Jura is a department of Franche Comté, eastern France. It has a common border with Switzerland and its prefecture is Lons-le-Saunier. It accounts for 250,925 inhabitants living in a preserved environment of 4,999 sq m. Its name comes from the Latin word ‘juria’, which means ‘forest’. Jura is a ‘green’ department which catchwords are nature and tranquillity.
It is partially located on the Jura Massif and has a particular relief, which can be divided as follows:
Jura has a semi-continental climate. In the plains, summers are warm and humid, winters temperate and autumns usually benefit from exceptional sunshine conditions. With the altitude the intermediate seasons are short, summers more humid and winters harsher.
Its economy is mainly based on the craft industry, which is the first company of the department. Tourism also plays an important role and has greatly developed over the last years, especially in terms of ecological tourism.
Like in the whole country, property prices in Jura constantly increased over the last ten years. After a drop in the first semester of 2009, they have since tended to increase reasonably again. The average price is €1,641 /sq m, which is really attractive compared to the national average (€3,197 /sq m).
There are few studio flats and many large houses. Indeed, 35% of the properties have 5 rooms or more. Prices logically vary according to the type of property. The average buying price for an apartment is €1,664 /sq m and for a house you should plan to invest about €190,997 on average (or €1,534 /sq m). The average rental price is €7.33 /sq m (€12.22 /sq m /month in France).
The department accounts for 127,784 dwellings, with an average area of 150 sq m. More houses than apartments are to be found. It has a significant rate of second homes; this can be explained by the fact that its natural atmosphere and surroundings are really pleasant and therefore ideal for soothing escapades.
Its location near Switzerland allows to plan lots of estate projects, especially commercial ones. The economy in Jura is currently booming, therefore industrial and commercial buildings grow in number. You can also find very affordable properties for sale near nature reserves and forests.
To get updated info about property prices in Jura, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
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A land of wines: Jura is a real paradise for wine lovers. Red wines were the first to be produced. The Rubis du Jura and the Rosé Corail are particularly fresh and subtle, with a generous aroma of fresh fruits. But the reputation of Jura has been made thanks to its white wines, born of the floral Chardonnay or traditional Savagnin grape varieties. The Crémant du Jura for its part is an incontrovertible tasty sparkling wine. The mellow Jura Macvin is one of the only French wine produced from spirit grapes. But the wines absolutely not to be missed are the Vin Jaune (yellow wine) and the Straw Wine, two unique specialties. The first is an organoleptic wine developing an exceptional aromatic palette with the aging process and the grapes of the second are dried in natural conditions on a bed of straw, giving its aromas of crystallized exotic fruits.
Tranquillity and scenery: many places of this department are still untouched and preserved. It has a low population density, enabling its inhabitants to fully enjoy the tranquillity of a natural environment. Besides, it benefits from many assets. Its diverse fauna, peat bogs, gardens, lakes, caves, forests and waterfalls make Jura a unique place of pure nature. It nestles natural curiosities not to pass by. In the echoing site of the Haut Jura, you can play with impressive acoustic phenomena. The bustling Abîme torrent has dug spectacular and vertiginous gorges in the rock and is really worth seeing. The biggest wonder is probably the lapiaz de Loulle. This strange geological formation full of faults and crevasses makes you feel in another world.
Local produce: three of its cheeses, Comté, Morbier and Bleu de Gex are AOC, i.e. they have been granted an origin certification and authorized to be produced in this region only. Other local cheeses are the Mont d’Or and the cancoillotte, a special runny one. Many local recipes mix these cheeses, like the Millefeuille aux 2 comtés et jus curry, a curious but tasty dish with Comté, curry and potatoes. Not to forget the traditional hint of Jura wine. This land is also well-known for its snails and its delicious honey and gingerbread. But the desserts are not left behind. Taste the Galets de Chalain (delicious pralines in nougatine sprinkled of cocoa), the Casse-Noisettes or the Noix de Baume, made of walnut, pistachio almond paste and rum or coffee.
Miscellaneous activities: you have the choice between lots of sport activities: canyoning, golfing, hang-gliding, mountain biking, rock-climbing, paragliding... If you want more relaxing ones, you can go fishing, strolling, bath or ballooning in the peaceful surrounding nature. You can also have a go at speleology. Winters cover Jura in snow and allow Nordic activities such as ski-joering, snowshoe trekking, dog sledging, horse-riding on snow and of course the traditional cross-country and downhill skiing. To relax, the department has several spas at your disposal. If you prefer cultural activities, there are also diverse castles, museums like the singular museum of toys in Moirans-en-Montagne, as well as archaeological sites to visit. As for sacred art, nice edifices are to be seen nestled in nature.
Chalets jurassiens: they are a typical housing in the Jura department. They are always made of wood, either completely or just for the storeys with a ground floor in stone. Erstwhile, they were only located in the higher part of Jura, but today they are more and more to be found in the lakes region. They are appreciated for their warmth and conviviality.
Village houses: built in stone, they are former farmhouses; renovated or to renovate. Located in the countryside, they usually have a few outbuildings, like barn or shed. Most of the time they also have a small plot of land to enjoy. These typical houses remind you of a past forgotten way of life.
Domaines: Jura is too little-known for its prestigious estates. Built mostly during the 14th century, these huge properties have a lot of rooms and a large amount of land comes with them. Some have French-style gardens and are registered as ancient monuments. They were generally used in specific purpose, like horsing or wine-growing and traces of these activities are still part of them.
Click here for more info about Architecture in Franche Comté.
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