It is the largest underground hall in Europe, ranked among the top 10 in the world and the first to be equipped to accommodate the general public, with extraordinary dimensions, 250 m in diameter and 190 m high, over an area of 5 ha and a volume of 3.6 million cubic metres. For the record, students from the Polytechnique made a hot air balloon flight there... that's to say! In this abyss, 3 soils are opposed to it, the schists and limestones of the primary era (350 million years) and the limestones of the secondary era (80 million years). In the middle of this mineral universe, a remarkable fauna has settled, small invertebrates, all blind and depigmented, the Aphaenops loubensi and the Aphaenops cabidochei, animals that need to live in an atmosphere saturated in humidity. "Discoverers, explorers or adventurers... to each his own visit"! You start at the Centre d'accueil de Sainte-Engrâce, with two access options: walking access, by a marked 8 km round trip path to the GR10 and the Arpidia ravine (2h round trip and 1h30 return) or shuttle access for 30 minutes of expedition. According to your desires and physical capacities, several solutions will be proposed to you: 1 hour of discovery for discoverers and beginners, 1 hour 30 minutes for river exploration which allows to reach the spillway of the waterfall in the room (50 steps to climb) from 7 years old, 2 hours for a sporting exploration in the company of a speleological guide, from 10 years old... More of an adventurer? It will be "la Verna Aventure" during a sports visit with an introduction to speleology from 3h to a full day. Temperature 6°C, even in summer; bring warm clothes, pants and walking shoes. An exceptional and essential site in the Basque Country.
Quality Tourism. Open all year round. By reservation only. Rates vary according to the time of the visit and include access to the site with shuttle bus. Discovery tour 1h: adults: 17 €, children (from 5 years old): 11 €, river exploration 1h30: adults: 22 €, children (from 7 years old): 16 €. Sports exploration 2h : adults : 27 €, children (min age 10 years old) : 21 €, la Verna Aventure - departure from 5 people : 3h : 46 € (min age 12 years old), 5h : 64 € (min age 14 years old), 8h : 86 € (min age 16 years old). Tourism & Handicap Label. First prize in the 2013 Accessibility Trophies in the Tourism and Disability category. Reduced rates outside of public holidays, school holidays and outside of we on 1h, 1h30 and 2h visits.
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