Cascade de Seythenex

Haute-Savoie / Annecy, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France

About Cascade de Seythenex

Hiking Distance: < 1km round trip (falls only)
Suggested Time: 30 minutes (falls only)

Date first visited: 2012-05-19
Date last visited: 2012-05-19

Waterfall Latitude: 45.73023
Waterfall Longitude: 6.29708

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Cascade de Seythenex provided us another waterfalling excuse to explore around the outskirts of the Lake Annecy area.

What made this impressively forceful 45m waterfall different was that it could be coupled with a cave tour.

Seythenex_064_20120519 - Cascade de Seythenex
Cascade de Seythenex

According to the website of the folks running the tours and facilities, it was the only cave open to the public within the Haute-Savoie department (part of the Rhône-Alpes region).

Admission and the Cave

As for visiting the Cascade de Seythenex and the cave, we had to pay 7 euros per person to get in as of May 2012.

The site was only open from May to September as the cave would probably be prone to flooding in the off season.

Once inside, they held cave tours seemingly every hour or so, which lasted roughly 40 minutes.

Seythenex_078_20120519 - From the entrance and admission area for the Grotte et Cascade de Seythenex, we got gorgeous panoramas of the mountains of the Haute-Savoie around us
From the entrance and admission area for the Grotte et Cascade de Seythenex, we got gorgeous panoramas of the mountains of the Haute-Savoie around us

While we were waiting for one of these tours, we checked out a pretty nifty small-scale model of the area, which included the Seythenex waterfall as well as some working water mills.

There was also a video shown here though it was completely in French.

The walkway leading to both the cave and the waterfall started immediately behind some steps descending below the cafe and admission area.

After a few minutes along this path, we were right in front of the cave entrance.

Seythenex_020_20120519 - The entrance to the Grotte de Seythenex (Cave of Seythenex)
The entrance to the Grotte de Seythenex (Cave of Seythenex)

This was where the cave tours began and ended.

While this cave wasn’t very big, it was interesting nonetheless.

We could see firsthand how the geology and hydrology of the area made the various patterns and shapes within.

There were even some plants that were grown that seemed to benefit from the relatively constant temperatures, humidity, and artificial light.

Seythenex_027_20120519 - Inside the Cave of Seythenex
Inside the Cave of Seythenex

However, a good pair of shoes (like hiking boots) would probably be beneficial for this cave tour as some parts of the ground were wet and slippery.

Experiencing Cascade de Seythenex

Back outside on the walkway, it was only a few paces more to see the impressive main drop of the Cascade de Seythenex.

There was a steep path going up several steps to get to the top of the waterfall while offering other (less misty) views of the falls itself.

At the top of the Cascade de Seythenex, there was another smaller tier of the waterfall as well as the start of the zipline, which we could have done if we paid a little extra for it.

Seythenex_075_20120519 - Looking upstream from a bridge towards a frontal view of the Cascade de Seythenex
Looking upstream from a bridge towards a frontal view of the Cascade de Seythenex

Meanwhile, back towards the cave entrance, there was also a descending path (prone to getting blasted by mist from the Cascade de Seythenex) leading towards a bridge for a more bottom-up perspective of the impressive falls.

While some ugly, dilapidated structure took a little away from the scenic allure of the falls from down here, it was still worth checking out.

It looked like the trail kept going beyond the bridge, but we couldn’t really say anything more about it since we didn’t keep going.

We returned to the car park on the same path that we came in.


Cascade de Seythenex resides near Annecy in the Hautes-Savoie department of the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes province of France. It is administered by the Grotte et Cascade de Seythenex. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website, or you can also try the local tourism board website.

