Grotte de Lombrives

Useful Information

Location: Ussat-les-Bains, Ariège. 15km south of Foix, 2km south east of Tarascon-sur-Ariège. 92km from Toulouse, 95km from Carcassonne.
Open: Easter-MAY Sat, Sun 10, 10:30, 14-17:30 every 45min.
JUN daily 10, 10:45, 14-17:30 every 45min.
JUL to AUG daily 10-19 every 15min.
SEP daily 10, 10:45, 14-17:30 every 45min.
OCT to Easter 14, 15:30.
All school hollidays daily.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: electric.
Dimension: L=8,000m, VR=417m, T=13°C.
Guided tours: Circuit court (short tour): D=90min. Circuit moyen (medium tour): D=3h. Circuit long (long tour): D=5h.
Address: Grotte de Lombrives, Ussat-les-Bains, Route Nationale 20, F-09400 Tarascon sur Ariège, Tel: +33-561-059840, +33-670-743280, Fax: +33-139-555853. E-mail: contact
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.


1984 Human skeletal material excavated by Bahn.


The administration of the Grotte de Lombrives is obviously very proud of the size of their cave. They tell they are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records since 29 years for being the biggest show cave in Europe. Their events are big too: cave tours for up to 1,200 visitors, with 25 different topics and up to 5 hours long, underground banquets, receptions, and plays, extraordinary exhibitions and workshops for children.

Nevertheless, this page is still a bit insufficient, as we do not understand French, and we have no English sources so far. The official website is very informative, despite the strange webdesign. Still it is only in French, which seems a little egocentric for the biggest show cave in Europe. So have a look at the map and the gallery.

Although the cave is rather big, eight kilometers long with various huge passages and big chambers, it seems to have no outstanding dimension which could be interpreted as "biggest show cave in Europe". There are virtually dozens of caves in Europe which are longer, numerous of them are show caves. The same with deeper cave. There are bigger chambers than the biggest at Lobrives, most impressive is Grotta Gigante, which is the biggest cave chamber open to the public in the World. We dont know how to interpret this superlative, probably they are talking of the length of their tour path. As they never give the length it is hard to say anything about that. Finally we have to admint, that we could not find their listing in the online version of the Guiness book.