Grottes de Fontirou


Useful Information

Location: Castella, south of Villeneuve-sur-Lot.
(44.315799, 0.712534)
Open: MAY to 14-JUN Sun 14-18.
15-JUN to JUN daily 14:30-18.
JUL to AUG Mon-Sat 10-12:30, Sun 14-19.
Last tour 1 h before closing.
[2021]
Fee: Adults EUR 8, Children (3-14) EUR 6.50, Children (0-5) free.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 5, Children (3-14) EUR 4.
Mini-Golf: Adults EUR 4.50, Family (5) EUR 10.
Combi with Z'animoland: Adults EUR 16, Children (3-14) EUR 14.
[2011]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightLED
Dimension: T=14 °C.
Guided tours: D=40 min. V=40,000/a [2000]
Photography:
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address: Grottes de Fontirou, Route de Fontirou, 47340 Castella, Tel: +33-632-929913, Fax: +33-553-401529. E-mail:
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.

History

1905 cave discovered.
1908 cave opened to the public.
1982 cave purchased by André Petit.
2013 LED light system installed.
2018 Ministoria museum opened.

Description

The Grottes de Fontirou is a karst cave with extraordinary speleothems. Beneath the normal stalactites and stalagmites it boasts eccentrics (helictites), aragonites, and various draperies. The horizontal cave passage is located 20 m below ground. Quite exceptional are some roots of plants on the surface, which grew into the cave because it offers humidity year round.

The cave was discovered in 1905 by a farmer, Mr. Huc, while plowing his field, when one of his cows stuck a leg in a hole. This was one of numerous shafts from the cave to the surface. He thought this could be a possible well and started to dig, but discovered a cave instead of water. After only three years of development he opened the cave as a show cave.

The cave has a museum which was opened in 2018 and shows historical scenes in miniature. There are other sights at this location, which make it a popular weekend destination for families. It has a 18-hole minigolf on site, an animal park and Z'animoland, a amusement park.