"Yellow Wine, Comte Cheese, Spas & Sports" Top 5 Page for this destination Besançon by thinking

Besançon Travel Guide: 134 reviews and 417 photos


Three principal communes

Besançon (134,376)

With large parks and clean streets, this grey stoned town enclosed in a loop of the River Doubs and surrounded by the hills of the north Jura range is considered one of France's "greenest" cities.
There are few tourists but, with France's largest foreign student population, it is nonetheless a cosmopolitan place.

The cobbled streets of the old town are full of lively bars and places to eat. Since Gallo-Roman times it has been an important stop on the trade routes beween Italy, the Alps and the Rhine. Since the 18th century it has been an important clock making centre and in 1890 was the birthplace of rayon (artificial silk) . It was also the birthplace of novelist Victor Hugo and the film-pioneering Lumière brothers.

France's least-known mountain range, the Jura extends along the Swiss border from Geneva almost to the Rhine valley. Old limestone hills, the Jura peak at about 5000 ft, on the Swiss border; but most of the area consists of a series of high plateaux, getting higher towards the border.

At the southern end, the Jura has a lot of spectacular deep river valleys, and a lot of lakes too. The hills are quite forested, and the villages on the French side of the border are very similar to those on the Swiss side. Franche Comté, which includes the Jura, has the greatest concentration of deciduous forests in Europe.

Ryanair will be starting flights to Dole-Tavaux (Franche Comté Burgundy regional airport, for the Jura region) from September 2006.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful and serene, my type of place!
  • Cons:Lots of fatting German food!
  • In a nutshell:This is a hidden treasure of France.
  • Last visit to Besançon: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated May 24, 2009
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Comments (4)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jun 25, 2010 at 8:53 AM

    How amazing! Such hidden treasures are extremely attracting! Thanks for enlightening us on this destination......

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jul 18, 2009 at 3:57 PM

    That was a wonderful view of the city form the bend in river. I was reading some about this place and battle with the Gauls and Caesar and interesting

  • himalia11's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2008 at 8:02 AM

    The waterfall picture looks great! We'll spent one week on a housboat in this region, and will try to visit Besancon.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2008 at 5:52 PM

    What an interesting page about Besancan. An eye opener. Well done.

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