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An undiscovered gem steeped in tradition

A little known area of France, Franche-Comté has retained an atmosphere of unspoilt nature and uninterrupted tradition that makes it a fascinating place to visit. Tucked against the Swiss border, guarded by the undulating Jura mountains and sparsely populated, it is an ideal region to truly escape from the pressures of everyday life. Its villages present an idyllic picture of stone cottages, winding lanes and medieval churches, and many afford stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

The capital, Besançon, sits comfortably in a loop of the River Doubs and is a vibrant city with a burgeoning music scene, a keen interest in the arts and a list of monuments to rival the greatest cities. The Granvelle Palace, cathedral and Astronomique Horloge are all must-visits, but it’s the smaller features that give Besançon such charming character: fountains fill squares with the sound of trickling water, and the bookshops and cafés offer residents the perfect spot to watch the world go by. The citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to a number of fine museums.

Providing the chance to explore untouched valleys, sun-dappled forests and beautiful villages, a walking or cycling trip to Franche-Comté gives the sense of uncovering a secret and precious jewel to all who venture there.

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