Grande Saline

The Jura Mountains

The salty history of the Jura is well-explained in the town of Salins-les-Bains, which derives its very name from the salt trade. Step inside the Grande Saline's salt museum to learn about the medieval salt trade that made the town rich, and gawp at antique pans, pumps and other salt-processing equipment. It's more illuminating to join an hour-long guided tour; there are between two and 12 daily tours in French, while English-language tours are at 12.15pm between July and mid-September.

Salins-les-Bains lies 15km southeast of Arc-et-Senans, which is home to an even more impressive salty sight, the Saline Royale.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Jura Mountains attractions

1. Musée de la Vigne et du Vin du Jura

5.35 MILES

The history behind the Jura's prized vin jaune (barrel-matured wine with a distinctive yellow hue) is told at this understated museum, between the turrets…

2. Maison de Louis Pasteur

5.51 MILES

Louis Pasteur's laboratory and workshops have been preserved at his familial house, which still sports its 19th-century fixtures and fittings. Digital …

3. Saline Royale

7.96 MILES

These wondrously symmetrical early–Industrial Age saltworks were designed to be an 'ideal city' by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. Though Ledoux's plans never came…

4. Abbaye Impériale

19.23 MILES

Baume-les-Messieurs' abandoned Benedictine Abbaye Impériale has an exquisite polychrome Flemish altarpiece dating from the 16th century (the time when the…

5. Cascades des Tufs

20.49 MILES

Near the Grottes de Baume, the Tufs waterfalls slosh dramatically over limestone boulders into the Dard River. There are picturesque walking trails nearby.

6. Grottes de Baume

20.57 MILES

The 30-million-year-old Grottes de Baume are secreted away in the cliffs 2km south of Baume-les-Messieurs. On guided tours, visitors can weave their way…

7. Musée Pasteur

20.9 MILES

Louis Pasteur (1822–95), who developed the first rabies vaccine and, of course, pasteurisation, spent his first three years in Dole. His childhood home in…

8. Citadelle de Besançon

21.59 MILES

Dominating the city from Mt St-Etienne, more than 100 vertical metres above the old town, the 17th-century Citadelle de Besançon – designed by Vauban for…