Seythenex_003_20120519 - An attractive mountain range seen from the admission area for Seythenex Cave and Waterfall
Seythenex_084_20120519 - Looking out towards more of the attractive mountains surrounding the administration area for the Seythenex Cave and Waterfall
Seythenex_005_20120519 - Pretty nifty small-scale model of the Seythenex area as we were killing time to do the cave tour
Seythenex_010_20120519 - Julie headed down to both the cave and waterfall of Seythenex along the walkway
Seythenex_018_20120519 - Our first look at the Cascade de Seythenex before doing the cave tour
Seythenex_044_20120519 - Looking back up at the steps that we had to descend to delve deeper into the Grotte de Seythenex (Seythenex Cave)
Seythenex_049_20120519 - Looking down at the gathering of people on the cave tour at the bottom of the steps within the Seythenex Cave
Seythenex_058_20120519 - We noticed this little natural arch on the way out of the Seythenex Cave
Seythenex_062_20120519 - Back outside the Seythenex Cave, we then got to explore the rest of the complex at leisure, especially the Seythenex Waterfall
Seythenex_067_20120519 - An upper tier of the Seythenex Waterfall while standing on a bridge above the main Cascade de Seythenex
Seythenex_071_20120519 - Pretty view from the top of Cascade de Seythenex
Seythenex_072_20120519 - A gate at the very top of the Cascade de Seythenex where I believe people could zip line their way down across the complex
Seythenex_073_20120519 - Looking down at the steps I had to take to get up to the top of the Cascade de Seythenex and the zip line
Seythenex_077_20120519 - After having our fill of the bottom of the Cascade de Seythenex, we had to go back up the steps, where I got this intriguing look at the sunlight augmented by the mist from the waterfall

We drove to Cascade de Seythenex from the town of Annecy, where we stayed, so we’ll describe the driving directions from there.

The Direct Route from Annecy to Seythenex

From Annecy, we followed the D1508 along the western banks of Lake Annecy.

We continued further south beyond the lake as it entered the town of Faverges.

Seythenex_002_20120519 - The cafe and administration area for the Grotte et Cascade de Seythenex
The cafe and administration area for the Grotte et Cascade de Seythenex

Once in town, we could either choose to drive through the town via D2508 (Rue d’Annecy though it changes names several times) until reaching the junction with the D12 at a three-way intersection.

Or, we could continue on D1508 until reaching an exit to take the D12.

In either case, we had to turn right and head south on D12.

While on the D12, there were signposts indicating “Seythenex”.

As we got further up the hill, we noticed additional signs indicating La Grotte et Cascade de Seythenex (The Cave and Waterfall of Seythenex).

The Route from Cascade d’Angon to Seythenex

Seythenex_082_20120519 - Looking out towards an interesting mountain of the Haute-Savoie from the car park for the Grotte et Cascade de Seythenex
Looking out towards an interesting mountain of the Haute-Savoie from the car park for the Grotte et Cascade de Seythenex

We actually came here from Cascade d’Angon via the Col de La Forclaz, which took us about 40 minutes.

However, it took us about 30 minutes (with some slow-vehicle caravan traffic) to return to Annecy via the direct driving route described above.

For geographical context, Annecy was 42km (under an hour drive) south of Geneva, 107km (under 90 minutes drive) north of Grenoble, and 148km (90-120 minutes drive) east of Lyon. The city of Lyon was 466km or at least 4.5 hours by car from Paris.

However, we used the very fast and efficient TGV (high speed train or le train a grande vitesse), which wound up taking around 3 hours to cover this stretch between the two major cities.

Find A Place To Stay

Pretty elaborate small-scale model of the falls and water mill infrastructure

Bottom up sweep of the falls from near the cave entrance

top down sweep of an angled view of the falls as seen from higher up the stairs

top down sweep following the water past an upper waterfall before looking down over the main plunge downstream; all seen from the bridge near the zipline

following the stream upstream towards the main waterfall as seen from the footbridge downstream

Right to left sweep of the falls from the switchback closest to the mist of the falls

Tagged with: haute-savoie, annecy, rhone-alpes, french alps, france, waterfall, seythenex, cave, faverges, forclaz

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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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