Route de Sécheron, 73000, Jacob-Bellecombette
All year round.
Close to Chambéry, the three Cascades de Jacob break the flow of the Nant du Pontet, a stream originating from the slopes of the Chartreuse. Accessible via a public footpath, this green oasis contains many natural wonders.
The first waterfall lies upstream from the Pont de Sécheron; it is a 7m slope, where the water 'explodes' in two successive rebounds. The second waterfall is a powerful torrent underneath the Pont de Sécheron, tumbling 6m into the void from a giant stairway overhanging a little cavern. The third waterfall is the most impressive and the least accessible. The water falls for over 30m through a narrow gulley carved out of the steep cliff. Along the Nant du Pontet, the swirling water has carved out a succession of vast, deep, almost cylindrical plunge pools from the compact limestone. In the 1950s, the children who bathed here used to call them, somewhat prosaically, 'bowls'. One of these 'bowls', located around 100m upstream from the first waterfall, is idyllically named the 'Bain des Nymphes'. It has earned its place in history by being the bathing place of the beautiful Hortense Mancini, duchess of Mazarin and niece of the Cardinal during the 17th century, accompanied by her ladies-in-waiting.