Via Francigena from Besançon to Lausanne

Stage 7 of 16


10 days


Popular time


Starting from




2.2 min | 17.3km average | 29.9 max


53.5 min |437.6m average | 834.4 max


1   2.3   4

Follow the Camino Preview Map Trip 660

Passing from France to Switzerland, this section of the Via Francigena will take you through Alpine villages and towns, where you will also have the opportunity to sample local wines and food typical of this mountainous region. Since this is a very scenic route, there are numerous photographic opportunities for everyone.

Loue river


Listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, Lods (pronounced ‘Lo’) is crossed by the Loue River. The village specialises in wine production and iron forging, and has a rich history in both areas. The best place to admire the full beauty of the village is from the main bridge. From here you can see an old, moss-covered bridge that formerly served the town in ruins and the majestic Jura Mountains in the background. Lods is a typical village with charming houses made of stone.

Flowers by river in Switzerland

Sainte Croix

The little town of Sainte Croix in Switzerland is world-renowned for its delicate music boxes and indoor nickelodeons. The village itself is part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites and is charming to walk around. But one of the most attractive things around Sainte Croix is the landscapes. If you want to reconnect with yourself and take a real break from it all, this is the place to do it. The fresh air and utter peace will give you energy for the rest of the trip.

Cafe in Switzerland

Alpine Food and Wine

First thing you have to learn before your trip is that you are in one of the best regions for a perfect comfort meal. After your daily journey, we advise you to try the ‘Boite Chaude’. This baked cheese is similar to a Mont d’Or, a cheese made in the nearby Jura region. It’s kind of like fondue, but we think it is much better! Usually, this will come with potatoes and Morteau sausage. At the end of the meal, try a glass of the Pontarlier Anis or a little bit of the region’s famous Absinthe. They will warm you up and help you relax.

Via Francigena from Besançon to Lausanne

Starting from € 1499



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Included in this package

Bed & Breakfast

Specially Hand-Picked Accommodation

Our Holiday or Pilgrim Pack

24/7 Customer Service

Virtual Face-to-Face Pre-Departure Briefing


Premium Accommodation

Airport Pick-Up

Additional Nights


Luggage Transfers from Hotel to Hotel

Day Tours to Local Sites of Interest

Not included: Flights/trains, Insurance, Drinks/Lunch






Arrive into Besançon. This ancient city is one of the best-preserved cities in France and has many tourist attractions such as the Citadel, the local museums, or even just wandering around the city itself. While here, take the opportunity to sample the locally produced Comté cheese and the Saucisse de Morteau (a type of smoked sausage). Wash it down with some ‘vin jaune’, the most renowned wine from this region.



27.5 km


From Besançon you will leave the city and climb over the wooded ridge. At the top of this ridge, you can take a short detour to visit the Notre-Dame de la Libération monument which has some spectacular views over the region on a clear day. Descending from the ridge, you will traverse farmland and woods over rolling hills with welcoming villages along the way to La Veze. This is a lovely place to stop for a break before heading on to Tarcenay and then your destination for today, Ornans. The town of Ornans is perched on the river La Loue.



13.8 km


Walk along the valley floor, today you will be following the river La Loue to the village of Vuillafans. From this village, you will be walking on a country track on the side of the hill, meandering your way around to the village of Lods. Lods is officially classified as one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (the most beautiful villages of France). With its petite tumbling waterfalls and old stone cottages, this quiet village is a must for a break. After, you will wind along the valley floor until you arrive at your stop for the night, Mouthier-Haute-Pierre. Nestled at the foot of the steep cliffs of Haute-Pierre, the scenery surrounding this picturesque village is beautiful. Here you can sample local produce, such as the renowned Kirsch.



22.1 km


From Mouthier-Haute-Pierre you have two options: a shorter route following the road to the village of Ouhans or the more scenic route, which is slightly longer but takes you past the source of the LoueRiver. There is a visitor centre here worth a visit. Arriving into Ouhans, you will wind over forested hills and through fields before coming to your destination for today, Pontarlier. This ancient town has many attractions and is the last town in France before you cross over into Switzerland. Famous for its absinthe production until it was banned in 1915, it produces this drink on a smaller scale since the repeal of the ban in the 1990s. Les Misérables fans will recognise the name of this town as where Jean Valjean was to report for his parole.



