Lake Vouglans in the Jura, map & directions
How to get to Vouglans
On the A39 motorway, take the exit to Lausanne, Pontarlier, Lons-le-Saunier and Poligny. Take exit D192 signposted Lons-le-Saunier / Seillière. Follow the signs to Lons-le-Saunier. In Lons-le-Saunier, follow the signs to Orgelet, then Oyonnax/Saint-Claude.
Take the A42, then the A40 towards Geneva. Take exit 8 signed "Oyonnax", then in Moirans-en-Montagne follow the signs for Lons-le-Saunier.
Book your journey with the SNCF
Nearest stations: Lons-le-Saunier (28 km) or Champagnole (45 km).
NB: there is only one school bus line between these stations and the campsite
Allo Taxi in Lons-le-Saunier Tel.: +33 (0)22.214.171.124.16
The closest airport is Geneva Cointrin (87 km) served by easyJet flights
Lyon St-Exupéry airport (147 km)
To preserve the beauty and natural riches of this Jura attraction, Lake Vouglans is divided into three separate areas.
In the north, Port de La Saisse is located in the area reserved for fishing, a venue well-known in Europe among angling enthusiasts.
Further south, Port du Meix is situated in the motor-boating area, the only part of the lake where speeds up to 60km/h are permitted.
It's the ideal place for practising speed sports such as water skiing or jet-skiing. There is also a slalom course here.
The far south of the lake is more windy, and so is the natural location for sailing activities such as catamaran or Optimist dinghy sailing, as well as rowing and canoeing. Port de la Mercantine mostly accommodates sailing boats.
The three ports offer around 700 moorings for hire by the day, week or even season (May to September). The many inlets around the shores of the lake are suitable for anchoring away from the ports, giving you an opportunity to explore the landscape from another angle.
The Premier Plateau region of the Jura is known as the Pays des Lacs or lake country. Dozens of lakes are scattered along the valleys of the Jura mountains.
The Route des Lacs is a 150 km signed tourist trail to help you explore the beauties of the Jura. From spectacular viewpoints such as the Pyle bridge to the Cascades du Hérisson waterfalls, the area is full of outstanding natural attractions.
Not only has water left its mark on the landscape, it has also sculpted the caves of Baume-les-Messieurs, among the finest in Europe.
And for history fans, Baume-les-Messieurs nestled at the foot of imposing cliffs, is one of France's designated "beautiful villages" and has a stunning Cluniac abbey.
In days gone by, the long, harsh winters of the Jura created a tradition of artisan toy-making. The craft is still alive and well and its story is told in the Toy Museum in Moirans-en-Montagne.
The gentle way of life and food of the Jura are another of the pleasures on offer. Enjoy gourmet excursions where you'll discover Comté cheese, speciality smoked meats and delicious Jura wine.
All the practical information you need to plan these activities is available from:
- the Information Point in Orgelet (open from mid June to the end of August): +33 3 84 25 48 25
- Clairvaux-les-Lacs Tourist Office: +33 3 84 25 27 47, www.juralacs.com
- Moirans-en-Montagne Tourist Office: +33 3 84 42 31 57, www.jurasud.net
- Lons-le-Saunier Tourist Office: +33 3 84 24 65 01, www.ot-lons-le-saunier.com
- departmental and regional tourism websites www.jura-tourism.com and www.franche-comte.org
FISHING AND WATER ACTIVITIES
Lake Vouglans has an excellent reputation in Europe for its rich fishing and wide range of water activities.
For further information: www.ports-vouglans.com
The waters are full of fish and the lake holds mainly predatory species such as pike, whitefish, trout, carp, perch, catfish, but especially the most sought-after, the zander.
Holders of a fishing permit can fish from the shore or a boat using live bait, lures or an echo sounder.
The fishing area of the lake can be accessed from Port du Meix at the Domaine de Surchauffant. Port de la Saisse is located to the north of this area.
There are three shady beaches with supervised swimming around the lake: the beaches of Surchauffant, Bellecin and La Mercantine. Perfect for lazy summer days.
For the more active, the lake is the ideal place for water sports.
Water activities can be directly accessed from Domaine de Surchauffant, Port de la Mercantine, Bellecin beach and on the river Ain.
In 1968, a huge dam was built across the river Ain, creating a reservoir with 600 million cubic metres of water. At 429 metres above sea level, Lake Vouglans winds over 35 km and covers 1600 hectares. It is the third largest reservoir in France and the largest lake in the Jura's Région des Lacs.
It is well-known throughout Europe for its fishing and water sports. The turquoise waters engulfed a number of hamlets and the Chartreuse de Vaucluse, an ancient abbey built by Carthusian monks in the 12th century, which now lies at a depth of 40 metres below the surface.
Another work of art, but in this case clearly visible, is the Pyle bridge connecting the two sides of the valley which spans the lake over 351 m at a height of 75 m.
The bridge was built by EDF at the same time as the hydroelectric dam.