It’s true… A visit to the lush and verdant Jurassic Park sans dinosaurs is possible. And Switzerland Tourism has dubbed the place Jura-Swiss Park.
While very much less jungle-like and no spine-chilling roars, but more rolling hills, pine forests, vineyards and hard-working local farmers and wine growers, the Jura nature park is a dream.
The best way to explore this vast nature park is on a bicycle, with the La Route Verte the highlight. Beginning in Schaffhausen, travellers will pass through all of the six different nature parks in the Jura, including Aargau, Thal, Chasseral, Doubs and Vaudois, before heading to Geneva. Along the way, they will discover virtually unheard of places and meet the delightful locals and their animals.
The wineries in Hallau in the Schaffhausen Nature Park feature the largest contiguous vineyard in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, where around 200 winegrowers produce approximately half the wine made in the Schaffhausen Pinot Noir region. Like most Swiss wines, these aren’t exported due to the limited quantity produced, so this is as exclusive as it gets when tasting the local drops!
Next, in Doubs Nature Park, travellers will find the medieval town of St-Ursanne and the enchanting Franches-Montagnes, home of the Franches-Montagnes horses, the only horse breed originally from Switzerland.
On the way to the Jura Vaudois Nature Park, travellers pass through the Chasseral Nature Park, past dry stone walls and the UNESCO World Heritage city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, before going through the picturesque Val de Travers, famous for its absinthe and asphalt mines.
For music enthusiasts and guitar lovers, the village of Le Brassus is home to the famous JMC Lutherie, Céline Renaud and Jeanmichel Capt.
It is here that the pair have been making guitars and loudspeakers out of 350-year-old tonewood spruces from the nearby Risoud Forest for more than 12 years now.
The final stage of the Route is between Le Sentier and the Combe des Amburnex, the highest point sitting at 1351 metres above sea level. Travellers will enjoy glimpses of Lake Geneva in the distance as they make their way down to Geneva, marking the near end of their adventure in the Jura region.
To book this trip or something similar, check out www.CIT.com.au.