Villefranche-de-Conflent, Pyrénées-Orientales Department (66).
N116 Perpignan-Andorre. In Villefranche-de-Conflent turn south, towards Vernet-les-Bains. Parking after 200m at right.
APR to JUN daily 10-18.
JUL to AUG daily 10-19:30.
SEP to OCT daily 10-17:30.
NOV to MAR Sun, Hol, French school holidays 11-17.
Adults EUR 9, Children (6-16) EUR 5, Children (0-3) free.
Two caves: discount EUR 3.
Three caves: discount EUR 6.
|Guided tours:||D=45min. Photography and videos allowed.|
Grotte des Grandes Canalettes, 2 rue St. Jacques, 66500 Villefranche de Conflent, Tel: +33-468-052020, Fax: +33-468-807684.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1982||discovered by Edmund Demoniac.|
|1984||opened to the public by the Delonca family.|
|2003||merged with the Canalettes.|
The Grotte des Grandes Canalettes are part of a large underground river which has been explored for several kilometers. Situated on a spur of the Pyrenees, the Grotte des Grandes Canalettes, has intercepted several powerful rivers. The underground rivers have hewn passages out of the solid rock, sculptured the walls and created vast chambers.
Visitors to the Grotte des Grandes Canalettes are taken back to the distant history of the earth. Pathways have been built in the cave to allow the visitors to fully appreciate the wonderful formations which are to be found there. Chambers rich in speleothems, interspersed with helictites, which defy gravity and huge rooms filled with immense pillars and wonderfully coloured columns are a feature of this cave. Pot holes and lakes recall the presence of the underground river system which is ever near.
Finally, the beauty of the minerals can be further appreciated by a son et lumiere in the Auditorium. The works of various composers and artistes are included in this concert: Strauss, Bach, Casals, Pavarotti, etc.
Text by Tony Oldham (2003). With kind permission.