Description – Reculées in Jura – Standard range

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C111-STANDARD   Reculées in Jura   The ‘reculées’ (literally: moved back) are deep and narrow valleys bordered by cliffs and high steep walls coming to dead ends and at the base of which you will always find a cave or an underground waterway from which a resurgence brings to life a river which then occupies the […]

C111-STANDARD   Reculées in Jura


The ‘reculées’ (literally: moved back) are deep and narrow valleys bordered by cliffs and high steep walls coming to dead ends and at the base of which you will always find a cave or an underground waterway from which a resurgence brings to life a river which then occupies the bottom of the valley. They were created at the end of ice ages by a progressive glacial retreat of the beginning of the valley to inside the plateau, as a result of strong frosts and the erosion of the plateau by the underground rivers that tirelessly eat away at the calcareous basement. You will see the destructive effects of the water by visiting one of these caves and will be surprised by these famous “potholes” connected by small channels. You will discover these beautiful places while walking on at the bottom of the valley or along cliffs and will admire breathtaking landscapes.


Day 1 – Arrival to ARBOIS. Threshold of one of most beautiful ‘reculées’ of the Jura, this small picturesque city, very dear to Pasteur, is also the capital of the wines of the Jura. There, you will discover the castle Bontemps, residence of the counts of Bourgogne, St Just’s church whose bell-tower dominates the city and old houses along Cuisance River. Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 3-star hotel

Day 2 – RECULÉE OF PLANCHES (23 km circular walk). This dead-end valley is due to the collapsing of underground galleries eroded away by Cuisance that is fed by the run off from the Jurassic plateau. You will rejoin this ‘reculée’ through the villages of Mesnay and Les Planches, before discovering the Cave of les Planches where Cuisance River continues its destructive work and the cascade of the Tufs. You will climb on the edge of the plateau to discover splendid sights of this steep sided valley. Lodging and breakfast in the same hotel

Day 3 – ARBOIS – POLIGNY (21 km). You will leave Arbois through the vines to join Pupillin, small wine village with its Gallo-Roman site: Fanum (villa and temple). You will walk to the bottom or to the first slopes of these vine and forests covered cliffs to join Poligny, capital of Comté, famous Jurassic cheese. But the day is not over yet. We entice you to discover the beautiful and narrow valley ‘Culée de Vaux’ and climb onto its cliffs to better appreciate the small town of Poligny from the panoramic view-point of the Belvedere of la Croix du Dan – Lodging and breakfast in a 2-star hotel

Day 4 – POLIGNY – CHATEAU CHALON (25 km). After having visited the charming city of Poligny, you will go to the Jura vineyard and go through wine villages such as Mury, Passenans, Frontenay and Menetru as well as the vineyard before reaching Château-Chalon. This small village is proudly perched atop a rocky outcrop, which takes meticulous care of its vineyard. Here, is produced the famous yellow wine which crosses decades and centuries without fail – Lodging and breakfast in a charming guest house

Day 5 – CHATEAU-CHALON – BAUMES LES MESSIEURS (25 km). You will leave Château-Chalon to go through the woods towards new ‘reculées’. You will reach Blois sur Seille and climb to a first view-point (belvedere) to admire the cirque of Ladoye. You will then continue through the countryside to go at the edge of the cliff that overhangs the small village of Blois. Grange sur Baume is your next stop where you will come across, atop cliffs, a trail which will lead you towards several view-points (belvederes) from where you will discover the splendid cirque of Balsam les Messieurs. After having enjoyed it, you will go back down to the village of Baumes Les Messieurs. Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a charming guest house

Day 6 – BAUMES LES MESSIEURS – LONS LE SAULNIER (20 km). You will begin the day visiting the caves of Baumes. Throughout underground course, you will admire immense rooms and marked out galleries of varied concretions and scintillating lakes with transparent water. When exiting the cave, you will walk along the river to go and see the cascade of the Tuffs and come across the village of Baumes Les Messieurs. You will visit a famous abbey founded during the 6th century by an Irish monk and of which one of the abbots founded Cluny in the 10th century. About 1150, the abbey of Baumes is brought back to the row of priory clunisien. Once Cluny’s mother, turned into its daughter, the abbey never accepted completely this destiny and revolted regularly during centuries readily forgetting monastically rules. The revolution drove out the last monks in 1790. Then you will come upon Lons le Saulnier through the countryside, the forests and the charming and picturesque villages of Lavigny, Pannessieres and Perrigny.  Lodging and breakfast a 2-star hotel

Day 7 – LE CREUX DE REVIGNY  (24 km circular walk). You will arrive at the village of Perrigny and, through the forest, will come across the hermitage Ste Anne, the View-point of the Limes and the View-point of the Guillotine dominating the hollow of Perrigny. You will move along the cliff edge and go down towards Conliege while crossing the tunnel of the 100 steps. You will then continue through the hamlet of Vatagna and the charming village of Montaigu, clinging to the edge of the plateau, before you come upon Lons Le Saulnier. This city does not have much left of its architectural remains, testimonies of a history that began well before the Roman occupation, destroyed by a gigantic fire during the 17th century. You will nevertheless take pleasure strolling down the streets, especially down the famous ‘Rue du Commerce’ with its arcades or down the thermal park. Lodging and breakfast in the same hotel at Lons le Saulnier

Day 8 – LONS LE SAULNIER. End of the tour after breakfast


From end of April to middle of October

What’s included?
  • 7 nights’ accommodation in selected 2 or 3 star hotels or guest houses
  • 7 breakfasts – 2 dinners
  • Hotel to hotel luggage transfer along the trail.
  • A set of maps (1/25 000 scale) with the route marked on and detailed route notes describing the trail.
  • A daily itinerary together with information about facilities and places of interest along the trail.
  • Emergency assistance.

Visa fees – transportation fees to and from the walk area – Insurance (strongly recommended on all trips) – Transfers except those mentioned above – Drinks – Entrance fees Additional meals – Spending of personal nature e.g. laundry, souvenirs, phone calls,…are not included

Getting there and away

By train: from Paris Gare de Lyon, TGV to Dôle or Dijon, connection from these towns to Mouchard, then to Arbois (under 4 hour-journey)

By car: reach the A39 motorway (Dijon- Bourg en Bresse)exit 7 then N83 road coming from Dijon or exit 8 and N78 road from South.

Where to park: Several unsupervised car parks in Arbois. Trains between Lons le Saulnier and Arbois (35 mn journey)

Walk difficulty

Grade 3 – walks of between 5 and 8 hours a day with ascents up to 700 m. Some hiking experience is advisable. A reasonable level of fitness and some stamina are required for these walks. You may cover long distances in remote countryside and the terrain will be rough underfoot. In mountainous areas you will encounter somme sustained ascents and descents