Grotte de Lombrives

Opening hours

Closed

  • Monday 10:30 am - 12:30 am 02:30 pm - 04:30 pm 03:00 pm - 05:00 pm
  • Tuesday 10:30 am - 12:30 am 02:30 pm - 04:30 pm 03:00 pm - 05:00 pm
  • Wednesday 10:30 am - 12:30 am 02:30 pm - 04:30 pm 03:00 pm - 05:00 pm
  • Thursday 10:30 am - 12:30 am 02:30 pm - 04:30 pm 03:00 pm - 05:00 pm
  • Friday 10:30 am - 12:30 am 02:30 pm - 04:30 pm 03:00 pm - 05:00 pm
  • Saturday 10:30 am - 12:30 am 02:30 pm - 04:30 pm 03:00 pm - 05:00 pm
  • Sunday 10:30 am - 12:30 am 02:30 pm - 04:30 pm 03:00 pm - 05:00 pm

Opens Sunday at 10:30 am

On social networks

Useful information

Location : In the countryside

Province : Ariège - Haute Ariège

Services

  • Cash
  • Chèques Vacances (Holiday voucher)
  • Credit card accepted
  • English spoken
  • Groups
  • Spanish spoken
  • English
    • This unique and classified site of incomparable historical and geological weight offers guided hikes. It is also recognized as the largest cave in Europe and is one of the most visited sites in Ariège. It is one of the most visited sites (s?) of Ariège. Shelter, burial place for prehistoric man, sacred Cathar land, Protestant refuge, hiding place for brigands, mystical place... It has always fascinated man who has left us traces, thousands of signatures, including that of a king of France, enigmatic symbols and age-old legends We will discover in particular the signature of the future King Henri IV, the reasons for his coming to Lombrives are incredible. We will admire the tomb of Princess Pyrène which, according to the ancient Greeks, marks the genesis of the creation of the Pyrenees. The network is immense, it is not a simple natural cave, but caves to be explored over many different and remarkable rooms. At each new bend it is a wonder. In the exceptional Carène gallery, you can rush inside a seismic fault, admire its extraordinary aesthetics over nearly 80 m. The Cathedral is a room whose ceiling height reaches more than 80 m, the acoustics are exceptional. Concerts are given there throughout the year. Note the very beautiful concretions, including the Mammoth and the Witch. Located between Foix and Andorra, the cave offers many activities: guided or speleological hikes, workshops for children, aperitifs-concerts...

      “When we enter LOMBRIVES, an ancient, surprising and powerful world opens up before us. A timeless parenthesis, a unique, moving, introspective experience, beyond what we can imagine”

      After parking in our car park which borders the national road 20, your exploration begins with a 20-minute approach walk on a path that crisscrosses the mountain to the cave. If you prefer, you can use our little tourist train which takes you to the cave. There, a guide accompanies you in this huge classified and natural network for a contemplative, instructive and… somewhat sporty guided hike. Regardless of your age (for the little ones: sharing in a front backpack only) if you are able to marvel, if you are in good physical shape (3km hike, 150 steps to climb), not cloistered and if you don't be afraid of the void. (a small passage overlooks the void).

      What makes Lombrives an exceptional site:

      Shelter for prehistoric man, sacred Cathar land, Protestant refuge, hiding place for brigands, mystical place... LOMBRIVES is a unique and classified site with incomparable historical and geological weight. Since the dawn of time, it has fascinated man, thousands of enigmatic symbols, signatures testify to it, including that of a king of France; as well as thousand-year-old legends... It shelters the tomb of Princess Pyrène. According to the myth, Hercules built the Pyrenees with his hands, starting his work in the cave of Lombrives around the tomb of Pyrene. The geology of Lombrives is incomparable: with more than 14 km of gallery it is recognized as the largest cave in Europe. As you walk, an impressive number of landscapes, each as different as the next, emerges before your eyes.

