The Jura

The Jura is one of Switzerland’s three geographical regions. Running along the western edge of the country, it covers around 10% of Switzerland's territory and forms a natural border with France. The Chasseral is one of the most instantly recognisable mountain peaks in the Swiss Jura. Some of the country's largest lakes can be found in the Jura foothills. The region is also home to the Rhine Falls.

A family peers over the steep rock face of the Creux de Van (canton of Neuchâtel).
The Jura mountains extend across several cantons in western Switzerland. The Creux du Van (pictured) is in the canton of Neuchâtel. ©

The Jura mountain range extends across several cantons in western Switzerland. It covers 10% of the country and flanks the northern edge of the Central Plateau. The cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Bern, Jura, Solothurn, Basel-Landschaft and Aargau fall within the boundaries of the Jura.

Natural border with France

Parts of the Jura are also in France and Germany. The section of the Jura in the west of Switzerland forms a natural border with France, as does the northwest stretch of the River Doubs in the cantons of Jura and Neuchâtel. The foothills of the Jura are home to Lake Geneva, Lake Bienne and Lake Neuchâtel, some of the largest lakes in Switzerland. 

At 1,679m, Mont-Tendre is the highest peak in the Swiss Jura. La Dôle, which stands at 1,677m, is Switzerland's most western peak and offers views over Lake Geneva and the Alps. With its long, distinctive crest, the Chasseral is a Jura landmark. This 1,607m mountain dominates the landscape and offers a panoramic view over the Franches-Montagnes, the Central Plateau and the Alps.

Nearly half of the Jura (47%) is covered by forests, while almost as much again (43%) is covered by agricultural land. Settlement areas account for 8% of land use in the region, half as much as in the Central Plateau. Since 1996 not a single square kilometre of the Central Plateau is completely dark at night. This has also been the case in the Jura since 2008.