Camping Jura

by Guest

Jura is located in the east of France, close to the Alps and the border of Switzerland, north of Geneva. Being in the foothills of the mountains, the area is characterized by deep valleys, glistening mountain lakes, forested national parks, and high wildflower filled meadows. It's one of the most scenic parts of the country, which is best explored using a campsite as a base. To easiest way to reach Jura is to fly into Geneva, and hire a car, driving north through the Parc Naturel Regional du Haut-Jura. There are dozens of campsites to stay at in the department, but here's our rundown of some of our favourites.

Camping Domaine de Chalain

The Domaine de Chalain campsite is open between late April and mid September, closing through the fall and winter months. The campsite spans a 75 acre strip of private forest offering a secluded getaway in the French Jura countryside. It's large with more than 450 grassy pitches available for tents, campervans, and motorhomes, some of which have electricity and water hook ups. If you don't want to camp, the site provides a variety of bungalows and chalets, all of which have bedrooms with double beds, air conditioning, private bathrooms with hot showers, and terraces. As well as walking and mountain biking in the national parks nearby, there is plenty to keep you busy at the campsite itself. This includes a number of outdoor swimming pools, some of which are heated, and some which have water slides and man made waterfalls that will keep the kids occupied for hours. The staff arrange tournaments on the sports grounds, and there is a fitness centre, laser games, and children's workshops. For adults, there are evening events like discos and even karaoke! After a long hike, take a long soak in the hot tub or hammam. Alternatively, sit in the hot sauna. If you are feeling energetic, play tennis on the courts, kick around a football, play pitch volleyball, and shoot some hoops on the basketball courts. These are all free, but guests are welcome to pay a little extra to use the kayaks or pedalos, use the mini golf course, or rent mountain bikes. Facilities at the campsite are clean and well maintained. There is a washroom block with hot showers, a launderette with washing machines and dryers, and internet access throughout. Onsite, there is a restaurant serving up delicious French classics, a takeaway offering hot food to take back to your camp, a fully stocked bar, and grocery store which has freshly baked bread every morning.

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Domaine de Surchauffant

The Domaine de Surchauffant is located in the department of Jura and is open between late April and mid September. It's located on the shores of Lac de Vouglans and is just a short walk away from most pitches. They are a little smaller than most with just a couple of hundred grassy pitches available for tents, campervans, and motorhomes. They are all spacious offering plenty of privacy and some have electricity and water hook ups. Guests can choose whether they want to have shade or be in the sunshine. If you don't want to camp, there are over 50 mobile homes available which come complete with living space, bedrooms, and private bathrooms. They are separated by hedges offering privacy and are all close to the lake. Down at the lake, there are plenty of activities on offer. Take a refreshing dip to cool down, go kayaking, take a boat excursion, of fish for your supper. During the summer months, there are life guards throughout the day. All the facilities at the Domaine de Surchauffant are well maintained. They have washrooms with hot showers and toilets which are shared, as well as having laundry facilities and dryers. Guests are welcome to use the huge outdoor heated swimming pool or take toddlers into the smaller shallow paddling pool. There are two playgrounds, ping pong tables, and entertainment put on by staff throughout the summer. You can hire bikes to ride along the trails. The campsite also has a grocery store selling all the provisions you might need, as well as two restaurants serving excellent food, one of which overlooks the lakes from its terrace.

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Paysages Beauregard Camping

The Paysages Beauregard Campsite is located just outside a small village in the beautiful Jura department in France. It's open between the end of March and the end of September and closes during the winter months. It is fairly small compared to other sites with just 190 grassy pitches available for tents, campervans, and motorhomes. They are all level, and some have electrical and water hook ups. You can also choose if you wish to have a shaded or sunny pitch. There aren't any bungalows or mobile homes here to rent, so you will need to bring your own equipment. The campsite is particularly good for families with kids. Guests can spend their days using the indoor or outdoor heating swimming pools, one of which has a waterslide for kids. The outdoor pool is surrounded by a sunny terrace with sun loungers. There is also a little paddling pool where you can take toddlers. The campsite is set apart from the others by the spa area. Here, you will find bubbling hot tubs, hydro massage jets, and even a sauna. Other things at the campsite include tennis courts, bouncy castles, an outdoor gym, and a boules court (a French game involving throwing a steel ball), and an adventure playground. Guests can pay extra to use the mini golf course. There are several clean washroom blocks around the site which have hot showers included in the price, and baby changing facilities. The excellent onsite restaurant offers French and international cuisine, there is a takeaway serving hot food to take back to your camp, and a fully stock bar with cold beers and wines. Internet is accessible throughout the campsite, though there is an extra charge to use it.

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Camping les Merilles

The Camping les Merilles is nestled in the Jura countryside in France, just outside the town of Doucier and just a couple of kilometres down the road from the Chalain Lake. The campsite is open between early April and the end of September, and closes during the winter months. It is relatively small with just under 100 grassy pitches available for tents, campervans, and motorhomes. Don't let this put you off though, it's a lovely site with plenty to do and see. Each of the spacious pitches is separated by hedges offering maximum privacy. Above, the large trees offer plenty of natural shade to most pitches. Those bringing motorhomes can hook up to the electricity and water supply. There are also 16 private cabins with bedrooms, living space, private bathrooms, and terraces. As it's not right next to the lake, it's somewhat quieter than the other campsites, which many people find preferably. The surrounding countryside is simply stunning, with forests, lakes, and waterfalls to explore by foot and bike. The reception of the campsite can offer you plenty of information like maps and rentals to get your started. The washrooms are well maintained and have hot showers and facilities for disabled guests. The campsite features a large heated outdoor swimming pool, a toddlers' pool, an adventure playground, and an outdoor gym. Horse riding and guided mountain biking tours can be arranged. There isn't a restaurant, but there is a grocery store selling everything you need to cook up your own camp dinners, and a takeaway offering limited hot food. Internet access is available in most parts of the campsite.

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Camping la Grisiere

The Camping la Grisiere is open between early May and the end of September. It lies right on the shores of a lake, and all of the 530 grassy pitches are level and spacious at over 90 square metres, however not many are shaded and they are not particularly private. Some of the pitches have electrical and water supply for caravans and motorhomes. If you don't want to camp, the site has 18 wooden chalets which come complete with living space, bedrooms with double beds, private bathrooms, and an outdoor terrace. The site has five washroom blocks with hot showers which are kept to a good standard. The facilities are all accessible for disabled travellers, and they have baby changing rooms. There are good quality laundry facilities including dryers for guests to use. Guests are welcome to use the large outdoor swimming pool, go hiking around the hilly terrain, hire bicycles to ride along the trails, go fishing in the lake, or take part in the many optional water sports on offer which include canoeing and windsurfing. They sometimes have wine tasting events in the summer months. There is a restaurant offering regional cuisine, a takeaway serving hot food to take back to your camp, and a bar open in the summer months. There is also a shop selling food and provisions for your stay, though more can be found in the nearby town. Internet access is a bit limited, but who needs that when you have such amazing countryside to explore!

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