GROTTE DE BAUME OBSCURE - LE SOUTERROSCOPE
SAINT VALLIER DE THIEY

Explore the 550m of underground galleries at depths of up to 60 meters, either to the rhythm of music and light effects controlled by the "Souterroscope", or with a speleologist guide and only the light of your lanterns.

The cave is located in the commune of Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey, in the forest four kilometers from the village center (Haut Pays Grasse, in the Parc Naturel Régional des Préalpes d'Azur).
There are several ways to discover the Baume Obscure site:
- Either take a self-guided tour (without a guide) to the rhythm of the musical and light shows, or take a guided tour with a specialist in the underground world.
- Take a self-guided tour and go on a treasure hunt in the cave.
- Go on a treasure hunt on the surface along one of the marked forest trails.

Night-time activities are offered in summer to discover the worlds of the night, in the cave and in the forest.
On-site catering at the Croc Magnon snack bar or in the picnic area.

The Grotte de Baume Obscure or Souterroscope

The grotte de Baume Obscure or "Souterroscope" is located in the Parc Naturel Régional des Préalpes d'Azur, a twenty-minute drive from the town of Grasse.
Dozens of hectares of forest cover this natural gem and the surrounding area.
This vast natural area is close to the Haute Siagne gorges, a protected reserve classified as "Natura 2000".

Domaine de la grotte de baume obscure

A total of 9 caves make up the Baume Obscure underground network.
The network has been explored over a length of 1,200 meters to a depth of 80 meters.
Only part of it has been developed and is accessible by stairs for a visit 550 meters long and 60 meters deep.
You enter on one side via the Grotte du Cyprès, and emerge an hour later via the Grotte de la Loube.

Photos of geological curiosities, minerals

As you progress, the "Souterroscope" system uses light effects and background music to highlight the most remarkable parts of the cave:
- magical landscapes,
- waterfalls,
- geological curiosities,
- minerals and fossils,
- crystallizations, ...

Enchanting landscapes in the underground galleries

Groomed trails and walks

In addition to the hidden treasures of the underground part of the site, you'll discover the diversity and richness of the flora and fauna, at an average altitude of 650 metres and depending on the season.

Trails and walks around the cave

In spring, you may come across grazing sheep and goats.
The area is also rich in historical and prehistoric remains to discover on foot: troglodytic sites, dolmens, tumuli, chapels, old bridges, mills, etc.

Activities: Treasure hunts

 

Activities inside or outside the underground telescope

Families particularly enjoy treasure hunts, which are both fun and educational.
They last on average 1h30 and are designed for young and old alike.

Treasure hunt in the cave

 

Treasure hunt in the cave

Before setting off, a guide tells a story in the "Geodome";
Then he assigns a mission to the children and adults, provides a parchment and explains how the game is to be played.
The animator then gives safety instructions and coordinates departures.

All along the underground trail, the game consists of:
- searching for clues,
- solving riddles,
- uncovering strange and mysterious beings hidden in the cave's darkest recesses.

Back on the surface, using the answers and clues found, participants will solve the riddle to open the treasure chest filled with semi-precious stones such as jasper, onyx, agate, rock crystal, tourmaline, etc.

Photo of treasure chest opening

 

Treasure hunt in the forest

A forest treasure hunt in which you search for and count the animals hidden along the 850-metre-long marked trail.

A guide hands out a document to participants, explaining how to inventory and answer the "Nature and Heritage" quizzes;
Topics include geology, local history and biodiversity: fauna, trees, plants.
At the end of the tour, answers are checked and marked to determine the final score for the reward.

Photo of games and activities outside the cave with the statues


did you know that

A treasure hunt is also available for birthday celebrations. A privatized and decorated area is available. Reservations required. Snacks can be brought by parents or prepared by the Croc Magnon snack bar.

 

Self-guided tours with light and sound

The concept of self-guided tours is particularly popular at Baume Obscure. Thanks to the "Souterroscope" museum tour system, you can explore the cave at your own pace.

Collage of different areas of the cave

As you progress, lighting effects and background music highlight the most remarkable parts of the cave:

- magical landscapes,
- waterfalls and clear-water basins,
- geological curiosities,
- minerals and fossils,
- crystallizations.

The geologist's voice provides occasional information on the areas we've visited (four languages available: French, English, German, Italian).

Guided tours by lantern light

Photo of the inside of the cave by lantern light

Explore the cave by lantern light, just as visitors to the underground world did over a century ago.
For around 1h45, in a small group and with an enthusiastic guide, you'll discover the cave from a wide variety of angles:

- its history,
- its geology,
- its groundwater,
- its minerals and fossils,
- its bats
- its cave fauna ...

Depending on the participants, he'll tell you anecdotes and mysterious stories about the Baume Obscure cave.

Please note! These guided tours are organized outside cave opening hours, generally when the cave closes in the late afternoon: 5:00 pm in low season, 6:00 pm in mid season and 7:00 pm in high season. There are no fixed dates, except for Wednesdays and Fridays in July and August. It is therefore advisable to consult the cave directly.

Reservations are also required.

