A must-see natural and historic site in Chartreuse, the caves of Saint-Christophe or the caves of Échelles is a geological complex composed of two cavities, one lower and the other upper. Between the two caves, a natural route dug by the waters is used by humans from antiquity to modern times: the so-called Sardinian route was successively the Roman route linking Lyon to Turin, and the royal road fitted out as a carriage road by the Dukes of Savoy. Guides offer you a guided tour of 1 hour 20 minutes in the caves, to discover their geological curiosities and their history. With pots, jellyfish and stalactite-type concretions, they offer a magical underground decor. The caves can be visited every day in summer, and every day except Tuesday from April to June and from September to early November. The entry price without reduction is 9 euros adult rate, and 6 euros child rate up to 14 years. Entrance is free for children under 6.
Activities are offered to visitors of all ages to explore the caves in an original way. The speleology activity is offered, for example, from 6 years old: it is an exploration of the cave over 600 m supervised by a speleology instructor. The course lasts 2 hours, for a price of 40 euros per adult and 35 euros per child. Another original activity in the caves of Saint-Christophe, acrospeleology is a mixture of climbing, acrobranche and speleology. More physical, this supervised activity can be done from 12 years and a minimum height of 1.40m. The route can be done in 2 or 4 hours, in small groups of 4 to 8 people. The price is decreasing according to the number of registrants: 48 euros per participant per registration from 1 to 4 people, 43 euros to 5 to 6 people, and 40 euros to 7 or 8 people.
Between the Sardinian Way, the Charles-Emmanuel II monument and a rich natural environment, the site of the Saint-Christophe caves is the starting point for many fascinating walks and hikes. With the family, you can, for example, opt for a 6 km hike, lasting 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes, which will take you from discovery to discovery from the Sardinian route to the goat trail passing through the Guiers gorges and the belvedere of Gerbaix. More experienced walkers will be able to take the Beauvoir trail for a 14 km hiking loop to be carried out over the whole day: the opportunity to walk on the royal road, to discover many remarkable sites of the Chartreuse valley, and to enjoy unique panoramas on the Plaine des Échelles. A shorter thematic walk around the royal road is also offered at the start of the caves: lasting 2 hours, it is combined with a smartphone application that allows you to locate 6 points of interest on the route. Accessible to children from 7 years old, the fun hike "On the trail of Azil and Magda" lasts approximately 2h30. It is punctuated by the exploration of the prehistoric site of the Fru. The game book, which can be used by 2 to 3 participants, is sold at the price of 7 euros at the reception of the caves.