Trans Jura Trail
Trans Jura Trail Run
Trans Jura Trail
Trans Jura Trail
Trans Jura Trail
Trans Jura Trail Run

Trans Jura Trail


Trip Overview

Join us for more than just a trail run! The French Jura, famed for its gastronomy, farming, stunning scenery, tradition and history, also offers a network of varied running routes. We run a 5 day point-to-point journey across a lush green landscape whilst soaking up the regional delights along the way.

Our itinerary encompasses the diverse countryside of the Regional Nature Park of the High Jura whilst taking in sections of the classic French 'Grand Randonées' of the GR5, GR9 and the Grand Traverse of the Jura. The circa 115km route goes through pastures, ancient pine forests, valleys and passes glacial lakes and ridge tops. We also run over crests and summits where the peaks of the Alps and even Mont Blanc can be viewed.

Highlights

  • Up to 115km or trail running/walking
  • 5 days of linked trails on classic GR routes
  • 3000m of ascent & descent
  • Stay in lodges and small hotels
  • View the Alps from the high Jura crest
  • Run with a small pack whilst your luggage is transferred daily

The quiet and traditional Jura region sits north east of Geneva and crosses both French and Swiss turf. It's Jurassic limestone geology makes it the perfect outdoor playground. The Grand Traverse of the Jura (GTJ) was established in the 1970's and can be undertaken on foot, cross country ski, horse back and by bike – and is recognised as one of France's GR's. Our itinerary allows you enough time to get the most out of the daily trail run but with enough time to enjoy the places that you pass through along the way. We run from village to village passing through lush meadows & climbing through steep forests to reach high plateaus and on a clear day we get amazing vistas.

This guided trail run is designed for regular runners, with off road experience, experience in a variety of trails and conditions would be useful. Enjoy running each day with the luxury of your luggage being transported to the next location, so you only have to carry a light day pack. We leave our accommodation by 10am and arrive by 2pm, running where possible over rolling terrain & uphill walking on some steeper ascents and descents. The distances we cover are the stages suitable for regular hill walkers...we simply run them! We use a mixture of running and hill walking all on good trails and occasional road covering between 18-25km (11-15miles) per day. The route travels from east to west starting from Les Rousses ending near Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, close to the Swiss frontier.

A Runner's High

REVIEWS!!! Our running camps have been joined by many keen sporty journalists including; Susan Greenwood writing for the Guardian, Claire Maxted for Trail Running Magazine and Katy Dartford for Zest Magazine and Sport Sister. To read these & more reviews go to our News and Press pages.


This was our first trip with Tracks and Trails. We had a lovely time and made new friends. The running was not extreme and we had plenty of time to explore the surroundings at each overnight stay and with generous lunchtime pauses and breaks at cafes. The guide had a detailed and expert knowledge of local flora and geography - she seemed to know each twist and turn. One advantage of a running holiday is that you get a self-selected group with similar abilities. My own ability level, middle-of-the-pack marathon readiness – proved more than sufficient. Another advantage of such a holiday is that it puts you in touch with an international network of like-minded trail-runners. All in all, I'd recommend these holidays to anyone who is moderately experienced with trail-running, not necessarily long distances.

Itinerary

  • house
  • airport
  • Your guide will meet you in the small town of Les Rousses at 6pm. Les Rousses sits by a lake of the same name between the forests of Risoux and Massacre. Your guide will answer any last minute questions and brief you on the days ahead. Les Rousses is accessed easily by train and is not far from Geneva. We can arrange a group transfer for this trip so please contact us about this option. Our accommodation is centrally located in Les Rousses at the Hotel Le Loge with easy access to outdoor shops, banks, supermarkets, restaurants/cafes and pharmacy, in case you need any last minute items.

    Sleeping altitude: 1000m.

  • We begin our Jura traverse from Les Rousses heading west on the GR5/GR9, first passing the old military fort through the valley of 'Bief Chaille' in the direction of the Forȇt du Massacre. Our route is on good paths through rolling meadows to Premanon, the home of the French National Cross Country Ski school. Soon we leave the GR5 and follow the GR9 into the Forȇt du Massacre, we climb on good forestry trails to the Chalet de la Frasse,1293m, where we can break for coffee and cake! We continue to the summit of the Crêt Pela 1495m, which is the joint high point for the departments of the Jura and the Franche-Comté. The Pela offers fine views of the Monts Jura and the Mont Blanc Massif. The rock type here offers the perfect habitat for alpine flowers such as the 'adenostyles' and the 'martygon lily'. We descend down on smaller footpaths to the Combe å la Chevre for more views, of the Hautes-Combes (valleys) and the Haute-Chaine of the Jura - then on to good trails through the forest and down to the meadows of Lajoux. From Lajoux we can walk/run the final steps to the charming 'Eco Gite' - La Chandoline - where we sleep the night.

