|Location:||Bex, Le Bouillet|
|Open:||APR to OCT Tue-Sun 9:45, 11:15, 12:45, 15:45. |
Regular tour: Adults CHF 18, Children (6-16) CHF 12, Student CHF 16, Apprentice (-26) CHF 16, Seniors CHF 16, Military personnel CHF 16.
Sainte Barbe: Adults CHF 59, Children (8-16) CHF 39, Children (0-8) not allowed.
Le Coulat: per group (20-35) CHF 750.
Le Labyrinthe des Sources: per group (8-12) CHF 850.
Maxime Roche (La Grande Traversée): per group (8-15) CHF 900.
Le 11ème: per group (10-15) CHF 950.
Mine Adventure: Per Person CHF 159, group rates.
Regular tour: D=105min.
Sainte Barbe: L=3,000m, VR=180m, D=3.5h.
Le Coulat: L=3,000m, VR=180m, D=3.5h.
Le Labyrinthe des Sources: L=4,000m, VR=100m, D=4h.
Maxime Roche (La Grande Traversée): L=4,000m, VR=400m, D=4.5h.
Le 11ème: L=3,500m, VR=250m, D=5h.
Mine Adventure: L=3,000m, VR=180m, D=3.5h.
|Address:||Sociétés Vaudoise des mines et salines de Bex, rte de Gryon 31, 1880 Bex, Tel: +41-24-4630330, Fax: +41-24-4630332. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1826||brine reservoir excavated, which is today the exhibition hall.|
A trip into the Salt Mines of Bex is a trip into the world of salt miners in 1684. This is the time when the underground mining was started. The tour starts with a multimedia show introducing visitors into the history of the mine. Then the mine is entered on a mine train. Inside the mine, some historic mine tunnels and shafts can be seen. There is also an undergound museum.
More adventurous visitors can book a mine trekking tour. They will see interesting parts of the mine, which are not part of the show mine. The Alter Mann (old man), a miner term, means very old passages originating to the 17th century. They were built completely by hand, without the help of mining machinery.
Most trekking tours start at the Bouillet, where helmets are provided and a 15 minute audio visual show on the history of the site is shown. Then a 20 minutes walk through the forest brings visitors to the Coulat level. Depending on the tour and the weather the mine may also be entered and/or left by train. A central part of all tours is the Grand Escalier, a staircase with 734 steps, and the exploitation levels of the 18th century named Coulat. Those parts are called de Graffenried, St. Louis, La Chambre des Cultes and La Chambre de la Roue.
Le Coulat is the base tour. Sainte Barbe tour includes a raclette, a traditional Swiss dish of melted cheese at the Taverne du Dessaloir (Hall of Festivities). Le Labyrinthe des Sources takes a little longer and includes a visit of the Trou du Milieu and the Labyrinthe des Sources. There is a pause for a snack in the Chambre de la Roue. Le 11ème tour shows the 11th floor and return through the galleries of Bon Espoir, the 4ème Côté (380 m), the and Chambre de la Roue. The Mine Adventure is the tour for bon vivants: a meal at the Taverne du Dessaloir includes an aperitif du mineur followed by raclette with onion salad. The dessert is the coupe mineur, sundried grapes in eau-de-vie with vanilla ice cream. All participants get a Sel des Alpes souvenir bag.
The Maxime Roche tour shows different parts of the mine. At first some cars of the participants are parked at Fondement, where the mine is left later. Helmets are provided at the Saltworks of Bex at Bévieux and the mine is entered through La Barmaz gallery. This long tour includes a snack pause at the Chambre de la Roue. The Escalier Ruiné ascends to the Fondement. The mine is exited through the oldest galleries of the mine towards the Gryonne River. Here the saline spring is visited, the first one ever discovered. Its discovery in 1684 by Maxime Roche was the start of the salt mining at Bex.