the mountains and ridges. You reach your highest point just under Cret au Merle at 1448m, followed by a gradual descent through the forests to the end of the trail at Giron, to enjoy a well-deserved refreshment break. You then have two options. Stay in a small guesthouse in Giron, or take a short transfer to a hotel in Lancrans which is nearer to Bellegarde-sur-Valsérine with its good transport links. Either way, enjoy the evening and your final meal of the trip to celebrate the end of your epic cross-country adventure.

Accommodation: Hotel or guesthouse, dinner included

Luggage access

Skiing: approx 8-9 hours

Distance: 28km

Altitude gain / loss: +600m / -750m

Day 8 - Departure day

Your self-guided Grand Traverse of the Jura (France) finishes after breakfast. 


We have opted for a version of this trip with 6 days of skiing. It is possible to do a 7-day version if you prefer to shorten one of the days or have a rest day. It is also possible to do the full 9-day route if you would prefer to start in Le Meix-Musy. Just ask us for further details and we'll tailor an itinerary to suit.



7 nights

6 days' skiing

Luggage delivery


Join: Sainte-Croix, Switzerland

End: Lancrans, France

Nearest airport: Geneva


5 nights in hotels

2 nights in gites/hostels






  • 7 nights' accommodation on twin-share basis

  • All breakfasts and evening meals where the hotel offers half-board

  • All transport in the itinerary

  • Detailed trip notes, cross-country ski route maps and GPS tracks

  • Luggage access on all 7 nights

Not Included

  • Lunches

  • Evening meal in Métabief

  • Flights

  • Airport transfers

  • Travel insurance

  • Personal drinks & snacks

  • Tips

Self-guided Grand Traverse of Jura (France) XC Ski: Book Online

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