    Highest point: Crêt Pela 1495m. Sleeping Altitude: 1165m. Ascent: 600m. Descent: 370m. Distance: 25km. Approximate walk/run time each day: 4-6 hours.

  • Lajoux is a traditional French farming village famous for it's local cheese. Our second day leaves the GR9 and continues on the GTJ (Grand Traverse of the Jura), first along quiet lanes and farmers tracks to La Vie Neuve, where the local Gite awaits with a coffee or hot chocolate boost. We pass traditional farm buildings and then arrive in the small village of Les Moussieres, known for The House of Cheeses. We stop here for a rest, and we can also buy the local produce such as: Bleu de Gex, Le Comté or Morbier. Perfect running fodder! We start again on country lanes to the next hamlet of Embossieux, and then finally onto la Pesse where we sleep the night at a simple hotel Gite Chez Burdet.

    Highest point: 1330m. Sleeping Altitude: 1162m. Ascent: 390m. Descent: 250m. Distance: 22km.

  • We leave La Pesse and start by making a gentle descent through the rolling meadows of the 'Combe Froide' and then into the woods to start a steady climb. If conditions allow we will climb the Crêt de Chalame, 1548m, a beautiful peak offering stunning views. With yet another chance to see Mont Blanc and a good warm up for the following days. Then onto la Berbois at 1289m for a morning drink stop. We then skirt around the Crêt au Merle on wide forestry trails where we reach the historic site of the Borne au Lion at 1289m – once a hide out for the French resistance fighters during the second world war. We then continue to a mountain pass offering beautiful views of the Monts Jura. We complete our day by descending to the quiet ski village of Lélex at 904m to the Relais du Mont Jura.

    Highest point: Crêt de Chalame 1548m. Sleeping Altitude: 904m. Ascent: 300-500m. Descent: 385-800m. Distance 15-22km depending on route choice.

  • The next two running days offer trails along the Monts Jura, and in good weather first class panoramic views. We initially power walk and climb from Lélex on good tracks passing two mountain huts, le Ratou and then the le Loge, to reach mountain trails leading to the Grand Crêt on the crest of Haut Jura. A little more climbing soon takes us to the Crêt de la Neige at 1720m, and then onto the summit of Le Reculet at 1718m, which are the highest points of our traverse and the highest summit of the chain of the Franco-Suisse Jura. From here we keep our height and enjoy more than 10km of ridge running along the GR9, taking us along the 'Reserve of the High Chain of the Jura'. We drop down to the village of Menthières for our gite accommodation for the night.

    Highest point: Crêt de la Neige 1720m. Sleeping Altitude: 1060m. Ascent: 1370m. Descent: 1100m. Distance: 25km.

  • We start our final day with a steady warm up walk back to the GR9 trail and 'crest' of the Jura. We can soon start running again as we reach the summit of Crêt de la Goutte, and then the Grand Crêt d'Eau (1621m) where we reach a superb panoramic view to be proud of. This is the final peak of our classic Jura traverse, and where we begin our long descent to our final nights accommodation near Bellegarde at 550m where we enjoy a well earned celebratory meal at either the Logis de France or Hotel Sorgia.

    Highest point: Grand Crêt d'Eau 1621m. Sleeping Altitude: 550m. Ascent: 590m. Descent: 1070m. Distance: 15/17km (depending on hotel used).

  • Today is departure day and your package finishes after breakfast. We can arrange a group transfer for this trip back to Geneva Airport.

We always aim to complete the proposed itinerary, however it may be necessary for our guides to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment.

Accommodation

We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. In many cases we have known the management for years, and it’s like visiting friends. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

Our trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling on your own your booking will be based on a twin bedroom sharing with someone of the same gender. 

However, on many of our trips single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee. We recommend booking as early as possible to secure a single room as these are always limited in number. Please contact us for details.

On the trail you will stay in a range of accommodation including comfortable, small 2* hotels. One or two nights will be in more basic gite style accommodation, where depending on availability dormitory style accommodation might be booked - in this instance it's necessary to bring a sheet sleeping bag & towel - but we will advise you of this in advance. A single room upgrade may be possible upon request on some nights, but single rooms are limited therefore early booking is advised. When available this will incur a £150 single supplement.


  • Please note, flights are most likely to be in and out of Switzerland where either Euros or Swiss Francs are included. We can help arrange group transfer for guests arriving and departing from Geneva. This is not included in the trip price.

