French property watch: Why buy in Jura and what prices to expect

The department’s spectacular valleys, lakes and mountains make it popular with outdoor enthusiasts and second-homers

Unspoilt Lac de Bonlieu is hailed as one of the most beautiful lakes in the department
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Department 39 capital: Lons-le-Saunier

Main cities/towns: Dole, Saint-Claude, Champagnole, Hauts de Bienne

Jura only became part of France in 1678 after years of war between French kings and various Burgundy and Habsburg rulers.

It can still sometimes feel a little detached from the rest of the country, being a department with a relatively small population and lots of big mountains and forests.

Up in the high country, winters are bitterly cold, while down in the valleys the temperature can be moderate to warm, even in mid-winter.

The high country above 800 metres attracts winter sports enthusiasts, especially cross-country skiers, and it is in these regions that most of the second homes, which make up 10% of the housing stock, are found.

Low house prices

House prices start relatively low, with small town houses needing renovation on the market for between €30,000 and €35,000. Most have pocket-handkerchief gardens.

However, there are exceptions – for example, a three-roomed house of 61m² with an attached 85m² barn and 600m² of land for €27,000.

For larger budgets and people who are prepared for heavy renovations, country houses with around 1,000m² of land and interesting features can be had for €50,000.

Transport links

The department has two TGV stations, at Dole-Ville and Mouchard, which puts Paris in reach in around two hours.

The A39 motorway runs along the western boundary of the department, which otherwise has national and departmental roads as its main transport routes.

Dole also has an airport, used mainly for light aviation, although Ryanair provides links to Morocco, Portugal and London Stansted.

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