Cave Diving Guide to Eastern France

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This is a new guide, compiling for the first time in English all the major cave diving sites in eastern France, including the Ardeche, Doubs, Jura, Vercors and the Cote d'Or, even a number of resurgences in Switzerland that are close enough to the border to visit while on a trip to France. The guide contains driving directions and map references, a description of each cave, access restrictions and procedures as well as numerous surveys, maps and photographs.
The north-east contains a wide variety of cave diving sites. There are the typical blue pool resurgences that France is famous for with crystal clear water, huge passage and spectacular scenery, there are some very long caves, some completely flooded, some with series of sumps breaking up the passage and some which lead into spectacular dry galleries. Some caves are archaeological sites that have shown a very long history of use. There are even tight, muddy, zero-vis sumps. The region has something for everyone.
This area covers the karst terrain which skirts the border with Switzerland. It is mountainous and densely forested, with fairytale castles here and there. The great rivers of the area rise from springs in the mountains where exceptionally clear water wells up from extensive and easily accessible cave systems. These springs are arguably some of the best scenic cave diving sites in all of France. There are many more smaller systems which also hide extensive underwater passages for divers to explore. Not too far over the border in Switzerland are further resurgences which make memorable diving.
The area around the Ardeche valley is famous for its rocky, rugged, desert-like limestone landscape. Long famed for its traditional caving, the Ardeche region hides some of the longest springs and sumps in France. Conditions are generally excellent, clear, reasonably warm water, extensive underwater cave systems and no crowds of tourists. More than that it is a paradise for the technical cave diver -- the Ardeche contains many of the deepest caves in France with several which quickly reach 100m depth and one site that has been dived to over 180m. It also has enough to keep the average diver happy too.
The south-east.This is a broad sweep that takes in a very diverse geographical area. The coast of the Mediterranean is home to the only extensive caves in France which surface on the sea bed where divers can enter from a seaside beach. Inland, further north, are several large resurgence type caves giving access to long flooded caves. In the mountains of the Vercors are vast dry caves interspersed with sumps, some beginning many hundreds of metres below the surface.

The Cave Diving Guide to Eastern France is available only through this website at a cost of £16(UK) + postage/packing. To order, please click here. A portable, electronic version which may be uploaded to a Palm OS-based handheld device will be available in the near future.