Underground

Top 5 caves, caverns and chasms in the Jura Mountains

Immense caves, bear skeletons, activities for children, sound-and-light shows, solar lighting...the caves of the Jura Mountains are all unique and each one has something different to offer. From the cave of Osselle to the Poudrey chasm, these cavities are as amazing as the history of Jura's subsoils. All you have to do is take your pick! To help you choose, here's our list of the Top 5 cave tours for a trip below the earth's surface to discover its well-hidden mineral gems. 

Visiter la grotte d'Osselle près de Besançon
Julie THIEBAUD - Bourgogne-Franche-Comte Tourisme BFC
1

Osselle Cave

The most renowned

Head for the cave of Osselle, between Doubs and Jura. Quite simply, Osselle is one of the oldest caves in the world to be open to tourists. Just imagine, this cave has been visited since the 16th century, when they even organised dances here. Some of its tunnels are said to have been widened to accommodate ladies wearing cumbersome dresses.

Nowadays the cave is open to a wide audience. You'll love the prehistoric treasures hidden here, especially the skeletons of cave bears, an impressive prehistoric animal, now extinct, that stood 2.5 metres tall!

Not to mention the natural decor! Stretching for a little over one kilometre, the tunnels will dazzle you with their beautiful concretions of all shapes and colours. You'll follow an underground river and even cross a small underground bridge that was built in the 18th century.

>>Guided tour with commentary, 1hr 10mn to 1hr 30mn

Discover Osselle Cave

 

Gouffre de Poudrey
BFC Tourisme
2

Poudrey Chasm

The largest

Not far from Besançon, the Poudrey Chasm could (or so they say) hold the entire Cathedral of Paris! You'll enter this immense cavity via uncountable flights of steps. Once at the bottom, 70 metres beneath the surface, you'll gaze in awe at the sight before you!

For your underground journey, remember to take a warm garment as the temperature barely exceeds 7 degrees Celsius. In the heat of summer, this is an original way to cool off.

The one-hour tour ends with a "Music & Light" show that makes the cave look even more magnificent as it retraces the history of the earth from the Big Bang to the present day, for an extraordinary journey to the centre of the earth!                                                          
          
>>1-hour guided tour at set times

Discover Poudrey Chasm

Grotte de Baume-les-Messieurs
Aline Dalloz / Jura Tourisme
3

Baume-les-Messieurs Cave

The most spectacular

Visit the cave of Baume-les-Messieurs for a chance to discover in real life the complex geology of the Jura Mountains and their chalky subsoil, shaped 30 million years ago by water gushing into fissures across the Jura plateau.

The tour reveals stalactites and stalagmites as well as an underground river and lake. Due to flooding, the cave is closed to the public in winter when it becomes a sanctuary for bats.

But the cave isn't the only attraction in Baume-les-Messieurs. While you're here, pay a visit to the waterfall created by the same river that flows through the cave. Other must-dos include the listed village and the unforgettable panoramic view over the steephead valley, a typical phenomenon of the Jura landscape.
                         
>> Guided tour of approximately 1hr

Grotte des Moidons
Manon Nevers / Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Tourisme
4

Moidons Cave

The most "ecofriendly"

The Moidons cavities are the only ones in the Jura Mountains to be lit by solar power! In the same ecofriendly spirit, these caves can also be visited by electric bike, which will recharge its battery as you enjoy your tour.

Of course, once inside, you'll see all the geological wonders you can imagine, including stalagmites and stalactites enhanced by a sound-and-light show.  There's plenty of water too, in the form of a small river that winds its way along the length of the cave.

This tour will delight the children too. With a "bat corner", a maze, a nature discovery audio trail and a picnic area with play features, everything promises great family moments on and below the earth's surface.

>> Guided tours at set times

Discover Moidons Cave

 

 

Grottes du Cerdon
Stéphane Godin / Les grottes du Cerdon
5

Cerdon Cave

The most family-friendly

Between Nantua Lake and the River Ain, the Cerdon Caves invite you to spend a day in the great outdoors between cave tours and prehistoric activities.

Set in an unusual, spectacular decor, the tour takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

After crossing a majestic hall, with minimal effort you'll reach an amazing panoramic viewpoint overlooking the Cerdon valley from halfway up the cliffside... a must-do, as is the amazing porchway at the end of the tour that leads you into Prehistory.

Indeed, the whole family, including children from the age of 4, can spend their day imitating the gestures of our ancestors, with an introduction to pottery, ochre painting, lance hunting, jewellery making, percussion fire lighting, or playing at archaeologists.

 

Discover Cerdon Cave

En résumé