Tourist information on Franche Comte region in France
The Franche Comte region is always going to be one of the regions in France that is ideal for outdoor activities with its diverse landscape from valleys and forests through to the Vosges and Jura mountains with lakes, rivers and waterfalls that are all waiting to be discovered.
Information, tourist attraction and places to visit in the Franche Comte Region of France
Working around the region, to the North you have the Lorraine region, North East is Alsace and East you have Switzerland, then going down to the South of Franche Comte you have the Rhone Alpes, to the West is Burgundy and North West is the Champagne Ardenne region.
And because of its proximity to Switzerland some of the regional cuisine is very similar in style, like the famous Comte cheese which is similar to Swiss Gruyere, plus it is also the watchmakers area of France, just as it is over the border.
Also close to the Swiss border is the historical town of Besancon, which is the capital of the Franche Comte region and it is often referred to as the greenest city in France, as even though this area has long hot and dry summers, it is interspersed with summer storms that provide plentiful rain to keep the area green and lush. However, the winters are normally harsh and cold with snow and frosts being a regular occurrence, which is why you can also opt for a skiing holiday at one of the two ski resorts in the region.
Now, getting back to the landscape, lets look at some of the different areas and activities on offer for a fun packed camping holiday, because this is one region where outdoor activities and adventure sports rule.
There is vast woodland and valleys that stretch from the Vosges Mountains up by Alsace through to the Jura Mountains bordering on Switzerland and these are ideal for their nature trails, hiking, horse riding and cycling. However, there are also numerous underground caves and passages that can be explored as well.
Plus the Jura area of Franche Comte is probably the most well known, with lots of different activities to suit all ages and there are around 2000km of rivers and approximately 2500 hectares of mountain lakes, with the most famous being Lake Chalain.
Because of these characteristics, canoeing, kayaking and rafting are extremely popular activities, whether it be on your own or with professional guides, however, pike fishing, trout fishing etc are also very popular for those that like a more sedate past-time. But due to the mountains and gorges, rock climbing and canyoning are also very popular sports for more extreme adventures.
Franche Comte Ballons des Vosges
Franche Comte river village
Getting back to Lake Chalain.. This is the largest lake in the Jura that was formed by glaciers and with the banks having been occupied since around 3000BC, and today it has become one of the most important areas in Europe for archaeology and prehistoric remains, which means that it is now a protected area.
But there are marked paths that go round the lake for cycling and walking and in winter you can experience the tranquillity of the forest pasts with snow shoes. However, it is also a great place for numerous water sports like wind surfing, sailing or canoeing and during the summer certain areas of the lake are manned by lifeguards, as Lake Chalain is also a lovely place to go swimming, although motor boats or jet skiing is not allowed here so as to preserve the lake even further. But you will be pleased to know that one of the French campsites in Franche Comte called Camping Jura La Pergola, is located very close to lake Chalain and they also have some fantastic on site facilities for a family camping holiday as well.
Franche Comte Kasteel van Cleron
Yet if you love the sound of running water, experiencing the delights of waterfalls and cascades, then Herrison Falls is not to be missed, and there is even a visitor centre here that goes through things such as the history and the heritage of this remarkable area. In addition to this, there are the thermal baths with salt water springs that have been utilised since the Middle Ages, even though it was the Romans that first realised their potential and since the 19th century the waters have been utilised for their therapeutic values. Plus the area offers lots of different boat trips and cruises you can also enjoy.
But lets get away from water and look at some of the other places to visit in Franche Comte. To start with, it is in this region that the Peugeot car is manufactured and there is a Peugeot motor museum in Montbeliard.
The city of Besancon itself, not only has a very historical centre, but there are plenty of museums you can visit including the oldest and one of the finest public arts galleries called Musee des Beaux Arts, which has often been referred to as the Petit Louvre, as it holds many famous pieces of art from artists such as Rembrandt, just like the Louvre museum in Paris.
Franche Comte Besancon roof tops
Franche Comte Besancon river
Earlier we mentioned that watch making was a part of tradition within this region and when staying on holiday in Besancon you could visit the Museum of Time that is housed within the 16th century Palais Granvelle, but this city is also home to the fortified Citadel that is classed as a world heritage site which also houses different museums along with a lovely cathedral, yet just outside the city is an open air museum of historical houses.
Then the Jura area is home to lots of the vineyards within this region, and we all know that French wines play a major role within the culture of France and there are some fantastic places to visit where you can do some wine tasting and learn more about the types of wines on offer. And the small town of Arbois is right in the heart of the vineyards, but here you can also visit the family home of Pasteur.
Yet there is so much more to discover on a family camping holiday in France when you visit this region, as you could go on an old steam train ride, visit a centre dedicated to Llamas, enjoy the Dino-Zoo that traces evolution of animal life and mankind, visit farms and the unusual Polar Park where you can get to see reindeer and Greenlander dogs that are direct descendants from wolves.
Franche Comte Le Grand Colombier
Now we could mention even more about this region, but really it is the lakes and waterfalls along with the mountains, clean air and lovely countryside that draw so many visitors each year. And by choosing a holiday in Franche Comte you will get back to nature for a relaxing time to re-energise or end up enjoying the numerous activities on offer, plus you will find many different French campsites all around this region that have facilities like swimming pool complexes, kids clubs and WiFi internet access to make your stay even more enjoyable.