Grottos and Caves in the Languedoc-Roussillon

The following is a list of caves in the Languedoc-Roussillon. Most of these can be visited by the general public. Others are for serious pot-holers.

Dolmens, Menhirs and other Megaliths in the Aude département (11)

Giant Chasm of Cabrespine. One of the largest caves in the world open to the public - 80 metres long and 220 metres high. Facilities for the disabled.The geology of the cave is unusual, with a huge range of crystal and rock formations. It is strictly protected since the chasm was discovered in the 1970s.
Gouffre Géant de Cabrespine,   
BP2 11 160, Cabrespine   
Tel: 04 68 26 14 22 or 04 68 26 14 20  
Fax: 04 68 26 10 75  

Limousis.   The largest developed cave in Aude département, open from April to end of October. 8 halls. Stalagmites.A show cave contains beautiful rock and crystal formations. Crystals of calcite and aragonite are of exceptional geological interest.
Grotte de Limousis,  
11600 Limousis,  
Tel: 33 (0)4 68 77 50 26  
Fax: 33 (0)4 68 78 40 09  

Aguzou.   Open all year round.  This cave system is still in its natural state without any artificial lighting.  Visits can be arranged for small groups for a whole day or half-day.  The route is fairly physical but not difficult.  Stunning calcite formations. Some sporting sections. Visits must be booked in advance.
Les grottes de l'Aguzou  
M. Philippe Moreno   
09460 Mijanes   
Tel / Fax: 33 (0)4 68 20 45 38   

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Dolmens, Menhirs and other Megaliths in the Pyrénées-Orientales Department (66)

Fontrabiouse.   A cave gives access to 1000 metres of underground tunnels, some of them 250 ft below the surface, leading to caverns up to 25 metres in height. Your visit will take you along galleries into illuminated vaults with spectacular calcite formations. You'll see an emerald-green lake, "tapestries", and monumental columns in shimmering colours. The cave is 15 miles from Font-Romeu, 12 miles from Mont-Louis, and 8 miles from Les Angles, in Capcir.
Grotte de Fontrabiouse,  
66210 Fontrabiouse,  
Tel: 33 (0)4 68 04 44 28,  
Fax: 33 (0)4 68 30 90 82

Les Grandes Canalettes.   The cave system is in two parts: the Gallery of the Two Archesand the Angkor Network. The Gallery of the Two Arches leads to the "White Vault". The Angkor Network, which includes the "Nave", "Atoll Lake", "Angkor Cavern", the "Red Dome" and the "Balcony of Hades".
Grottes des Grandes Canalettes,  
2 rue Saint-Jacques,  
66500 Villefranche-de-Conflent,  
Tel: 33 (0)4 68 96 23 11,  
Fax: 33 (0)4 68 80 76 84

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Dolmens, Menhirs and other Megaliths in the Gard Department (30)

Trabuc.   This is the largest cave in the Cévennes. It was inhabited in the Neolithic era and again in Roman times.    It is reached by a 40m tunnel, cut into the rock by miners frpm Alès. The formation known as the 'hundred-thousand soldiers' looks like an army of miniture warriers.
Grotte de Trabuc   
30140 Mialet   
Tel: 33 (0)4 66 85 03 28   

Bramabiau (subterranean river).   A river (le Bonheur) disappears underground in the mountains of Aigoualand and becomes the subterranean Bramabiau river. It gushes to the surface again in a spectacular cascade 700 metres further along.
Abîme de Bramabiau  
30750 Camprieu  
Tel: 33 (0)4 67 82 60

La Cocalière.  1200m gallery - at the end of which you will return by miniature railway.
Grotte de la Cocalière,  
Mas du Serres, Le Village,  
30500 Courry,  
Tel: 33 (0)4 66 24 34 74,  

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Dolmens, Menhirs and other Megaliths in the Hérault Department (34)


La Devèze.   Known as the 'Palace of the Glass Filaments', this cave is one of the most beautiful in France. It contains an astonishing variety of smooth, delicate formations. It is located close to Saint-Pons on the RN 112, about 35 miles from Béziers, Narbonne and Carcassonne. Guided tours with commentary take 1 hour.
Grotte de la Deveze,  
34220 Courniou les grottes,  
Tel: 33 (0)4 67 97 03 24,  
Fax: 33(0)4 67 97 33 48,  

Labeil.   This Cave, the most southerly of the caverns at Larzac , is crossed by an underground river. This river attracted humans to the cave some 5,000 years ago, yet its source has never been discovered. Traces of ancient humans (pottery, burial places, jewellery) have been found. The river has carved out the galleries which extend for miles below ground. The underground Labeil river remains a geological mystery. At 700 metres it is the highest water-course in the Causse region.
Grotte de Labeil,  
Tel: 33 (0)4 67 96 49 47,  

Cave of the Demoiselles.   Not far from the Cirque de Navacelles, this cave is an old "swallow-hole" - where a surface stream disappeared underground. (The corresponding opening is on the Thaurac plateau.)  The principal chamber has grand proportions: the vault is 50m high and 120m wide. Vast columns, cool temperature and the large open space give the cave a cathedral-like air. In this cave you'll also find the famous stalagmite of the Virgin and Child on a white calcite plinth. The cave was discovered in 1770. A funicular railway takes you to the entrance.
Grotte des Demoiselles,  
34190 Saint-Bauzille-de-Putois,  
Tél: 33(0)4 67 73 55 57,  
Fax: 33(0)4 67 73 32 32,  

Clamouse.   The Clamouse cave is known for its white formations and the unusual quality of its crystallizations. It is still being enlarged by an underground river. It is known for its strangely shaped formations.
Grotte de Clamouse,  
34 150 Saint-Jean de Fos,  
tel: 33 (0)4 67 57 71 05,  
fax: 33 (0)4 67 57 78 00,  

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Dolmens, Menhirs and other Megaliths in the Lozère Department (48)


Aven Armand.   This cavern was discovered in September 1897 by Louis Armand, and others. A 40m long access chimney opens out into the vault of a huge chamber, 45 metres high, 110 metres long and 60 metres wide. You can reach the cave by a funicular railway through a tunnel. Inside, you have a stunning view over the whole cavern. More than 400 stalagmites rise several metres tall, illuminated by artificial lighting.
Aven Armand,  
48150 Meyrueis,  
Tel: 33(0)4 66 45 61 31,  
Fax. 33(0)4 66 45 67 38,  

Dargilan.   Named the pink grotto, after the colour of its many stalagmites, it was discovered in 1880 and is the largest cave in the Cévennes limestone. Its chambers have exotic names like the Chamber of Chaos, the Mosque, the Lake, the Basins.
Grotte de Dargilan,  
48150 Meyrueis,  
Tel: 33 (0)4 66 45 60 20

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Dolmens, Menhirs and other Megaliths in the Ariege Department

Grotte de Niaux
Although this grotto is actually in the Ariege department in the region of the Midi Pyrennees it is so spectacularit deserves a mention and is not far from the Aude. The site features prehistoric cave paintings over 12,000 years old. Over 100 pictures evoque the wildlife of the Madelenienne era.
Tel: +33 (0) 561 05 10 10

Lombrives.   At Ussat-les-Bains, composed of a number of distinct caves. One of them, called the Cathedral (la salle de la Cathédrale) has a greater internal space than Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris). although this is in the Ariege department it is intimately linked to the history of the Languedoc. Some 400 cathars were murdered here by the Roman Catholic Church.