La Cova Bastera cave & the Caves of Canalettes
The caves of Canalettes
Near Villefranche de Conflent, throne 2 caves.
You will find three unique caves near Villefranche de Conflent. The first, ‘Les Grandes Canalettes’, also called ‘The Underground Versailles of the Pyrenees’, is one of the last caves that is open to the public in France. For a more intimate experience, visit the third cave ‘Les Canalettes’, which has been newly restored, to see the most beautiful cave drapery in France. Guided visits only. It is also possible to go caving, find a guide.
For a meeting of the centuries, playful and educational, visit outside the caves, the park of dinosaurs on the way of Canalettes.
Practical information for the caves of Canalettes
Follow Villefranche de Conflent in the direction of Vernet les Bains. On arrival, on your right you will find the entrance to the site parking.
Timetables and visits
All the practical information on the web site www.grottescanalettes.com
The Cova Bastera through the ages
‘La Cova Bastera’ has survived many eras, from the Ice Age, to the Prehistoric, to Vauban and the Contemporary epoch. It promises an unusual visit and one which is testimony to the exceptional natural heritage of Conflent.
It was after occupation by the Miquelets in 1674 that Vauban decided on the fortification of the cave to integrate it with the town’s defences. It is linked to Villefranche de Conflent by a staircase which comes out on the RN116. Unfortunately, Vauban did not see his project realised as he died the same year as the work started in 1707. In 2011 the site was classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The cave today whisks you back in time, from its formation until Vauban, passing through the Prehistoric era, in reproductions and videos.
Did you know? The temperature in the caves is constant, in winter or summer it remains at 14°C. Make sure you bring a jumper.
Practical information Cova Bastera
Follow Villefranche de Conflent in the direction Andorra. You found the cova bastera on the wall in front of the remparts.
Timetables and visits
- La Cova Bastera - Prehistoric cave (not guided visit):
01/04 to 30/06: from 11am to 4pm
01/07 to 31/08: from 10am to 7pm
01/09 to 31/10: from 11am to 4pm
Free entry, leave what you want.
School holidays any zones : 33 ( 0 ) 4 68 05 20 20
Groups and school all year long on reservation with preferential rates.