Aven d'Orgnac

Useful Information

Location: Near Orgnac l'Aven. Motorway Lyon-Marseille, exit Bollene, through Pont St Esprit, towards Barjac. Well signposted. 25 km west of the Rhône Valley. 18 km south of Pont d'Arc.
Open: 01-MAR to 15-NOV daily 9-12, 14-18. [2002]
Fee: Adults EUR 9.40, Children (6-14) EUR 5.80, Children (0-5) free, High School EUR 7.20, Students EUR 7.20, Unemployed EUR 7.20.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightSon et Lumière
Dimension: L=4,000 m.
Guided tours: L=500 m, VR=121 m, D=60 min.
Address: Aven d'Orgnac, F-07150 Orgnac l'Aven. Tel: +33-475-386251, Fax: +33-475-386640.
Musée Régional de Préhistoire, Tel: +33-475-386510. 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.


AUG-1935 discovered by Robert de Joly and Abbé Glory.
2002 major renovation with elevator and new light.


This cave is characterised by big chambers, between 30 and 50 m high. This enormous chambers are the reason why it contains the characteristic SpeleothemPalm Trunk Stalagmites. This enormous cave system has a natural entrance, a deep pit close to the village Orgnac, called le trou du Bertras (the hole of Bertras). So it is easy to understand, why the cave later was called Aven d'Orgnac (Abyss of Orgnac).

The cave is a major tourist attraction of the area and has an enormous amount of visitors (100.000 per years). The whole entrance area is designed to allow further visits and information. There is the regional Musée Régional de Préhistoire (Regional prehistoric museum) and a geologic exhibition, a pedagogic center for visiting school classes, and of course a cafe and a shop.

The cave development was a bit difficult, as the cave is originally a deep pit. The paths are at the floor of the cave, at a level up to 121 m below surface. The cave is entered through a long tunnel leading down to the floor of the Entrance Hall. The tours descend step by step by walking from chamber to chamber to a depth of 121 m. Finally an elevator brings visitors back to the surface in less than a minute.

The tour starts in the entrance hall at the foot of the cave wall, where the tunnel ends. In front is a huge pile of debris, which consists of rocks and animal bones. The rocks are eroded from the entrance shaft above, especially by frost, and the animals entered the cave involuntarily by accident. The animals included deer....

The path leads clockwise around the hall to the other end, through typical stalagmites formed like piles of pancakes. Of course, the French call them piles of crêpes. This form is a kind of SpeleothemPalm Trunk Stalagmite. It is a result of the height of the ceiling, soo with changing height of the ceiling the form of the stalagmites changes too. The central stalagmite is called Pine Cone, 20 meters high with petal like layers.

Aven d'Orgnac Gallery