In forest
25,54 Km
1 h 42 min
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25,54 km cycling route from Ranchot to Port-Lesney

This short stage on the Tour du Jura Vélo Loisirs guides you into a wholly different world from the previous stage, making you follow the Voie des Salines (the Saltworks Route), a cycle route branching off from the major EuroVelo 6 to reach the two extraordinary historic salt towns of Arc-et-Senans and Salins-les-Bains, awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Before reaching them, the route crosses Chaux Forest, one of the largest broad-leafed forests in France, home, for many centuries, to significant crafts centred around wood-working and the use of small ovens, notably attracting blacksmiths, potters, ceramicists, glass-blowers and more. Many regional tales and legends feature Chaux Forest, now a large nature reserve reputed for its remarkable flora and fauna, and a place that has also maintained an air of mystery.

Elevation of the stage

154 m 185 m

Waytypes of the stage

Cycle path: 11,29 km By road: 14,25 km

Surface of the stage

Lisse: 20,44 km Inconnu: 5,10 km

The Route

At Ranchot, leave the EuroVelo 6 to ride along the Voie des Salines, a 38km-long cycle route allowing you to reach the UNESCO-recognized saltworks at Arc-et-Senans and Salins-les-Bains by bike. You cross the Doubs River and the village of Rans, cycling along a road shared with motorized traffic. Take care, especially after the bridge over the Doubs. Leaving the village of Rans, move onto a cycle lane running straight and parallel to the D31 road, taking you across Chaux Forest. At the end of this linear stretch, turn right onto a quiet country road leading to the village of Arc-et-Senans, boasting its famed Saline Royale (Royal Saltworks). Departing from this village, get onto a straight portion of the D121 road (which can be quite busy, so take care), crossing the Loue River via a little bridge. Immediately after the bridge, turn left towards Champagne sur-Loue. This road is delightful and much quieter. Continue following signposting for the Voie des Salines up to Port-Lesney.

Link Aiglepierre > Salins-Les-Bains (16 km return trip – elevation 215 m D+)

What about completing your exploration of the Jura salt route and its salt history? That’s what’s we propose with this cycling detour to the thermal spa resort of Salins-les-Bains, which conceals at its heart the Grande Saline, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its salt museum retraces the history of salt mining here, from extracting the brine deep down in the earth thanks to a special well set up in a vast vaulted underground chamber below the town, to the painstaking extraction of the salt carried out by skilled craftsmen known as saulniers. The two famed saltworks, at Arc-et-Senans and Salins-les-Bains, were, in times past, connected by a special, long ‘‘saltoduct’’, a pipe made from spruce. Salins-les-Bains has been awarded Petite Cité de Caractère status for its historic riches, and the place remains a natural thermal spa resort, so why not make the most of a quick well-being pause here before getting back on the cycle route? 

Practical information

  • Wide range of services available at Arc-et-Senans and Port-Lesney
  • Train station at Arc-et-Senans
  • Accueil Vélo-accredited accommodation at Ranchot, Fraisans and Port-Lesney
  • Further accommodation possible at Ranchot, Fraisans, Arc-et-Senans, Champagne-sur-Loue and Port-Lesney
  • Bicycle repair facilities at Fraisans

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Accommodation on the stage

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