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Border hopping into France at the Doubs Falls

My investigation of the borders of Switzerland continues with the falls of the river Doubs.

Not far from Les Brenets in the canton of Neuchâtel, and at the heart of the Jura mountains, the river Doubs falls a dramatic 27 meters. From there, it stoically carries on its role as a national border between Switzerland and France.

Boat services from France and Switzerland approach the Saut du Doubs falls before letting you witness them on foot. What an amazing excuse for a day out once spring weather is back.

To get to the initial boat dock from Switzerland, a tiny train line links Le Locle to Les Brenets in 7 minutes, where you can hop on a boat during the warmest months of the year. Le Locle is easily accessible from Neuchâtel through a picturesque (and steep) railway.

After a short sail along the river border, your boat will moor at one of these two quays: The left one is in France, the right one in Switzerland.

Saut du Doubs

A pedestrian bridge allows you to constantly hop between Switzerland and France, francs and euros, nonante and quatre-vingt-dix. (These are the differing ways the Swiss-French and the French say the number ninety.)

Saut du Doubs

No matter what side you are on, gorgeous views of the Jura range will keep you amazed during this trip in the land of watchmaking, Comte cheese, sausages, and absinthe.


With no access by car, the area is peaceful and allows you enjoy the landscape of the Jura mountains.

Saut du Doubs

After a short hike, you finally get to see the 27 meter falls.

Saut du Doubs

These balconies offer a stunning close-up with the falls. One is in Switzerland, the other one in France.

Saut du Doubs

Check out the massive amount of water that is gushing down:

A video posted by @windlandsend on


This Swiss restaurant used to be a fully-operating border control station.

Saut du Doubs

And the French restaurant features a "Terrasse d'Absinthe"!

A photo posted by lup6 (@lup6) on

More information about this hike

Jordan Girardin

Jordan grew up in the French region of Franche-Comté along the border with the Canton of Jura. He is passionate about train travel and tourism, and he looks at Switzerland as a humongous playground and a fascinating set of regions to (re)discover.

Jordan Girardin

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