Jura cross-country skiing Traverse, Switzerland & France

  • Date: 31.01. – 06.02.2022
  • 5 – day cross country skiing trip on classic ski tracks
  • The best of the Swiss and French Jura Mountains
  • Accommodation in private double rooms in hand picked hotels and guest houses
  • Combination of the best snow of the TJS and GTJ
  • All luggage is transported for you – you carry only one daypack!
Jura cross-country-ski-traverse@picture-jura-tourisme
Jura cross-country skiing Traverse Experience

During our 5-day Jura cross-country skiing traverse we cross the best parts of the Swiss and French Jura.

Our Jura cross-country skiing traverse starts in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland and ends in Giron in the department of Ain in France. We cross the Swiss and French Jura and the regional nature reserves of the Haut-Jura.
The cross-country route with its varied terrain and beautiful landscapes will impress you. The locals are very proud of their local products and culture – and this trip will let you share it.

The Jura, a limestone plateau on the border between France and Switzerland, is located near Geneva. The plateau has miles of mountains, but unlike the jagged peaks of the Alps, it is more of a “Nordic range of hills.” Despite its popularity, it is not uncommon to be out all day without seeing other cross-country skiers.

Program Jura cross-country skiing Traverse

Tag 1, 31.01.2022: Ankunft in Les Rousses Frankreich

We will meet in Les Rousses, in France. The village is easily accessible from the Geneva airport and train station. It has a good ski rental shop and is not far from our starting point in Switzerland tomorrow.
In the world of cross-country skiing, the village is also known as the venue for one of France’s most important races, the Transjurasienne. Nearby are the towns of Morez and Morbier, known for their 300-year history in clock-making, spectacle-making and cheese-making.

Your tour leader will meet you at your lodging in the evening to help arrange any ski rentals and brief you on the days ahead.

  • Hotel La Redoute, Les Rousses, France
  • https://www.hotel-les-rousses.com
Day 2, 01.02.2022: From Col de la Givrine to Col du Marchairuz

We start our journey with a short transfer to La Givrine, just behind the Swiss-French border. Now we will spend two days cross-country skiing in Switzerland along the Trans Jura Swiss.

Our route starts with a short climb from a road pass at 1228m. Soon we connect to the very well groomed network of trails over alps and hills. The trail winds along a ridge, keeping at an altitude of 1300m and winding its way to the alp and ski hut Les Pralets. Here we could stop for a picnic. We continue through hilly terrain to the final climb to Col du Marchairuz at 1447m, where we check into our hotel for the night. Before dinner we will have the opportunity to visit the sauna.

Ascent: 460 m, descent: 230 m, distance: 21 km
Hotel du Marchairuz, Col du Marchairuz, Switzerland

Day 3, 02.02.2022: From Col du Marchairuz to Col du Mollendruz

After leaving the Col du Marchairuz, today we enjoy much of the cross-country skiing in open country below the summit of Mont Tendre (1678 m). In summer, the cows produce the milk for Tomme and Gruyère cheeses.
The “Refuge Bon Accueil” (1500m), an old charabanc, is now a mountain hut and is the ideal place for our lunch break.
After lunch, we start a splendid descent via Chalet Mollendruz, where we can refresh ourselves with coffee and cakes before reaching Col Mollendruz at 1200m.
A cab will take us down to our accommodation at Lac de Jou

  • +340m, – 700m, 17km
  • Hotel La Truite, Lac de Joux, Switzerland
  • https://www.hoteltruite.com/en/
Day 4, 03.02.2022: Chapelle des Bois to Les Rousses

Chapelle des Bois in the Haut Jura has a first-class network of cross-country ski trails, and it’s not uncommon for us to pass racing teams in training here. Today we first head towards Bellefontaine before ascending to Forêt Risoux, where the famous wood used to make Stradavarius violins grows. After the main climb, we can stop at the Chalet Gaillard for a hot drink before skiing the well-groomed slopes to Les Rousses, where we will spend a second night in this charming ski resort. We plan to finish a little early today, so there will still be time to buy souvenirs, ski equipment or tea and cakes in town. Those who still have energy left can explore 220 km of groomed ski trails!

  • +345m, – 385m, 17km
  • Hotel La Redoute, Les Rousses, France
  • https://www.hotel-les-rousses.com
Day 5, 04.02.2022: Les Rousses to Le Manon

Leaving Les Rousses, we cross the meadows towards Premanon, home of France’s national Nordic ski school, which has produced several Olympic champions. Here we pass through the forest to another popular ski area visited by many ski teams, the Forêt du Massacre. The forest is home to some of the oldest fir trees in France and is named after an ancient battle in the area. Expect top-notch trails and, on a clear day, views of the Alps. Our highlight of the day is in the heart of the forest at the “La Frasse” hut, where we can take a well-deserved break for coffee and cake before tackling the gentle descent to the charming village of La Joux. It is then only 1.2 km to our overnight stay in the hamlet of Le Manon.