      DEEP-TIME:

      The cave hosted the Deep Time scientific expedition led by explorer Christian Clot: In March April 2021, 15 team members lived for 40 days in the cave for a unique scientific experience in the world.

      Do you know that you walk in the footsteps of a King?

      A leading character who left his signature on the rock face of Lombrives in 1578: it is the future King of France Henri IV who was then Henri III, King of Navarre... Why this visit by the future Henri IV? Always according to their belief, the kings of Navarre were the descendants of the Greek Gods and particularly of Hercules.

      His coming would therefore be linked to Hercules.

      According to the myth of Greek antiquity, Hercules, or Heracles, demi-god and hero famous for his strength, his courage and his many legendary exploits, would indeed be at the origin of the creation of the Pyrenees. He would have built at the bottom of the cave of Lombrives the tomb of Princess Pyrène and would have started his work from the tomb "the creation of the Pyrenees" by collecting rock blocks. And where is the tomb of Pyrene? In the cave of Lombrives of course.

      According to the ancient Greeks, the creation of the Pyrenees has nothing to do with the collision between the Hispanic plate and the Eurasian plate. Nope ! It is the work of a God, or rather that of a half-man half-God, son of Zeus, whose name is Hercules.

      Visitors will not miss the tomb of Princess Pyrene. What is it ?

      We cannot talk about Pyrenean mythology without mentioning Pyrene. Pyrene bears witness to Greek colonization. Its name evoking both a nymph and grandiose fires burning the mountains. It is very difficult today to disentangle the original legends from the infinite subsequent variations. We have a written version, in the Punic Wars of the Latin poet Silius Italicus, telling the warlike epic of the Carthaginians of Hannibal, he evokes, in the passage of the Pyrenees, the story of Pyrene, daughter of King Bébryx, who was seduced and abandoned by Hercules. Diodorus of Sicily says, for his part, that these mountains being covered with forests, the shepherds set fire to them, setting them ablaze in a grandiose way, giving rise to streams of molten gold and silver. Here is its legend: THE LEGEND OF PYRENE In time immemorial, reigned in these regions, the sovereign Bébryx. This monarch had for descent the most beautiful of the daughters, whom he named, Pyrène. The path of the beauty, one day, crossed that of Hercules, And the love that watched under the vault of heaven, Made these two charming beings fall madly in love. But, called very quickly to continue his work, Hercules had to leave his beauty. Months passed, and Pyrène, bearing the fruit of her love with Hercules and facing the wrath of her father, decided to join her beloved. One day, crossing a dark and sinister forest, she was attacked... by a monstrous bear, some say, by a pack of hungry wolves, others say... Never mind... Her cries, terrible, reached as far as to Hercules. Immediately, crossing mountains and valleys, he rushed to the aid of the beautiful. Alas, in his arms, she breathed her last. Then, the demi-god, mad with grief, placed in the heart of Lombrives, the body of his beloved. Then, gathering his strength, he tore up a rock to block the entrance. Then two, then ten, then a thousand, and from one sea to the other, obstructing the horizon with rocks and earth, he built for Pyrene, the most beautiful of the tombs which he named Pyrenees... Then, the time has passed. Hercules has gone, in human memory, to join his companions at the top of Olympus. But we, remember that what makes the mountains, the forests, the valleys and the lakes, and from one sea to another, that is a tomb. And if it bears the name of the beautiful Pyrène, it is to remember that one can also die of love...

      What does LOMBRIVES offer?

      Lombrives offers:

      - Guided hikes lasting 2 hours. Accompanied in the immensity by your guide, browse vast singular galleries to the underground lake with mysterious undulations. Between €8 and €12 depending on your age (free under 6)

      - Night hikes (duration 2 hours) At sunset, in the complete tranquility of the place. An unusual, meditative, introspective and contemplative experience... Single price €12

      - "Little explorers" children's hikes (duration 2 hours). Equipped with a headlamp and a helmet, you arrive under the porch after a 15-minute approach by tourist train. Explore a gallery rarely open to the public; discover the various traces of occupation by Neolithic men, bones dating back several thousand years. Become, for a time, an explorer in an archaeological site. Single price €12 with cave access by little train.

