The Park of Tellure is located in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, in the area of Val d’Argent. This Alsatian valley comprises old silver mines that were exploited between the 16th century and the beginning of the 20th century. In the Park of Tellure, you will be able to discover this part of history in a fun and playful way and get access to the old mine of St-Jean Engelsbourg. In addition to the classic tour, the park offers speleological tours, an underground via ferrata, an escape game, as well as countless one-off events. There is really a lot to do.
Classic or speleological tours of the old silver mine
The Park of Tellure includes at the beginning a very well-done museum space (Cité de la Mine). You will learn there a lot of things about the organization of a mine and the life of miners in a very fun way. It will take about 1h to visit this space.
You will then be able to visit the old silver mine. Let me tell you straight away that there is no more silver in the mine and it has been entirely extracted during its exploitation. 😉 The visit is still very spectacular: just imagine walking underground, in a huge cave with galleries dug by men.
To visit the mine, you have different options: you can take a standard tour with no specific difficulties, or a speleology tour, which is a more sporty option, to get a first introduction to speleology in the mine. If you are still unsure, I would really recommend choosing the second option, to discover the mine in a more active way.
In any case, equipment is supplied: helmet, headlamp and an oilskin for the classic tour; overalls, boots, helmet and harness for speleological tours. You’ll just have to think about bringing soft and warm cloths, as it’s only 10°C underground!
There is a lot of different speleology tours that are suitable for different people: children, beginners, advanced… You will be able to spend between one hour and a half and six hours in the mine!
As for me, I chose to do the tour “Grande colonne”, which lasts about 2 hours and during which you can try out different activities that are all accessible to beginners. I really enjoyed this tour. Alongside a certified guide, I was able to discover the mine, to go into very narrow spaces, to climb on top of a high ladder, to zip-line between two walls, to abseil down 20 meters… It was really fun and so interesting at the same time!
Underground Via Ferrata
The Park of Tellure also offers an undergound via ferrata. Now that is original, isn’t it? Parts of the old mines have indeed been converted with ladders and stairs and secured with cables, which allow for a very different tour of the mine. It’s possible to choose between two Via Ferrata courses, lasting 2 or 3 hours. As for other tours, equipment is supplied by the park. Vincent, from the team of My weekend in Alsace, has tried the experience and loved it!
Underground Escape Game
In addition to all this visits, Tellure offers to children and adults alike the possibility to take part in an underground escape game. Now, that’s another quirky idea! Escape games are getting more and more popular, but rare are those who can boast about having taken part in an escape game in a place as out of the ordinary as a former mine! There are two different escape games: Expedition 52, that lasts 1h and can be done starting from 10 years old and the Mini-troll Expedition, that lasts for 45 minutes and has been imagined for children between 5 and 12 years old.
- Learning more about the structure of a mine, the minerals and the life of miners
- Getting a first taste of speleology or via ferrata in a unique place
- A large and varied choice of activities
I liked a little less
Vincent’s pictures of the Park of Tellure
Which mine tour should you choose?
This is a question that I’ve been asked quite a lot. It all depends on what you are looking for! Here are my recommandations:
- If you want to discover a mine and its history : you should opt for a tour by the ASEPAM (it’s nicer than the classic tour offered in Tellure).
- Do you want to discover a mine, but also experience some adventure? Opt for a speleo tour or the Via Ferrata in the Park of Tellure.
Prices and languages
You will find here the prices and opening times for the mining park of Tellure. The classic tour is available for free for Pass Alsace holders. Don’t forget to book in advance if you want to do a speleological tour, a Via Ferrata or an Escape Game.
Standard tours are available in English and German. The guides doing the speleo tours can only speak a few words of these 2 languages but you can still go for it, as you’ll already have explanations when visiting the museum (audioguides are available in English and German).
The address is as follows: Lieu-dit Tellure 68160 Sainte Marie aux Mines. The park of Tellure is located:
- 37 km from Colmar (about 45 minutes drive)
- 77 km from Mulhouse (about 1h15 drive)
- 78 km from Strasbourg (about 1h15 drive)
By public transport
It is not possible 🙁
If you are feeling peckish, the Park of Tellure has a food court. I haven’t tried it.