  • +425m, – 340m, 21km
  • Hotel Le Manon, Le Manon, France
  • http://www.hotel-lemanon.com
Day 6, 05.02.2022: Le Manon to Giron

Our last day is the most difficult one. With a long stage we will finish our 132 km long Jura – crossing. We leave La Joux and enter the Bellecombe or “beautiful bowl”, which lives up to its name. This open pasture meanders along the Haute Jura range and limestone ridge. Along the way there are numerous opportunities for breaks, and after a series of ascents and descents we reach an inn where we can enjoy coffee and crêpes below the Cret au Merle at 1448 meters above sea level. To end this fantastic journey, we enjoy a gradual descent through the forest to the end of the trail in Giron, where a vin chaud and a festive meal await us!

  • 665m, -740m, 28.5km
    Hotel Le Bellevue, Giron, France
Day 7, 06.02.2022: Departure

Giron is a village about 40 minutes by car from Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, a TGV station, and 1 hour 15 minutes from Geneva airport. We will organize a group transfer from Giron to Geneva airport via Bellegarde. Our goal is to leave our accommodation at 08:15 and arrive at Geneva airport at 09:45.

Program changes

It is always our goal to stick to the proposed itinerary. However, it may be necessary to adjust the tour depending on weather and conditions.


  • 4 skiers: 2626.00€ /skier
  • 6 skiers: 2033.00€ /skier
  • 8 skiers: 1736.00€ /skier
  • 10 skiers: 1556.00€ /skier
  • 6 nights with half board in a private double rooms with ensuite bathroom (single rooms available)
  • Accompaniment of an experienced cross-country ski instructor and a hiking guide
  • Group transfer from Geneva (CH) airport to Les Rousses (Day 1) (F) & Giron (F) to Geneva (CH) airport at the end of the trip
  • Luggage transfer (1 bag per person) and all transports between the days as mentioned above
Not included:
  • Personal insurance (accident/travel/annulation)
  • Ski rental and ski pass
  • Drinks
  • Lunches and Snacks
  • Saunas in hotels

Personal requirements for classic Jura cross-country skiing traverse:
  • You can expect a mix of flat and hilly terrain on groomed cross-country trails.
  • You should be able to ski with control on a variety of terrain, steeper climbs and narrow trails, and safely negotiate turns on the descent.
  • You should be familiar with different types of snow, including perfect fresh runs AND less perfect runs that can be hard and icy.
  • You should be in good physical condition to ensure that you can endure several consecutive and prolonged days of winter weather with snowfall and cold winds.
  • You will be on skis for 5-6 hours per day, covering about 15-25 km per day, occasionally a longer day.
  • On this tour you will need to carry a small day pack.

Arrival and departure for Jura cross-country skiing Traverse

The Jura is easy to reach by car, train or plane. Anyway we offer to pick you up at Geneva airport/trainstation and will drive together to Les Rousses and our first Hotel.

If you want to travel to Les Rousses alone, the easiest way to Les Rousses is by train to La Cure, which is only 3 km away. The small tourist train goes from Lake Geneva up to La Cure, where the Swiss-French border runs.
Arrival by train: To La Cure 90 minutes from Geneva, change trains in Nyon.
Once you arrive, you can take a bus or cab to Les Rousses. If you arrive after 6:30pm, we can help you arrange a cab – but please let us know as soon as you know.
Please check the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) website for connections to La Cure.


We will organise a group transfer from Giron to Geneva airport via Bellegarde (TGV station) on the day of departure. Our goal is to leave our accommodation at 08:15 and arrive at Geneva airport at 09:45.

Winter weather in the Jura

Winter mountain weather in the Jura can be very different from other mountain regions.
In winter, the weather can range from bright blue skies and glorious sunshine to heavy snowfall and strong winds. You should be prepared for all eventualities.
In January, temperatures can range from -10°C to 3°C, and in February from -5°C to 7°C.

You can check the weather here.

Snow conditions

We complete the Traverse of the Jura at a time of year when snow conditions are usually at their best. However, in the case of a bad winter season, the complete traverse may not be possible.
In this case, we will still have a great week of skiing, but will cross-country ski at a different location each day and use a vehicle to transport us to our sections. Please note that we do not charge extra for renting a minibus. We want you to enjoy your vacation and run the best possible areas.