      - 1/2 day hike with gourmet picnic in the cave: This is the New! Want something unusual? Live a real adventure out of time? And if you came to discover new galleries?

      When you come to Lombrives, it's to get off the beaten track, whatever hike you choose. This allows you to explore the galleries beyond the lake. A parenthesis out of time, a complete connection with nature far from our daily concerns. Equipped with a helmet and a headlamp, walk in the footsteps of the great explorers, retrace their history and discover the living and sleeping areas of the team members of the Deep Time scientific expedition: we take the time to settle in for a tasting of local products! Discover the geological and historical treasures contained in the bowels of the cave. The part named "Galerie du Lion" is newly accessible to the general public: more than 2 km from the entrance to the Lombrives cave, it is an extraordinary marble gallery. Guided hike accessible if you are a good walker, can spend 4 hours in the darkness of a cave and have no mobility problems: there is in particular a 10-meter walkway on the side of the rock, very easy to cross... unless you are dizzy! Hiking shoes and warm clothing essential (10°C in the cavity!).

      Children from 10 years old (for the little ones, 1/2 day of effort in the darkness and humidity of a cave... it can be long!)

      Single price: 38€/person, including guided hike + equipment + gourmet picnic in the cave

      ON RESERVATION: Book your tickets on "Online tickets" on www.grottedelombrives.com.

      Finally Lombrives is also concerts in a room named the cathedral with incomparable volumes and acoustics. It organizes events, many concerts including Halloween and a party for New Year's Day.

      RECOMMENDATIONS: Warm clothes (10 degrees in the cave); walking shoes, cameras accepted, front baby carrier only.
      Opening period: All year round. Every day during the holidays (all zones all periods) on Wednesdays and week ends in November and January.

      Consult the days and times of departures for guided hikes on our website: www.grottedelombrives.com
      Price of the 2 hour guided hike:
      Free child -4 years
      Child 6-12 years old: 8€
      Youth: 10€
      Reduced adult rate (jobseeker, disabled, teacher, etc.): 10€
      Adult price: 12€
  • Français

Traveller Reviews Grotte de Lombrives

4.7 sur 5 409 reviews

  • Hayley van Esch

    5 sur 5 Reviews posted by Hayley van Esch on 08/06/2022

    This was very impressive to see

  • Hélène Mineo

    5 sur 5 Reviews posted by Hélène Mineo on 02/01/2020

    A beautiful place to visit! The guide was very interesting too.

  • Mark Edmonds

    4 sur 5 Reviews posted by Mark Edmonds on 05/01/2020

    Very interesting

Traveller Reviews Grotte de Lombrives

4.5 sur 5 747 reviews

  • "A great visit with the best guide!"

    5 / 5 Reviews posted by cmdrbond (Montreal, Canada) on 15/07/2021

    We visited Lombrives with our excellent guide “Michel”, he was outstanding. Note you need to speak French for his tour. He has loads of energy and great funny stories. The caves seem to never end, as...

    Read the full review
  • "Super afternoon!"

    5 / 5 Reviews posted by FranLouth (Louth) on 24/07/2019

    We really enjoyed a trip through these amazing caves recently. As others have mentioned, the tours don’t cater for English speakers to any great extent, but we had enough French to grasp a lot of...

    Read the full review
  • "So big!"

    5 / 5 Reviews posted by foresttiger2018 (Gloucester, United Kingdom) on 27/05/2019

    A great time from rattling up on the petit train (recommended, the path is steep and long to the cave entrance) and through a system of caves, all interesting and diverse. The lighting is gentle...

    Read the full review

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Grotte de Lombrives

Address

RN 20
09400 Ussat-les-Bains

Contacts

Cell : 06 49 44 45 00

GPS coordinates

42° 49'29.02"N, 1° 37'4.21"E

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