Explore Lake Chalain, Jura’s hidden gem of turquoise waters and endless adventures

Known primarily for its mountains, the Jura region has another significant asset that enhances its beauty: its lakes. Wild and often hidden from view, their clarity and depth make them as beautiful as they are mysterious. The region takes great pride in these lakes, which formed by melting glaciers and are as old as the mountains themselves. Let’s take a closer look at the largest of them: Lake Chalain.

A stunning and rich domain

Each year, countless tourists from across Europe visit Lake Chalain, whose turquoise waters rival the most beautiful Caribbean seas. Surrounded by mountains and nestled in the heart of the forest, this vast expanse of water is easily accessible from Doucier, the gateway to the domain. Head to the Fontenu viewpoint to fully appreciate this magical place.

Located opposite the town hall, the viewpoint is signposted and easily accessible by car. A parking area awaits you, and then you just need to cross the vast meadow equipped with several picnic tables to discover the lake with a breathtaking view. At 600 metres above sea level, the view is stunning. A dirt path also follows the lake for several hundred metres, but caution is advised.

Image via Motagnes du Jura

A place to preserve

The waters of Lake Chalain, a gem of the department, have faced threats for several years. “To be functional, a lake needs its lungs and kidneys,” explained Mehdi El Bettah, director of the Jura Federation for Fishing and Aquatic Environment Protection, to France 3 Bourgogne Franche-Comté in April 2024. “Here, it was in great difficulty, the wetlands at the bottom of the lake were dried up.” The result: eutrophication of the lake.

Hence, the Jura departmental council decided to close the Chalain campsite and its 700 pitches at the end of summer 2022 to preserve the lake’s waters. Although this campsite has not reopened this year, two supervised beaches remain accessible: Doucier Beach and Domaine de Chalain Beach. Besides swimming, many activities are still possible: fishing for whitefish or pike, canoeing, hiking or mountain biking around the lake, or visiting the Hérisson waterfalls.

Plan your visit to Lake Chalain

Lake Chalain’s stunning natural beauty and abundant activities make it a must-visit destination. Whether you’re looking to relax by the water, explore the surrounding nature, or enjoy recreational activities, this lake has something for everyone. 

This article was syndicated from Marie Claire France
Translated and adapted by Praise Vandeh, Marie Claire Nigeria Content Writer


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