Print Posted By Lost in France on 19 Mar 2010 in French Regions - Franche-Comte

Things to do: Waterfalls, Caves and Grottos

Franche Compte has a wealth of natural sites that kids will just love from fairy tale grottos to glacial caves and beautiful waterfalls...


Waterfalls of Franche ComteIn spring, when the snow melts, the region's waterfalls are at their most intense. There are many forest trails alongside the raging, cascading waters. Children will love these walks!

The Saut du Doubs, in Villers-le-Lac, is the Franche-Comté's leading natural site, fascinating all those that come to watch this natural show. The water crashes down from a height of 27 m! A boat trip on the Doubs reveals the wilderness of the surrounding area: a 14 km route, inaccessible by road, unveils cliffs, belvederes and forests, making a lasting impression. In days gone by, our ancestors considered waterfalls as sacred - when you see the white froth at the source of the Loue and the Lison in the Doubs region, it is quite easy to understand why. The Loue flows into a waterfall in a large rocky kettle with a deafening roar, caused by the force of the water crashing against the 100 m cliffs.

The Hérisson falls in the Jura twists and turns over 3 km, cascading down 31 waterfalls! Walking behind the waterfall is just too difficult to resist for our budding explorers! Several other rivers tumble down towards the valley. A real delight for walkers.

Caves and grottoes

Franche-Comté has a host of treasures visible to the eye, such as magnificent forests, tumbling waterfalls, and calm lakes. But the region also hides riches underground, with almost 4,500 grottoes and chasms. These underground sites fascinate children and adults alike. It's time for a change of scenery - our visit now goes underground, where the light is low, the inhabitants a little odd and the constructions quite unusual.

The chasm of Poudrey, journey to the centre of the Earth

The chasm of Poudrey2 million cubic metres, 600 metres in circumference and 200 metres in diameter: this is the largest underground hall in France. A 45-minute stroll takes visitors 70 metres underground to observe surprisingly regular formations, enhanced by an impressive sound and light show.
Where: Étalans (Doubs)
Tel: +33 3 81 59 22 57

The Osselle grotto and bears

Discovered in the 13th century, the Osselle grotto has been open to the public since 1504! It is one of the oldest tourist caves in the world. It is also one of the largest cave bear cemeteries in the world.
Don't be surprised if, during the tour, children notice a 40,000 year-old skeleton made from bones found under the rocks.
Where: St Vit (Doubs) near Arc et Senans
Tel: +33 3 81 63 62 09

The Glacière caves, an underground refrigerator!

This grotto, 525 metres underground, collects cold air and water to form a large ice reserve. This phenomenon at this altitude is unique in Europe. For a bit of coolness in summer, don't miss a visit to the Glacière grotto!
Where: Chaux-Les-Passavant (Doubs)
Tel: +33 3 81 60 44 26

Moidons caves, 4 000 m2 of underground decoration

Moidons cavesArbois is a refuge for chasms and grottoes Here the walker can discover the finest stalactites in the Jura.
Where: Molain (Jura ) near Arbois
Tel: +33 3 84 51 74 94

Baume-Les-Messieurs caves: geology and its fantasies

These 30 million year old caves are at the bottom of one of the most beautiful valleys in Franche-Comté. Home to bats and blind shrimps, children are guaranteed to be excited! Below, a magnificent waterfall will freshen up children and adults alike!
Where: Baume-Les-Messieurs (Jura )
Tel: +33 3 84 48 23 02

Planches caves, a walk through time

With its giant pot-holes, organs and trees, this grotto close to Arbois opens its doors to a gallery, a museum and archaeological digs. There is also a prehistoric trail alongside the underground river.
Where: Arbois (Jura )
Tel: +33 3 84 66 13 74

More information

Comité Régional du tourisme de Franche Comté
Tel: +33 810 10 11 13

More Info

Source: ATOUT FRANCE - France Tourism Development Agency. For more information visit

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