All this visiting is a tiring business. So far we have driven most of the way down France, around Lake Annecy, visited Annecy itself, Semnoz ski resort and the Gorges du Fier. Phew! All in just 3 days. Our next stop was the waterfall and cave at Seythenex which is just south of Lake Annecy halfway between the end of the lake and the town of Albertville. The cave and waterfall are open May to September, generally between 10am and 5pm and cost 7Euros per adult to visit (small yellow bears are, as always, admitted free). You can get all the specific dates/times/prices etc as well as location details from the Cascade et Grotte de Seythenex website. The cascade is pretty spectacular and drops about 45 metres. There is a viewing platform at the top where you can get some great views.
We climbed a LOT of steps to get right to the top. I got carried most of the way thankfully otherwise I might still be climbing now!
And even more steps down and then back up again. It’s stupidly noisy by the bottom of the cascade. You have to shout to be heard by the person (or bear) next to you. And you get a bit wet too if you stand there too long.
We went on a tour in the cave too. There is a liberating lack of overbearing (no pun intended) health and safety regulation here. In England there would have been danger signs everywhere and we would have been made to wear hard hats and listen to a long detailed safety brief, accompanied by some sort of pamphlet. Now the safety brief in French sounded a whole lot longer than the one we got in English (we were the only English people/bear on the tour) but since we emerged into the light at the end of the tour totally unscathed I can only deduce that our short briefing was perfectly adequate for purpose.
Once inside the cave the guide did his thing with the rest of the group in French, sent them off ahead and then offered an abridged version in English to us. Then he would run off ahead to catch the rest of the group, leaving us to slowly make our way along after him in the dark with our little torch and so the cycle would continue. Our guide was a thoroughly nice and enthusiastic chap who made me quite ashamed that his English was way better than my French. I must learn to speak more French before our next visit.
When we were about to leave there were some people there with big film cameras, all wearing harnesses and hard hats and things. They went up to the zip wire that goes across the cascade and I noticed that since we came back they have a new promotional video on their website which wasn’t there before we went so it might be what those people were filming. It is a wonderful place to visit if you are in the area.
On a practical note, there are a lot of steps and you can’t really avoid them if you want to see the cascade so if steps aren’t really your thing then there isn’t much you could do here. There are 2 carparks, a cafe with a terrace, picnic area and souvenir shop. To do the cave tour doesn’t cost any more than the general admission price. It can be quite cold in the cave so it would be beneficial to take an extra layer even in warmer weather and wear some decent shoes. I’m a bear so I don’t need shoes but you should definitely wear some.
Our next day out was a bit of a road trip down the Gorges de la Bourne to Pont en Royans and to Col de Roussett – I’ll tell you about that next time. Thanks for reading.