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Guidebook to a 687km (427 mile) trek through eastern France, traversing the Vosges and the Haut-Jura plateau. The route follows the GR53 from Wissembourg to Schirmeck, before picking up the central section of the GR5 from Schirmeck to Nyon on Lake Geneva, taking in wooded and grassy hills, river gorges and fascinating castle ruins.
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This guidebook describes a long-distance walking route through the delightful Vosges and Jura. Situated in France near the eastern border, the three regional parks of the Ballons des Vosges, Northern Vosges and Jura Mountains boast verdant forests, striking rock features and low rounded summits offering spectacular views. Yet, in spite of their extensive network of well-maintained paths, they are not high profile tourist destinations. This walk offers a chance to uncover the hidden secrets of this fascinating area, from its rich wildlife to ancient ruins.
Starting in Wissembourg at the northeastern tip of France, the route follows the GR53 southwest to Schirmeck, before picking up the central section of the much-celebrated GR5 (which runs from the Hook of Holland to Nice) between Schirmeck and Nyon on Lake Geneva. The scenery is as varied as it is beautiful, from the tranquil forests of the Northern Vosges to the impressive river gorges of the Jura, from long-forgotten castles to the charming half-timbered villages of old Alsace. Well within the capabilities of any moderately fit walker and clearly waymarked, the entire trek takes five to six weeks, although it could also be walked in stages.
The guide presents the route in 11 chapters, which in turn are broken into short sections of a few hours each, allowing for a flexible itinerary and easy route planning. There are also suggestions for shorter circular routes making use of sections of the GR53/GR5, as well as an overview of other long-distance routes in the region. A summary of local history, plants and wildlife and delicacies can be found in the introduction and appendices offer details of facilities on route and full accommodation listings. With clear route description and a wealth of information to help plan your trip, this comprehensive guide is an ideal companion to discovering this interesting and varied route.
We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).
|Why visit the Vosges and Jura?|
|When to visit|
|Food and drink|
|What to take|
|GR system and waymarking|
|Safety and health|
|Telephones and internet|
|Using this guide|
|The GR53 Wissembourg to Schirmeck|
|Section 1 GR53 Wissembourg to Niederbronn-les-Bains|
|Section 2 GR53 Niederbronn-les-Bains to Saverne|
|Section 3 GR53 Saverne to Schirmeck|
|The GR5 Schirmeck to Nyon|
|Section 4 GR5 Schirmeck to Ribeauvillé|
|Section 5 GR5 Ribeauvillé to Mittlach|
|Section 6 GR5 Mittlach to Thann|
|Section 7 GR5 Thann to Brévilliers|
|Section 8 GR5 Brévilliers to St-Hippolyte|
|Section 9 GR5 St-Hippolyte to Villers-le-Lac|
|Section 10 GR5 Villers-le-Lac to Les Hôpitaux-Neufs|
|Section 11 GR5 Les Hôpitaux-Neufs to Nyon|
|Short walks along the GR5/GR53|
|Appendix A Long distance routes in the Vosges and Jura|
|Appendix B Route summary tables|
|Appendix C Facilities table|
|Appendix D Useful websites|
|Appendix E Accommodation|