Caving for beginners
Discover caving in one of numerous underground cave systems throughout the Vercors, the Chartreuse and around Grenoble. The Grotte du Curé in the Chartreuse is a worthy option for newcomers to the sport with a mix of water-filled spaces, large chambers and narrow passages to crawl through. Ideal for families, the Grotte de Roche along the Bourne river in Vercors, with stalactites, stalagmites and large galleries, is an easy cave to access..
Deep gorges with gushing waterfalls throughout Isère make exceptional settings for sliding and jumping through the water and abseiling down rock faces.
The most well-known canyons are Ecouges in Vercors, Versoud and Sassenage near Grenoble, and Grenant and Infernet in Chartreuse.
Alloix Canyon in the Grésivaudan Valley is one of the most beautiful. Book a certified guide to make it safe and fun for everyone.
Part hike and part climb, via ferrata makes a sheer rock face accessible using steel cables, rungs or ladders.
The sport requires little expertise although a guide is recommended. There are nearly 70 routes in France, with many of these in Isère. Grenoble has the only urban via ferrata in France: La Prise La Bastille provides a panoramic view of the valley and the Alpine ranges beyond. Roche Veyrand in the Chartreuse National Park is by far the favourite in Isère and considered the most beautiful for the views with cliffs rising to 1,429 m overlooking the valley of St-Pierre-d'Entremont.
Between the limestone cliffs of Chartreuse and Vercors, and the granite of Oisans, Isère’s rock faces are the perfect playground for climbers.
The spotlight is on Alpe d'Huez which has recently set up 130 west-facing pitches with fixed protection on 2 sites: Les Rochers des Plates, a beginners site, and La Falaise du Lac Besson, for climbers graded between V and VI with fairly steep slabs. Book a guide with the Bureau des Guides Oisans.
Flying above the mountains: Paragliding, Ultralight & Gliding
Get a bird’s-eye view of the mountains. For paragliding and ultralight, don’t miss the top spot in Isère: Saint-Hilaire du Touvet is the village which hosts the Icarus Cup (Coupe Icare) every year. Here, paragliding is an institution! Choose from a simple tandem flight or learn more about paragliding with Prevol. Fly in a glider, microlight or a plane for an hour over the Ecrins National Park and the North face of the Meije from the Aerodrome du Chevale, Mens in Trièves.More information
Bungee jumping from the Ponsonnas Bridge
One of the highest active bungee jumping sites in Europe, the Ponsonnas Bridge at 103 m is one of the main centres in France for the sport. More than 100,000 have jumped here in the past 30 years. Open weekends (May, June, September, October) and daily during the summer (weather permitting).More information
Skydive in tandem over the mountains from an altitude of 4,000 m above the Vercors, Chartreuse, Taillefer and Belledonne mountains.
Experience the thrills of a 50-second freefall before the chute opens for a 5-minute flight in beautiful skies above the Alps.
Flights leave from Grenoble Airport.
Speeding down the mountain: Ziplining, Mountain Karting and Speedsledding
New for this summer in the Vercors, try out Mountain Karting in Villard-de-Lans: freewheel down a 4-km trail with a 500-m vertical gradient and control your speed in a three-wheel kart without a motor. Reach speeds of up to 70 km/h on Zipline Vercors in Autrans-Meaudre, a super-long, 1,250m giant zip line with a 250 m vertical drop. Also in Autrans, Speed Luge Vercors is the first four-season sled in Isère. The downhill track starts from the top of the Claret for 135 m of vertical gradient. The sled sits on rails 5 metres above the ground and reaches up to 40 km/h taking 6 minutes from top to bottom.Its twin in Belledonne is the four-season Wiz Luge in Les 7 Laux. This 723-m-long rail slide has gradients up to 30% with 12 turns, 2 jumps, 2 chicanes and 2 rollers.
Trail running is becoming increasingly popular with routes and races throughout Isère’s mountain ranges. Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse was the pilot venue for the concept of “Outdoor Experiences by Group Rossignol” with a reception office and digital screens displaying the area’s trail running routes. Anyone who wants to give the sport a go can test out the latest trail running equipment for free, and the village supplies showers, changing rooms, fitness studios and a treadmill.
Whitewater sports: whitewater rafting, hot-dogging & hydrospeed
With icy, turquoise, turbulent waters, the best whitewater spot in Isère is the Vénéon river in the Ecrins National Park. From April, Vénéon Eaux Vives offers white-water rafting, hot dogging (canoe rafting), kayaking and hydrospeed, also known as water luge or wild water swimming. Throw yourself into the chilly waters equipped only with a hydrospeed water sled, fins and a wetsuit.More information