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from £1535

Updated for 2017

Green Valleys of Franche Comté

Valleys of the Doubs and the Jura and their rich cultural heritage

Updated for 2017

Green Valleys of Franche Comté

The little known region of Franche Comté is a beautiful rural area of eastern France and has a lot to offer in terms of natural environment, historic heritage, museums and sites. This holiday gives a choice of various walks and hikes to suit all abilities. You can walk in lush green valleys, through woods and clearings, between the rivers, Loue and Lison. Visit famous sites like Ornans; home town of the painter Gustave Courbet, or the Royal Saltworks in Arc et Senans; a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Holiday Highlights

  • Fortified town of Besançon
  • Courbet Museum
  • Waterfall of the Lison River waterfall
  • Spa town of Salins les Bains and Salt Museum
  • La Taillanderie Eco-museum 
  • Arbois vineyards and Louis Pasteur Museum
  • Arc et Senans Royal Saltworks, a Unesco World Heritage site
  • Two star Michelin starred restaurants

What's Included

  • 6 days walking
  • 6 nights half board
  • Michelin-starred dinner
  • Welcome introduction
  • Daily transfers to start of the walk
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Comprehensive route notes
  • Station transfers

Starting Days

You can choose to begin this holiday on any day of the week.

Itinerary & Hotels

  • 1

    Arrival Besançonday 1

    Summary

    Protected by the loop of the River Doubs and seven fortified places on the hills around, Besançon is a jewel of architecture from the 16th to the 18th century. Visit its famous citadel built by Vauban, the old town and its pedestrianised streets which conceal a wealth of interesting museums. Your first night is at the hotel Le Sauvage, a magnificent conversion of a former chapel dating from the 17th century, just below the citadel.

    Hotel
    • Hôtel le Sauvage
    • Hôtel le Sauvage
    • Hôtel le Sauvage
    • Hôtel le Sauvage
    • Hôtel le Sauvage

    Hôtel le Sauvage Besançon

    The 3 star Hôtel Sauvage is a converted ancient Monastary situated in the historic quarter of Besançon and at the foot of the Citadelle. The hotel offers amazing views across the town and the Doubs Valley and also benfits from a sunny terrace where you can relax with a drink.

    Facilities

    • Rooms with views of the Citadel
    • Flat screen TV
    • Free WiFi
    • Bar

    Board

    Cuisine

    Clients are booked into Le Sauvage on a B&B basis.  A continental breakfast is served in the elegant dining area or on the terrace.

  • 2

    Cléron to Ornansday 2

    Summary

    After a taxi transfer from Cléron, you follow paths and trails along the River Loue, walk up to Castel Saint Denis, a fortified place. Descend to Ornans, a very scenic small town, birthplace of the French painter Courbet. Visit the intimate museum featuring his work. Stay at the Hotel de France tonight.

    Hotel
    • Hôtel de France - Ornan
    • Hôtel de France - Ornan

    Hôtel de France - Ornans Ornans

    This 16th Century post house is now a beautiful, floral residence, located in the heart of Ornans, pearl of the Loue valley.

    Facilities

    • 25 rooms and one suite
    • Ensuite bathrooms
    • TV
    • Mini bar
    • Direct phone
    • Pleasant garden

    Board

    Cuisine

    The gastronomic restaurant "Le France" serves carefully prepared dishes and regional specialities: morel mushrooms à la crème, trout with Arbois 'yellow' wine. 

    14 mi
    (23km)

  • 3

    Longeville to Mouthier-Haute-Pierreday 3

    Summary

    After a taxi transfer from Longeville, walk through grazed pastures. From a dominant position you discover a superb panorama. Enjoy the view at the “Point de vue du Moine”, a belvedere overlooking the high valley of the Loue and the Gorges de Nouailles. Have your lunch and rest at the Auberge du Moine - the Monk Inn – and continue though wooded trails to Mouthier Haute Pierre. Rest and spend a night at the hotel La Cascade.

    Hotel
    • Source of the Loue
    • Hotel La Cascade - Restaurant
    • Hotel La Cascade

    Hôtel La Cascade Mouthier-Haute-Pierre

    La Cascade offers a terrace in the summer, a semi gastronomic restaurant with panoramic views, and a buffet or continental breakfast. It is 35 km from Besançon and a 25-minute drive from Pontarlier. Set atop a rocky outcrop, the hotel enjoys a truly exceptional setting; each bedroom opens onto a balcony offering superb views of the Nouailles gorges. Besides the warm and friendly welcome, guests will appreciate the peace and calm of the surroundings.
     

    Facilities

    • En-suite bathrooms
    • Free WiFi
    • Free parking
    • Bar
    • Terrace

    Board

    Cuisine

    The panoramic restaurant provides a feast for the eyes and of course for the palate, with dishes made from seasonal local produce, prepared with an original touch.
     

    11 mi
    (18km)

  • 4

    Nans-sous-Sainte-Anne to Salins-les-Bainsday 4

    Summary

    Today you visit Nans sous Sainte Anne, where you can discover the source of the Lison River, a spectacular waterfall. You have a choice of walks, from short to long, and the opportunity to visit La Taillanderie, an eco-museum and very interesting industrial remnant kept in working order. You finish the day with a transfer to Salins Les Bains. Stay at the Grand Hotel des Bains, with pool, spa and fitness center.

    Hotel
    • Grand Hôtel des Bains
    • Grand Hôtel des Bains
    • Grand Hôtel des Bains

    Grand Hôtel des Bains Salins-les-Bains

    In the centre of a spa resort but in a greenery setting nevertheless. A hotel of character that welcomes you with a friendly atmosphere. A charming and relaxing setting, ideal for visiting the town, the picturesque wine-growing region, or to enjoy the spa facilities of the resort.