Our tips

Please note! Reservations required for lantern tours!
Tours are organized outside cave opening hours, generally when the cave closes in the late afternoon:
- 17h00 in low season,
- 18h00 in mid season
19h00 in high season.
There are no fixed dates, except for Wednesdays and Fridays in July and August. It is therefore advisable to consult the cave directly. Lantern tours must be booked in advance!

 

Summer nocturnes

During July and August, evening activities are offered at least twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Other evenings may be organized in addition to these fixed dates.
Please consult the program on the cave's official website (reservations required).

Underground photos of summer nocturnes


The choice is yours:

  • Guided tours by lantern light:
    See details above. Depending on attendance, there may be two departures: 7:00 pm and 7:30 pm.

Collage of a fox in the Alpine meadows and a satellite view of nocturnal animations

  • Nocturnal wildlife and starry sky observation:
    As night falls, start to awaken your senses by listening to the animals of the forest during an unusual nocturnal walk with a guide who is both a naturalist and an astronomer. You'll have to recognize as many of the sounds made by mammals, birds, insects and amphibians as possible, then at the end of the tour, when it's pitch black at around 10.30pm, you'll share his second passion: astronomy! With the help of his telescopes, you'll take a magnificent trip to the stars!

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Snack bar and picnic area


On-site catering is available at the "Croc-Magnon" snack bar;
Cro-Magnon snack bar opening times
- open from April 1 to November 11,
- from 12:00 pm to late afternoon (until 10:00 pm during late-night openings).

 

Collage of different places to eat at the grotto

A picnic area is also available, with tables in the open air or under a marquee in case of bad weather.
As the Baume Obscure Souterroscope is set in a superb park, it's the ideal place for a lunch or dinner break!

 

Picnic at Souterroscope la Baume Obscure

Picnic in a natural area

Grotto & Snack hours

Timetable of the Souterroscope of Baume Obscure

Open February to mid-November 2024 and December 21 to January 06 2025
The cave closes every Monday except June, July, August, school vacations and public vacations.

The site is open every day during school vacations (zones A,B,C), as well as in June, July and August.

FEBRUARY / MARCH: 

- self-guided tours (without guide): 10:00 am to 4:00 pm > departures every 15 minutes
- tours with treasure hunt in the cave: 10:00 am to 3:30 pm > departures every 30 minutes
- tours with treasure hunt in the cave and forest: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm > departures every 30 minutes

APRIL / MAY:

- self-guided tours (without guide): 10:00 am to 5:00 pm > departures every 15 minutes
- tours with treasure hunt in the cave: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm > departures every 30 minutes
- tours with treasure hunt in the cave and forest: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm > departures every 30 minutes

JUNE / JULY / AUGUST:

- self-guided tours (without guide): 10:00 am to 6:00 pm > departures every 15 minutes
- tours with treasure hunt in the cave: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm > departures every 20 minutes
- tours with treasure hunt in the cave and forest: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm > departures every 20 minutes ;

During the night:
Departure times vary according to bookings, weather and nightfall.
The site is usually open until midnight.
Please consult the program before booking (compulsory);

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 

- self-guided tours (without guide): 10:00 am to 5:00 pm > departures every 15 minutes
- tours with treasure hunt in the cave: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm > departures every 30 minutes
- tours with treasure hunt in the cave and forest: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm > departures every 30 minutes ;


NOVEMBER / DECEMBER
During these two months, the site closes on November 12 and reopens on December 21 for the Christmas and New Year vacations.

- self-guided tours (without guide): 10:00 am to 4:00 pm > departures every 15 minutes
- tours with treasure hunt in the cave: 10:00 am to 3:30 pm > departures every 30 minutes
- tours with treasure hunt in the cave and forest: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm > departures every 30 minutes ;

 

Souterroscope de la Baume obscure Treasure hunt

Photo Souterroscope

 

Opening hours of the Snack Bar

The snack bar is open from 12:00 pm from April to November, until the site closes for the year.
In June, July and August, the snack bar is open for late-night parties, with reservation required.

Rates for visits and treasure hunts

AUDIO GUIDED TOUR WITHOUT GUIDE

1h00 unguided underground walk to the rhythm of music and light shows
Adults aged 16 and over: €9.50
Children aged 3 to 15: €7.50
Children under 3: Free

VISIT WITH TREASURE HUNT IN THE CAVE

1h30 adventure including visit and game for 1H00 in the cave + 2 x 15 mn outdoors with guide
Adults aged 16 and over: €14.50
Children aged 3 to 15: €11.50
Children under 3: Free

TREASURE HUNT IN THE FOREST

1H30 of forest adventure, 15 minutes of which with a guide
VALLON DE LA COMBE or SENSORY COURSE

Adults aged 16 and over: €10
Children aged 3 to 15: €8
Children under 3 : Free

Souterroscope de la Baume obscure Treasure hunt

Photo Souterroscope

 

 

Handicap Accessibility

  • Access to the cave

    The cave is inaccessible to people with reduced mobility (in wheelchairs) or those who have difficulty descending the 200 steps of the first part of the tour and then climbing the 230 steps of the second part.

    For the same reasons, it is not possible to use a stroller.
    Small children must be carried in a baby carrier.

  • Parking

    You have a free but unpaved parking lot.