    The Jura is easily reached by road, rail or air. The easiest way to arrive to Les Rousses is by rail to La Cure just 3km away (which can be reached from Geneva airport's train station - just 90 minutes away, one change at Nyon). The small tourist train gently climbs up from Lake Geneva to La Cure, which is the Swiss/French border, and offers a beautiful panoramic view of the Lake and the Alps with Mont Blanc behind. Once in La Cure a taxi or local bus can be taken to Les Rousses or at certain times we will offer a shuttle bus service to your accommodation. Please refer to the Swiss Rail website for train times. A single train fare from Geneva to La Cure is approximately 25 Euros. The rail ticket includes municipal travel around Geneva if you have time to spare. For further details and a map on how to reach the resort please refer to the Les Rousses tourism pages - the local bus line to La Cure is the Estibus.

    At the end of the tour we will transfer the group to the train station at Bellegarde which is a 5-10 minute transfer from the hotel. You will need to arrange onwards travel by train from Bellegarde to Geneva. Bellegarde is on the mainline TGV railway and it takes about 1 hour to get to Geneva airport costing approximately 12 Euros. Alternatively, depending on group numbers, a taxi journey direct from the hotel to Geneva airport takes around 45 mins and costs around 80 /100 Euros which could be shared by up to 8 people. Further details on meeting arrangements will be provided with your booking confirmation.

    Please contact us if you need further advise on your specific travel requirements.

  • Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. As we will be travelling in the mountains, you must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. For further details, please ensure you have carefully read the Insurance section of our website.

  • Upon booking we will send you a list of suggested equipment and clothing for your trail running week.

    If you are unsure of your suitability for this trip then please contact us for more details.

  • This week will run once a minimum number of 4 clients have booked, we will take a maximum of 8.

  • On each run day, there will be vehicle support to carry your luggage to the next overnight stop. To make things efficient during the luggage transfer process, and to prevent any losses, please keep luggage to a minimum i.e. a day sac whilst running and one bag labelled clearly to transfer. Some hotels do not have lifts, so please be able to lift your own bag with ease! If necessary there is the option to go with the bags (if tired, injured or if wanting a rest day) as long as the vehicle that comes is not just for luggage, like a van or someone who’s not licensed to take people. Sometimes there is an additional cost for this.

  • Summer mountain weather can vary considerably. It is generally good in the Alps with lovely days, but it can deliver everything from glorious sunshine, to rain, fog, high winds and even snow. Temperatures can reach over 30°Celsius (86°F) in July and August, but can drop to 5°Celsius (41°F) on the high passes, or 'Cols' as they are known in the Alps. Essentially you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°Celsius (59-77°F) in the valleys and 5-15°Celsius (41-59°F) on the passes.

  • Due to the specialised nature of our trips, we work with a select number of partners to help ensure your trip reaches its minimum group size to be guaranteed to run. The companies we work with reflect our own ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer to our guests. 


Prices may vary depending on date.

2019

Sat 01 Jun - Sat 08 Jun
Code: JUR1 19
Price: £1295 Book
Sat 22 Jun - Sat 29 Jun
Code: JUR2 19
Price: £1295 Book
Sat 06 Jul - Sat 13 Jul
Code: JUR3 19
Price: £1295 Book

What's Included

  • Guiding services of a fully qualified International Mountain Leader who's also an experienced trail runner
  • Daily luggage transfers to your next accommodation
  • Hotel accommodation for 6 nights including bed and breakfast and evening meals based on twin rooms (possibly with a shared bathroom)
  • In some cases where accommodation is limited, dormitory style sleeping might be necessary. Single rooms may be available on request on some of the nights for a supplementary payment. However, these are limited in number and we recommend that you book early if you wish to be sure of a single room. Please contact us for details
  • Tracks and Trails souvenir

Meals: Bed and breakfast and evening meal is included. We find that all runners prefer different day time snacks. Lunches can be bought from your accommodation, local village stores or on some days on route. Budget about 10 Euros per day for daytime snacks and drinks.

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Lunches & snack food
  • Any cable cars used
  • Personal expenses

We are happy to advise on the best options for airport transfers and flights.

This was our first trip with Tracks and Trails. We had a lovely time and made new friends. The running was not extreme and we had plenty of time to explore the surroundings at each overnight stay and with generous lunchtime pauses and breaks at cafes. The guide had a detailed and expert knowledge of local flora and geography - she seemed to know each twist and turn. One advantage of a running holiday is that you get a self-selected group with similar abilities. My own ability level, middle-of-the-pack marathon readiness – proved more than sufficient. Another advantage of such a holiday is that it puts you in touch with an international network of like-minded trail-runners. All in all, I'd recommend these holidays to anyone who is moderately experienced with trail-running, not necessarily long distances.

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Grade: Difficult

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At a Glance

From Price £1295
Holiday Type Trail Running
Duration 7 Days
Group Size 10
Minimum Age 17
Maximum Altitude 1720m
Countries Visited France
Meet In Les Rousses, France
View all Trail Running Holidays