The Cova Bastera through the ages

‘The Cova Bastera’ or ‘Fortified Grotto’ has survived many eras, from Ice Age to Prehistory, to Vauban’s times and the Contemporary epoch. It offers an unusual visit and is testimony of Conflent’s exceptional natural heritage.

It was after the Miquelets’ occupation in 1674 that Vauban decided to fortify the cave, to add it to the town’s defenses. It is linked to Villefranche de Conflent by a staircase that comes out on the RN116. Unfortunately, Vauban did not live to see his project implemented as he died the same year as in which the works started, in 1707. In 2008 the site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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.

The cova Bastera is open every day from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Practical information Cova Bastera


Follow Villefranche de Conflent in the direction Andorra. The Cova Bastera is located in front of the ramparts.

Timetables and visits 

  • La Cova Bastera (no guided tours):

Free entry, leave what you want. 
In low season contact the tourist office for opening hours of the cave + 33 (0) 4 68 05 41 02