A heritage site unique in the world

Treasure of Earth and Time, underground for the past 30 million years.

One of the most beautiful caves in France

The Aven Armand is a truly exceptional classified site. Come and explore its amazing forest of 400 stalagmites, its vast underground chamber and its natural entrance shrouded in mystery, between the light and shadow of an illustrated tour. Not forgetting the Speleo Station and the funicular railway, all in a unique geographical setting on the Causse Méjean steppes.

A forest of 400 stalagmites, the World’s unique treasure

The world-famous Aven Armand forest of 400 stalagmites has earned this cave a reputation as one of the most beautiful in France. A dense, virgin forest of crystal. A profusion of more than 400 stalagmites, like trees of stone reaching heights of 15 to 20 metres. The tallest of them all, at 30 metres, is the world’s tallest stalagmite in the explored subterranean world. A magical and poetic world of prodigiously-shaped mineral vegetation. Broad, delicate fronds as fine as porcelain and delicately chiselled. A collection of natural alabaster sculptures that perform the impossible balancing act and unleash the imagination. Is this a world of minerals, plants or creatures? And what are those extraordinary translucent crystals made of? “No other known cave in the world has anything like this”. Edouard-Alfred Martel

An immense underground chamber, to showcase this treasure

A single chamber 100 metres beneath the surface. The scale of a cathedral, 110 metres long, 60 metres wide and a ceiling that reaches an exceptional 45 metres. A gigantic volume of 200,000 cubic metres that Notre-Dame de Paris would fit comfortably inside. The cave walls are draped in ochre-coloured concretions and from the ceiling hang thousands of stalactites and a rich variety of needles and pendants, delicately crafted to enhance the overall effect. Nicknamed “The Wonder of the Cévennes”, the Aven Armand is frequently described as one of the most beautiful caves in France.

An initiatory shadow-and-light tour between the trees of stone

Shapes emerge suddenly from the darkness. Sparkling crystals of various colours bring the foliage and drapery to life. The path through this virgin forest winds between the stone trees and becomes an initiatory experience. Cypresses and palms yield to gigantic cabbages and fantastic monsters. Immaculate candles stand before monumental organ cases before yielding to an enchanting succession of oases. The imaginary dimension of the Aven Armand is heightened by a sound-and-light show from the world of Jules Verne, entitled “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”. The Aven Armand, a cave in Lozère, invites visitors to explore on a tour straight out of Jules Verne’s imaginary world. Embark on an underground journey to a different world as you discover a place beyond time where light, image and sound combine and fiction intertwines with reality.

A mysterious sinkhole: a chasm that plunges to the depths of the cave

“Aven” is a word of Celtic origin which in local dialect means a natural opening leading to an underground cavity. From the cavity ceiling, a vertical 75-metre chimney of 3 metres in diameter rises to the surface, opening in a mysterious, funnel-shaped well on the Causse Méjean. From the bottom of the cavity, a second, blind well of 5-metre diameter plunges a further 87 metres into the invisible depths. The unique cavity of this Lozère cave is a highly popular attraction, allowing visitors with a sense of adventure to relive the sensations that the first explorers felt. You do not need to be an expert caver – professional instructors will show you an effortless way to descend the 75 metres into the natural chasm.

A speleo station and funicular railway, for a journey beyond time to another world

An unusual feature on the Causse Méjean, the Speleo Station is where your trip through space and time begins, to transport you to another world. An underground funicular railway takes you effortlessly to the cavity entrance. From the arrival platform, you’ll be instantly blown away by the panoramic view over the entire cavity and its fantasy forest.

Spectacular surroundings: the arid, steppe wilderness of the Causse Méjean

A classified site in the heart of the Cévennes National Park and the Causses and Cévennes region, and a registered UNESCO World Heritage site. As far as the eye can see, the Aven Armand is surrounded by a unique remoteness and aridity. From the approach road, you’re seized by a profound sense of freedom amid the immensity of nature in all its wild beauty. With this natural heritage that no words can describe, the Aven Armand is among the world’s most beautiful caves. Each visitor experiences their own personal sensations, “emerging as if in a dream”. Edouard-Alfred Martel