Among the activities available aroundAnnecy is caving. Some sites are particularly interesting in Haute-Savoie and we suggest you discover them.
The origins of caving
Caving is the study and exploration of caves. Caves have always been surrounded by beliefs, but also by mysteries that have given them a mysterious side. Historically, the first cave visits took place in the 18th century.
1888, creation of modern caving
It was in 1888, under the impetus of Edouard-Alfred Martel, that speleology as we know it appeared. It was then presented as a scientific discipline and included several sub-disciplines:
It was only much later that caving became a leisure activity. However, some countries reserve this discipline for professionals.
The top caving sites in France
Generally speaking, caving is practised in massifs with limestone or karstic soil. In France, certain geographical areas are particularly suited to this activity, such as Haute-Savoie, Savoie and Chartreuse.
Further away from Annecy, you can also discover numerous caves, as in the Pyrenees, the Ardèche, the Lot or even Reunion Island.
Where to go caving around Annecy?
There is no shortage of caves to explore around Annecy. The Balme cave, for example, is located in the commune of Magland, on the banks of the Arve and near Sallanches. Ideal for a discovery session, count on 2 hours 30 minutes of underground exploration. The Balme cave is accessible from 6 years old, all year round.
The Prérouge cave, a must-see in the Bauges
If there is one cave in Haute-Savoie that you should not miss, it is certainly Prérouge, in the Bauges massif. Its entrance offers you the possibility of discovering one of the largest underground networks in Savoie, 55 km long. It extends to the foot of the Revard and has a height difference of 860 metres.
To reach the cave, follow the 911. 500 metres after the Charniaz crossroads, in Lescheraines, turn left towardsAix-les-Bains and Cusy. It is located in the commune of Arith. Allow half a day to explore the cave.
For those who enjoy walking in the forest, you can leave the centre of Lescheraines on foot to reach the Prérouges cave. A loop can be done, by taking the GR of the Tour de Pays des Bauges. You will then reach the Chocolaterie des Bauges, then the road.
The Diau cave, in the heart of the Parmelan
The Diau cave is located in the heart of the Parmelan, in the Bornes massif. It is the result of a hydraulic network approximately 30 km long, which drains the Parmelan and its plateau. The Diau cave acts as a spillway when the underground river is in flood.
Count on 4 hours of underground exploration out of a total of 6 hours of activity. The cave is accessible to people aged 12 and over and is only for sporty people. To reach it, you will have to take a few cabled passages.
To reach the Diau cave from Annecy, take the direction of the Glières pass from Thorens-Glières. Once you have passed Usillon, go to La Verrerie and continue to the end of the road. The entrance to the car park is marked by a stele commemorating the Glières maquis.
Practical information on caving
Caving is a sporting activity which requires a minimum of physical condition. Some caves are more complex than others. It is not uncommon for professionals to specify the minimum age and level required before the trip.
The right equipment
Caving requires special equipment, some of which is provided when you go on a trip with professionals. This includes
- A helmet with lighting
- A protective suit
- Two harnesses
- A double lanyard
- Rope climbing equipment
- Knee pads
You should also make sure you have suitable footwear with you. This means mountain shoes, which will grip the wet rock and prevent you from slipping.
Why get a professional to accompany you?
Caving is not without risk. This is why it is important to be accompanied by a professional during an activity of this type. As well as ensuring your safety, they will teach you more about the origin of the caves and everything that surrounds them.
Finally, you should not forget that water can quickly rise in caves, especially in the event of violent storms or heavy rainfall. It is therefore essential to find out about the weather before going caving.
Professionals offering caving trips in Annecy
In Annecy, you can find various service providers offering caving trips:
- Spéléo Club d’Annecy – Boulevard du Fier, 74000 Annecy
- Monté Médio – 1 rue Jean Jaurès, 74000 Annecy
- Canyoning Terréo – 7 rue Jean Mermoz, 74940 Annecy