Skis and Ski Pass

The cross-country skiing equipment, (classic skis/boots/poles) can be rented if necessary at the beginning of the tour. The total ski rental for the week costs approximately 150 Euros per person (this includes the cost of returning the equipment at the end of the tour).
All rental equipment must be ordered in advance. Please note on our booking form which equipment you would like to rent. For ski pole rental we need your height, weight, normal shoe size and height to armpits (for poles).
The guide will accompany you until the rental organizes the rental equipment at the end of the week and organizes its return.
The ski passes cost about 18 CHF and 30 euros for the week.

Who is this Jura cross-country skiing Traverse for

These trips are intended for people who can safely cross-country ski classically! You should have already skied longer distances on LL skis for a few consecutive days or have done multi-day trips on LL skis.
You enjoy running from point to point with a small day pack. We expect you to be able to ski at a steady pace on a variety of terrain and snow conditions, including icy trails when necessary. As a minimum, we expect you to have good control of speed and direction and a very effective snowplow.
On any point-to-point tour we must expect varying weather conditions, from heavy snowfall to high winds, and for this reason we expect some level of self-sufficiency to keep warm and dry.

It is possible that we will encounter sections of “untracked” snow or icy sections that have not been groomed in a long time on this tour. You should have a very good physical condition and be able to ski about 5-6 hours and cover 20-35 km (12.5-21.8 miles) per day.


For various reasons, lunch is not included in the trip fee. It has been our experience that our guests have different needs and different requirements for food in the mountains. It is better if you choose and buy yourself what you need. Buying profiant and trying local specialties is also a good way to get in touch with the locals and improve your language skills.
That said, take a packed lunch with enough food and liquids to sustain you throughout the day. If there is an option to have lunch at a restaurant/farm/café along the way, your guide/instructor will let you know.
Each evening you can order a picnic or sandwich at the hotel, or we will inform you of other options, such as a local store or market.

Professional guiding and support

On this trip you will be guided by two professional Swiss snow sports instructors with many years of experience.
Simone Furter from the Engadine and Ella Alpiger from Wildhaus. We speak German, English, French and Spanish.

Luggage transport

Your luggage will be transported by a cab driver every day. Please limit yourself to one piece of
luggage of approx. 15 kg per person. If you have more than 1 piece of luggage with you, the cab company may charge a fee, which you will be responsible for.

Equipment list for Jura cross-country skiing Traverse

When packing for a trip to the mountains, it is important to have appropriate gear and clothing. This gear list contains items that we feel are necessary for the weather and the accommodations we will be staying in.

  • Cross-country skis in classic style, we recommend fur or scale skis.
  • Skis, boots and poles can be rented at the beginning of the trip. The cost of rental is indicated in the “Travel Information”. If you intend to rent skis, you must inform us as early as possible, as the equipment must be booked in advance. If you have any doubts about the suitability of your own skis, please contact us.
  • Ski straps
  • Backpack – 25 to 30 liters with waist and chest straps. You need space to carry your equipment. Ideally, you should be able to strap your skis to your backpack if we need to walk a short distance.
  • Waterproof cover or lining for the backpack to keep the contents dry
  • Water bottle /Thermos – 1 liter (drinking tubes and bottles stowed on the outside of the backpack usually freeze in winter)
  • Cross-country jacket and pants (functional, windproof, breathable)
  • Waterproof pants – in case of heavy snowfall
  • Waterproof jacket – indispensable!
  • Thermal top – long sleeves or thin fleece – long sleeves
  • Gloves x 2 (thick and thin)
  • (Over mittens for colder days can be useful)
  • Warm hat
  • Sun hat
  • Headband
  • Down jacket (or second warm layer)
  • Scarf or ‘buff’ for the neck
  • Socks – 2 or 3 pairs
  • Sunscreen – essential
  • Sunglasses – essential
  • Antibacterial hand wash, face masks
  • Personal first aid
  • Personal medication
  • Blister plasters (e.g. Compeed)
  • Painkillers/anti-inflammatories
  • Glucose tablets/energy gel or bar
  • Passport
  • Credit card
  • Cash – Swiss Francs and €
  • Slippers for use in the accommodation
  • Clothes for use in the accommodation
  • Hair dryer if necessary
  • swimwear in case the sauna is available
  • Camera/book/music
  • toiletries – soap/shower gel; not all accommodations provide these
  • Possibly short gaiters for snowy days
  • Headlamp

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