    Facilities

    • Indoor pool
    • Spa and wellness centre
    • Free WiFi
    • Free parking

    Board

    Cuisine

    The hotel has 2 restaurants and offers a wide choice of regional specialities.

    13 mi
    (21km)

  • 5

    Circuit walk - Salins-les-Bainsday 5

    Summary

    Today you have several hiking trails to choose from but a visit at the salt museum is unmissable. In the afternoon take advantage of the thermal centre and its relaxation areas next to the hotel: people from across Europe enjoy a range of care: saltwater pool, whirlpool massages, Turkish baths and more.. You can also try your luck at the casino before your second night at the Grand Hotel des Bains.

    11 mi
    (18km)

  • 6

    Salins-les-Bains to Arboisday 6

    Summary

    Today we take you to Arbois, the wine capital of the Jura and city of winegrowers. You have another choice of walks. Stroll through surrounding villages and one of the most ancient vineyards of France. Visit the untouched family home of the scientist Louis Pasteur. Step into his private laboratory where he carried out his work and developed his famous pasteurisation process. Tonight enjoy another type of chemistry at the two Michelin star Restaurant Jean Jeunet.

    Hotel
    • Bedroom
    • Gourmet food

    Jean-Paul Jeunet Arbois

    This hotel features a 2-star Michelin restaurant and is in the village of Arbois. It offers soundproofed rooms with free Wi-Fi access and a private bathroom.

    The spacious guest rooms at Hôtel Jean-Paul Jeunet are equipped with a flat-screen TV with DVD player. A CD player and an iPod docking station are also provided.

    Facilities

    • Free WiFi
    • Private bathrooms
    • TV, DVD & CD Player
    • Lounge Bar
    • Restaurant

    Board

    Cuisine

    A continental breakfast is available every morning at Hôtel Jean-Paul Jeunet. The restaurant features a large stone fireplace and exposed wooden beams. Guests can relax with a drink and a cigar in the lounge bar.

    6 mi
    (10km)

  • 7

    Arbois to Port Lesneyday 7

    Summary

    Transfer from Arbois to Arc et Senans, where you will discover the imposing Royal Saltworks, a Unesco World Heritage site. So much to see: buildings of remarkable architecture, museums, salt pits & gardens. You can spend the whole day here. Head towards the banks of the River Loue and follow its meanders in the peaceful countryside. Finish your holiday in style at the beautiful hotel Château de Germigney in the village of Port Lesney.

    Hotel
    • Château de Germigney
    • Château de Germigney
    • Château de Germigney

    Château de Germigney Port-Lesney

    Hotel Château de Germigney is a 4 star Relais et Châteaux  in the former house of a Marquis and has a renowned Michelin starred restaurant.  The château has a natural enviroment -friendly swimming pool set amongst beautiful grounds.

    Facilities

    • Bathroom with bathtub, L'Occitane beauty products, makeup mirror, bathrobes and slippers, hairdryer
    • Free-of-charge WiFi
    • Flat screen television (satellite)
    • Telephone
    • Minibar
    • Safe
    • Iron and ironing board on request
    • Air-conditioning

    Board

    Cuisine

    Discover the Michelin starred restaurant in the elegant Marquis or in the Orangerie overlooking the garden. Both are amazing venues where you can appreciate the blend of flavours designed by renowned chef Pierre Basso-Moro.

    13 mi
    (21km)

Route & Location

Customise Your Holiday

  • EXTRA NIGHT

    Besançon B&B £75 per person.

Customer Reviews

100% rating based on 3 reviews

Recent reviews

  • Service rating : Very helpful in advising us and planning our trip.Product : Excellent walking trip, very well planned and thought out. Jean Francois (guide) and his daughter were both absolute gems. The only negative was that La Cascade hotel in Mouthier Haut Pierre claimed that Belle France had not made a booking for us which was a bit of a nuisance. Other than that everything went smoothly.

    5 out of 5

    Belle France Response: Thank you for your positive feedback.

    Because our guide Jean Francois is so knowledgeable on this beautiful region he really does add incredible value to this holiday.

    We looked into the confusion at the hotel La Cascade and the booking had indeed been made by us and confirmed by them so I am sorry that they appeared not to find the booking when you arrived. I am glad the situation was resolved quickly.

    I do hope that we may hear from you again next year

    Lorna

  • Service rating : Had a slight problem with the train travel, but apart from that, all OK.Product : Unexpectedly good. Really need to sort out the tone of the walking notes booklet, as it doesn't do the walk justice.

    4 out of 5

    Belle France Response: {feed:FURTHERCOMMENTSTHREAD/POST/VENDORCOMMENT}

  • Service rating : We had a wonderful holiday and the French agents could not have done more to make us feel special.Product : A great holiday, first class accommodation, super walks and amazing food.

    5 out of 5

    Belle France Response: So pleased that you had such a wonderful walking holiday in the Franche Comté, we think this is a beautiful walking region with a good mix of quality hotels. The agent is a very knowledgeable local man and we are very lucky to have him as part of our team. We hope we can book something similar for you this year.

    Lorna

Pricing & Enquiry

Pricing

Prices vary according to travel method. Select your preferred option to get an updated price. For full pricing details, click here.

  • From £1535 per person

  • Outward St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris, arrive Besançon late afternoon.

    Return Transfer to Besançon included, change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

LATE BOOKINGS
For bookings made within 12 weeks of departure our prices cannot be guaranteed. In this instance please ask for a quotation.

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