Grotte de Beaume Obscure

Dark Balm Cave - Souterroscope de la grotte de Baume Obscure

Useful Information

Location: 3 km west of Saint Vallier-de-Thiey, Département Alpes-Maritimes.
From A8 Saint Tropez-Monaco, from west exit Cannes and RN567 to Grasse, from east exit Nice and D2085 to Grasse. From Grasse RN85 to Saint Vallier de Thiey.
Open: FEB to APR daily 10-17.
MAY to JUN daily 10-18.
JUL to AUG daily 10-19.
SEP daily 10-18.
OCT to DEC daily 10-17.
Last admission 1hour before closing.
Fee: Adults EUR 8, Children (6-16) EUR 4, Children (0-5) free.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 6.50, Children (6-16) EUR 3.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave. Jurassic limestones (j4-5)
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: A=700 m asl, L=1,122 m.
Guided tours: D=60mn, L=700 m.
Bibliography: Christian Mellot (1997): The Network of the Grottos of Baume Obscure, Translated by Cyril Tildesley.
Address: Grotte de Beaume Obscure, Quartier de la Baume, Chemin de Ste Anne, 06640 Saint Vallier-de-Thiey, Tel: +33-493-426163, Cell: +33-687-282767, Fax: +33-493-426919. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1895 first exploration by Guébhard.
1958 exploration by Club Martel from Nice.
1982 cave closed.
1985 Grotte de Loube developed and connected with the Grotte de Cyprès.
1993 Grotte Service discovered.
1996 Souterroscope installed.


Baume Obscure is not a single cave, but a series of nine different caves, all belonging to the same cave system, but not all of them connected. The oldest known cave is Grotte de Cyprès, first explored in 1895 by Guébhard. Most other caves are located around this one, and they are only 10 to 35 m long. The Club Martel, a caving club from Nice, started work at the caves in 1958. They soon discovered new passages, the Grotte de Loube, and various other caves. The cave was subsequently visited by many cavers and even summer camps. Unfortunately this resulted in some damages of the cave and so it was closed by the owner 1982.

Four cavers, Denis Allemand, Jean-Marie Chabert, Henri Chabert and Pierre Crozatier revived the exploration work at the cave in 1985. Starting to remove the debris from a collapsed passage, they tried to connect various caves. They conected Grotte de Cyprès and Grotte de Loube N°1 by removing clay from 40 m of blocked passage. It took 10 years to develop the cave for the public and finally it was the second show cave in the Alpes Maritime.

For two years the cave was visited only through the Grotte de Loube N°1 entrance, but then the Grotte de Cyprès entrance was developed too and now the cave is a through trip. But the most important development was the so called Souterroscope. Sound and light leads the visitor in several languages though the cave. The cave is not guided by cave guides, but only by the automatic multimedia installation. It was created by Christophe Guyard (music), Christophe Lebon (photographs) and René Petit (coordination).