المغارة العجيبة

Grotte Merveilleuse - Kahf Aleajayib - Wonderful cave - Caves of Jijel


Useful Information

Location: Wilaya de Jijel, Dar-El-Oued, Parc National de Taza. Between Jijel and Bejaia (RN-43).
(36.69298845419223, 5.523792196874665)
Open: All year Sat, Sun, Hol 9-17.
[2021]
Fee: Adults DZD 50.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: electric with generator
Dimension:  
Guided tours:  
Photography: forbidden
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: C. Yellas (2008): Etude géologique et géotechnique du Tunnel de Oued Dar-El-Oued (Grottes Merveilleuses) Wilaya de Jijel Mémoire de Magister, Université de Jijel- Algérie. researchgate
Abdelhamid Haouchine, Zohra Bouchareb-Haouchine, Mohamed Belhai, Rachid Nedjai (2016): Protection and Management of a Sensitive Natural Environment: the "Grottes Merveilleuses", Jijel Cornice, Algeria 43 IAH Congress, Montpellier, France, September 2016 researchgate
Address:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1948 declared a protected natural site.

Description

The Grotte Merveilleuse is a show cave with trails and electric light. It is located at a prominent place, right above the sea in the cliff. The coastal road is built into the cliff and after having crossed the nearby river estuary on a bridge it has very little place and was actually cut into the limestone cliff. At one point only a few meters from the cave entrance it goes through a short tunnel. The cave was discovered during the construction of this old road. It is actually a wall with a door in the middle, right at the road, as space is very limited. Its rather dangerous that the cars drive in full speed in front of the cave entrance, and there is no shoulder or walkway for the cave visitors. Park on the other side of the river and walk across the bridge or across the beach, there is a staircase from the bneach to the cave entrance. Its about 100 m or 5 minutes walk.

The original coastal road is narrow and curvy, and was lately replaced by a modern highway. A new bridge was built upstream and a long tunnel which crosses the limestone ridge underground and thus avoids the cliffs. The huge construction works were a potential threat for the cave and so the cave was examined extensively before the construction started. For the cave this meant much less traffic and it is much less dangerous to walk to the cave entrance.

The cave is mentioned as being unknown to tourists and locals. That actually easy to understand: it is not mentioned in guidebooks or leaflets, it is ignored by tourist bureaus and agencies. And there is no website and no advertising at all. There is actually more information about the rocky beach on the web which is named after the cave than for the cave. The site is maintained by a Water and Forests officer.