Welcome to one of France’s 3 greatest caves: La Cocalière, between Cévennes and Ardèche.
To get here, you’ve followed the Route Départementale connecting Alès to Aubenas (the RD 904-104 passing between St-Ambroix and St-Paul-le-Jeune) up to the Courry roundabout, where an access road leads to one of the tourist site’s huge, shady car parks. Here you are on the verdant karst Gras or Garrigues plateau, where you’ll find an array of sinkholes, dolines, lapies and many prehistoric and protohistoric features such as sepulchral caves, tumuli, dolmens, dry stone huts and more.
The famous cave that you’re about to visit was hollowed out of the limestone rock at the height of the Jurassic period (Kimmeridgian, Tithonian - between 146 and 135 million years ago), and is only one branch of a huge underground network covering thirty kilometres or so.
Its history began 35 million years ago (Eocene, Tertiary period) and is still continuing today, for La Cocalière is a living cave, i.e. still in formation.