Jura holiday guide: what to see plus the best bars, hotels and restaurants

The rolling fields, vineyards, mountain ranges and untouched forests of this region of eastern France are packed with wonderful places to eat, drink and stay

If it is still possible for France to have an undiscovered region, the Jura can lay a serious claim, as the lush valleys, thick forests, lakes and mountains of this rural landscape are still very much off the beaten track, even for the French. I should know – my wife comes from around there. After many years spending the sacred month of August on family holidays, I can highly recommend it as a destination to enjoy both the great French pursuits of eating and drinking, plus relaxed biking, hiking, sailing and fishing.

Squeezed between Burgundy, Alsace and the Swiss border, the Jura has no big industrial cities, no famous sights and an economy that essentially revolves around producing outstanding cheese and wine. The market towns of Arbois and Poligny are the foodie capitals, and here you can visit a traditional fruitière – nothing to do with fruit, but a co-operative for making wine and cheese, especially delicious comté.

Related: Rare vintage: the Jura region’s best wine experiences

Related: Chef Raymond Blanc on his favourite home town places: Besançon, France

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