Guided Tour

photo Damien Butaeye

A grandiose but intimate guided tour

Following an introductory film showing how caves formed in the Ardèche, the first steps of the access tunnel plunge both children and adults alike into a singular atmosphere before they catch sight of the breathtaking subterranean landscapes! The secure route, including a number of viewing platforms, lets you visit the Cave in complete safety.

The Robert de Joly chamber (-50 metres)

When you enter the first chamber, you'll be swept off your feet: a rocky landscape stretches out over 10,000 m² before your very eyes! Any notion of distance becomes relative under roofs reaching heights of up to 30 metres!
The number and variety of concretions is remarkable, ranging from the colossal to the extremely delicate. Deciphered by a passionate guide, the cavern's mysterious forms transport you to a magical world full of mighty stalagmites looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, forests of stacked plates, giant palm trees whose leaves were formed by bursting water droplets, and the emblematic "Pine Cone" standing at more than 11 metres high.

The Chaos chamber (-100 metres)

As the different sections are illuminated, the tour reveals the patient work of the water in sculpting the limestone rock and fashioning a grandiose masterpiece complete with translucent tinges of purple, ochre and brown. Once the groundwater seeped in, the roof began to collapse, creating the huge open spaces of the Aven d'Orgnac. Blocks built up in the deepest section of the cave: some stalagmites that "grew" on these blocks are around 15,000 years old. No man-made structure can claim such longevity! Fragile draperies hang from the walls, formed by slowly-flowing water droplets. They are made from calcite, naturally white, sometimes translucent, and never more than a few millimetres thick.

The Red chamber (-121 metres)

As we approach the end of the secure path, the Red chamber takes us into the original gallery hollowed out by the underground river that flowed here around 6 million years ago. The traces of corrosion on the walls serve as a reminder of the cave's distant past, when it was filled with water over several periods before eventually drying out. Colossal pillars then formed, setting the scene for the closing sound and light show that really brings out the majesty of this grandiose nave in a truly unforgettable moment of poetic beauty!

And to round everything off, the lifts whisk you back up to the surface in a matter of seconds.

Guide to the cave in ENGLISH - Welcome !
Guide to the cave in DUTCH -Welkom !
Guide to the cave in GERMAN - Wilkommen !
Guide to the cave in ITALIAN - Benvenuti !
Guide to the cave in SPANISH - Bienvenidos !

 

Fancy a look at the Cave as if you were really there?
Click below!

video lecture bouton

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