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French Pyrenees Weekend - Grotte Fontrabiouse Cave

The highest tourist visitable cave in France at 1530 metres showcases a 900m route through calcite caverns and passages with an underground emerald green lake

Updated: Jun 28, 2024 by: Barcelona Travel Hacks Views: 96

About Grotte Fontrabiouse Cave Visit

Grotte Fontrabiouse Cave is a Subterranean Wonderland in the French Natural Park of the Catalan Pyrenees and the highest cave in France at 1530 metres that is open for tourists visits. The cave can be found in the perfectly preserved mountain village of Fontrabiouse.

The Grotte Fontrabiouse Cave was discovered by accident in 1958 when a marble quarry broke through to the 900m long caverns and passages. Inside was found stunning mineral deposits of red concretions, translucent aragonites and an emerald green underground lake.

The cave visit starts at the surface building which contains the ticket office, gift shop and a small canteen area. From the surface building stairs lead down to the start of the cave complex. As your eyes adjust to the dim light, you are greeted by a surreal world of stalactites and stalagmites, as water slowly dripped from the ceiling and sculpted the limestone caverns.

Stalactites hang like icicles from the cave’s ceiling everywhere, sometimes joining the stalagmites that rise from the ground to form spindly Egg timer column formations.

Some of the rooms have names, such as the Cauliflower Room where clusters of calcite formations resemble the vegetable. The Grotte de Fontrabiouse cave's intricate passages were carved out by an underground river which is still present today forming small lakes in some of the chambers.

The formation of the cave passages and caverns by water is a process taking millions of years with a growth rate for the stalactites being typically below 0.26 mm/year as the dripping water deposits small amounts of calcite mineral.

Because the cave is underground the temperature is cool in the summer and warm in the winter being a stable 6 degrees Celsius all year round.

Visiting Grotte Fontrabiouse Cave Visit

The cave has multiple caverns and passages which are accessed via walkways with stairs and low lighting. Occasionally you may have to duck your head. There is no provision for reduced mobility persons. For those that have claustrophobia this cave visit may be a trigger.

The cave gift shop sells a very nice sweet liquor called coucougnettes with the translation being balls testicles. I highly recommend getting a bottle or two.

Grotte Fontrabiouse Opening Times

Grotte Fontrabiouse Tickets

Tickets can be uniquely purchased via the official website with prices:

What to take with you for Grotte Fontrabiouse Cave Visit

The visit takes about 1 hour and has an interior temperature of around 6 degrees Celsius so I wore a t-shirt and lightweight fleece jersey.

Grotte Fontrabiouse Cave Visit Summary of Prices

Train/Bus Fare Entry Ticket Additional Information Train/Bus Fare Entry Ticket Additional Information Adult € 0.00 € 14.90 Seniors (over 65), students (under 25) €12.90 Child € 0.00 € 9.40 5 to 17 years old. Under 5 FREEGroup/Family Ticket? Visit webite for group bookingsNotes Discounts available when booking selected local accomodation. visit website for more info.

Getting to Grotte Fontrabiouse Cave Visit

Address: Rue des soulanets, Fontrabiouse, France. 66210

Leave Barcelona via the C58 motorway passing Sabadell and Terrasa and transition onto the C16 passing Berga. Take the toll Tunnel de Cadí (€13.93 for a car) and after passing the toll booths at the northern end there is a service station Àrea de Servei Túnel del Cadí - Porta Cerdanya. immediately after the service station is junction onto the C162 towards Puigcerdà.

At Puigcerdà cross the border into France taking the N116 to Mont-Louis. At Mont-Louis roundabout, take the D118. The Grotte Fontrabiouse is Located on the D118 road between Puvalador and Formiguères, and 27km from Font-Romeu

The cave has ample free parking next to the surface building.

Map of Grotte Fontrabiouse Cave Visit

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Latitute: 41.4 Longitude: 2.2 Zoom Level: 11

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