How many steps are there leading to the cave?
Do I need to climb back up them?
No, there are twenty or so steps to climb and then at the cave exit, a little train will be waiting to bring you back here.
Can pregnant women and older people go down into the cave?
There are 252 steps which are easy to walk down. Once you’re down in the cave, the path is easy to walk along. So there’s no problem, but it’s up to the person involved.
Can I bring my young baby?
Visitors have brought week-old babies along, but you need to bear in mind that the temperature is 14° and make sure that children are properly covered up, whatever their age.
Can I take a pushchair into the cave?
Yes, but you need to fold it when walking down the 252 steps. After that you’ll find it convenient to use your pushchair.
Does the tour of the cave take place on board the little train?
No, you take the little train from the cave exit back through the garrigue.
How long does the tour of the cave last?
About 1 hour, including the trip back on the little train.
Does the little train have a roof?
Do groups of visitors meet each other in the cave?
No, the groups have a limited number of people and go in one after the other.
Do I need to wear boots for the cave tour?
No, comfortable shoes will be fine.
Do I need to wear a helmet?
No, La Cocalière cave has been made suitable for the general public.
Can I visit the cave on my own?
No, because going underground means discovering another “world”… A guide must be there to accompany you, explain things to you and show you things.
Who are the cave guides?
Men or women who are studying or have finished their studies but have knowledge of the underground environment. They are often speleologists and always have first aid qualifications. They all speak English as a minimum requirement.
Are there tours in other languages?
No, but we provide a written translation of the guided tour for those who would like one (in English, German, Dutch and Spanish).
At the gift shop, can I buy souvenirs that come directly from the cave?
No concretions (stalactites etc.) - this geological heritage must be protected.
Are there any boats in the cave?
No, the underground river can only be accessed by cavers and this requires a small inflatable dinghy. It’s easy to walk around in the cave and the path runs alongside some gours (small lakes formed by the water).
Is the cave nice to look at?
You’ll be the judge of that, but it is one of France’s three greatest caves, thanks to its variety of concretions and its length… You’ll never be bored during the tour.
So, what other nice caves are worth seeing?
All the caves are worth seeing (in the region, Trabuc, Saint Marcel d’Ardèche, La Madeleine, etc.) and the same goes for the sinkholes (Orgnac, Arman, Marzal, etc.) for their particularities and special features. Water and time sculpt the rock like two artists who practise the same art, but never in the same way.
Can I camp in the cave – we saw tents inside?
No, these tents were used by speleologists when the cave was first explored.
Are dogs allowed?
Only if they’re small dogs that can be carried in your arms or in a basket. They’re not allowed on the ground!
Are there any toilets in the cave?
No, the smell would linger for too long...
Can I take photos in the cave?
Yes, without flash – this is partly to protect the balance of the underground environment, but also to ensure the manageability and comfort of the group during the tour, which is limited to one hour.
Why don’t the tours last longer?
Because we thought of the children!!! They might feel that anything over an hour is too long to be following a guide and might be put off.
Can we tour the cave on our bicycles?
No… There have been bicycle races where the course has gone through the cave (in fact it’s the only cave in France that bicycles can go through). The last race was won by Miguel Martinez, Olympic Champion.
Can I have a picnic in the cave?
Certainly not… The smallest crumb could disrupt the balance of the cave environment!
Do any animals live in the cave?
Yes, these creatures only live in the underground environment – they’re blind, tiny, hard to see and harmless. Small crustaceans, such as the niphargus for example, live in bodies of water where they can sometimes be spotted.
What’s the discovery trail?
This is a trail where you can see and discover unusual things. For example, here you can move through a landscape of curiously-shaped rocks in a setting which is full of Mediterranean plant life and not without historical interest.
Is the discovery trail easy to walk along?
There are no difficulties as the path is signposted. Ordinary shoes (trainers for example) will be enough.