Since 2005, "The Mountains of the Jura" have been the official brand name for the beautiful nature reserve that stretches along the border of Switzerland and covers two departments. One of them is the Doubs, part of the former France-Comté region. It is an old, terraced mountain area. In winter it can be bleak. That is good news for winter sports enthusiasts, because there is almost always snow in the ski season. Small-scale ski slopes then experience top times.
The river the department is named after flows right through it. He shoots in the Jura Mountains, feeds the vast Chaillexon Lake, falls 25 meters down at the Saut du Doubs waterfall and then flows into Switzerland. If we follow the river, we will automatically arrive in the capital of the department: Besançon. The oldest part of the city is on a peninsula, thanks to a meandering river. High above the river is a monumental fortress, built in the 17th century under the direction of the architect Vauban.
There are more cities to admire. Pontarlier is known for the artisan distillery of Pierre Guy, specializing in anise drinks. After a ban of more than 80 years, real absinth is made here again, a drink with a high hallucinatory content, also known as the "Green Fee". Arc-et-Senans is known for its old royal salt factory, in Morteau and surroundings are made with Swiss precision timepieces. Baume-les-Dames has a beautiful abbey; the charming town of Ornans, on the fish-rich Loue, should not be missed, as well as the picturesque Lods, through which the Loue flows sparkling.
Montbéliard is also worth a visit. The city is mentioned in the 10th century and offers beautiful old and new architecture. Peugeot has an immense factory here where 12,000 people work. Montbéliard has a museum about the history of the French car manufacturer. Just north of Montbéliard is the city of Belfort, in the Territoire-de-Belfort department.
The lover of French cuisine will find a good Michelin-starred restaurant in Montbéliard: Le Saint Martin. The kitchen is taken extremely seriously in the Doubs. There are another four star restaurants: Le France in Villers-le-Lac; Le Bon Accueil in Maubuisson, L’Etang du Moulin near Bonnétage and Mon Plaisir in Montbéliard. Whether the star chefs are still preparing the Doubs regional dish is highly questionable. But in simpler places to eat, the "cancoillotte" is still often on the menu. The nickname is "colle", which says as much as "glue". The tasty glue is made from butter, garlic, sweet white wine and comté, the regional cheese. The Mont d’Or is another renowned cheese. And definitely try the Doubs processed meats, of which the smoked sausage from Morteau, nicknamed "La Belle de Morteau" is the most famous. Morteau celebrates its annual sausage festival in August.
Eating solid is not justified without healthy exercise. The Doubs is ideal for that. The department offers 3 400 km of walking routes and numerous running and cycling courses. Climbing, paragliding, go-karting, caves & caves, golfing, it's all possible. Water sports enthusiasts will love Saint-Point Lake, the third natural lake in France. Museums, castles, parks, spectacular waterfalls and viewpoints, you will never be bored from your holiday home in the Doubs. Mandatory number for the children: Dino-Zoo at the Caves of Poudry in the municipality of Etalans, halfway between Besançon and Morteau. Feel free to set aside a day for it.