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This circuit requires attentiveness but offers magnificent passages including a shady reach: the free-flowing Doubs, its canals, several locks, underground water courses, tunnels, and more.
With a parliament, a university and a mint, Dole was the capital of Franche-Comté until it became part of France in 1678.
This town in Jura was a thriving centre of economic, political and religious power and still bears many outward signs of this today, as demonstrated by its "Ville d'Art et d'Histoire" (Town of Art and History) label. Below the collegiate church of Notre-Dame, a maze of steep and narrow streets will take you to the tanners' district. Louis Pasteur was born in one of these houses in 1822. Today, the canal is lined with charming restaurant terraces and is a perfect place to take a stroll. In fact, it is from here that boaters dock in Dole since the Port du Prélot (its name referring to its proximity to the water) is located on a canal parallel to Les Tanneurs.
To let you discover the town's (almost) secret passageways, 17th century Hôtel-Dieu, private mansions and religious cloisters, the Tourist Office offers guided visits and a 4km marked tour called the "Circuit du chat perché".
Right next to the harbour, on the banks of the Doubs, you will find a water park, zip-lines and tree-climbing, in addition to a EuroVelo route and its special trails for crossing Dole.
You can also board the Floméga for a one-hour discovery tour along the canal. A bit farther along, on the other side of the harbour and river, stretches the enormous Chaux Forest, measuring 28 km long by 16 km wide and covering 21,000 hectares. It is one of France's largest natural forests.
Tourist office : 0033 3 84 72 11 22
habitable boats hire, no driving licence required
The "parcours de la libellule" invites eco-paddlers to ride a canoe-kayak with a tourist GPS built into the paddle, for a new and independent way of exploring Dole's historic and natural heritage.
Contact the Tourist Office for more information.