10 km


Leaving Pontarlier flanked by forested hills, you will pass through a small collection of hamlets where you can stop for a picnic or early morning break. Drink in the breathtaking view of mountains and valleys and the imposing 1,000-year-old castle, Château de Joux. After walking along the valley floor for a while, you will climb up a forested hillside to the village of Les Fourgs, before crossing the border into Switzerland. In Switzerland, you will follow the Grand Rue before ascending one final wooded ridge to arrive at Sainte Croix, your stop for the night. With panoramic views of the Alps, this Swiss town is the home of Dream Makers, the craftsmen who create music boxes and to which a museum is dedicated.



29.9 km


The walk today will be predominantly downhill into the town of Yverdon les Bains, which sits on the Lac de Neuchâtel. Descending from the town of Sainte Croix, you will meander through forest pathways criss-crossing your way down to Vuiteboeuf. Yverdon les Bains has a long history and is full of mediaeval and neoclassical buildings. However, the town is perhaps most famous for its spa, a nice treat for aching muscles and tired limbs after a long day of walking.



2.2 km


From Yverdon les Bains you will make your way across the countryside through arable farmlands, passing by small alpine villages where you can enjoy a short break. Passing through a large plain of crop fields with the mountains flanking you in the distance on your right, you will arrive into Orbe. This Roman and mediaeval town is worth spending some time wandering around. Visit the Swiss Reformed Church of Notre-Dame and the Orbe Castle that is situated beside it. Within easy walking distance is the oldest stone bridge in Switzerland on the Rue du Moulinet.



14.2 km


From Orbe, the walk undulates over large open crop fields and through small alpine towns and villages. Many buildings here look like they are straight out of a fairytale book. Your stop for tonight will be Cossonay. Here, you can wander around the town and enjoy some local cuisine in one of the many café’s or restaurants. Be sure to visit the picturesque Church of St Pierre and St Paul.



19 km


Starting from Cossonay, enjoy the countryside and small villages as you walk down towards the outer suburbs of Lausanne. The walk continues through the urban areas leading into Lausanne. This French-speaking city has many cultural attractions such as a beautiful Gothic Cathedral and the Château Saint-Maire. For those with a head for heights they can climb the Sauvabelin Tower for a 360° panoramic view over the city and surrounding area.





After breakfast, we bid you farewell. This French-speaking city has many cultural attractions such as a beautiful Gothic Cathedral and the Château Saint-Maire. A walk around this city will provide many opportunities for budding photographers to capture not only the architecture of the city but also the panoramic views over the lake. Lausanne is also home to the Olympic Committee and also has an Olympic Museum.

How to Get There

Getting to Besancon, France

To begin your Camino, fly into Geneva Airport, Lyon Airport, or Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Fly into Geneva Airport

Geneva is a major international airport in Switzerland, carrying airlines from Emirates to EasyJet. From the airport, get a train to Lausanne. There you get on another train to Dole Ville. One last transfer and you get to Besancon. This journey takes 3 hours and 30 minutes.

    Fly into Lyon Airport

    Lyon Airport is a major regional transport hub and a number of airlines fly there. From Lyon Airport to Besancon there is a bus, run by Flixbus, which will take 4 hours and 15 minutes.

      Fly into Paris Charles de Gaulle

      Charles de Gaulle is a major international airport and nearly all airlines fly there, including Iberia/BA and Aer Lingus from Dublin. From Charles de Gaulle Airport, get the train to Châtelet Les Halles. Switch lines and disembark at Paris Gare De Lyon. From here, you can catch a direct line to Besancon. This trip will take 3 hours and 30 minutes.

        Getting home from Lausanne, Switzerland

        It is easiest to return from Besancon through Geneva or Bern airports.

        Fly home from Geneva Airport

        To fly from Geneva Airport, go to the Prilly Centre bus station in Lausanne. There is a direct bus, through BlaBla Bus, to the airport in Geneva. This will take about 1 hour.

          Fly home from Bern Airport

          To get to the airport in Bern, you must catch a train from Lausanne to the city centre. Then, get another train to Belp, and from there you can catch a bus directly to Bern Airport. This journey will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

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            This section of the Via Francigena will see you pass from France into Switzerland.
            January Off season
            February Off season
            March Good time
            April Good time
            September Good time
            October Good time
            November Off season
            December Off season