Mines de Vielle Aure

Useful Information

Location: Route du Pla d'Adet, 65170 Vielle Aure.
(42.833354, 0.322142)
Open: JUL to AUG daily 10-12, 14-19.
Tours every 15 to 30 minutes.
Fee: Adults EUR 7.50, Children (6-12) EUR 5, Children (0-5) free.
Classification: MineManganese Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightSon et Lumière
Dimension: T=13 °C.
Guided tours: D=1 h, L=350 m, VR=47 m. Français - French
Groups (10+) with 24 h prenotation: English Español - Spanish
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Anonymous (2008): La mise en valeur des mines de Vielle-Aure (65) Geologues 156, 98-99.
Address: Mine de Vielle Aure, Route du Pla d'Adet, 65170 Vielle Aure, Tel: +33-562-394619.
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.


19th century beginning of mining.
1923 mine closed.
1992 beginning of restauration.
1995 opened as a show mine.



The Pla d'Adet is a mountain above Saint-Lary-Soulan, which is a popular hiking and skiing destination. There is a road from Saint-Lary-Soulan through Vignec to the summit of the mountain. Right after the road starts to climb along the mountainside, the village Vielle Aure is on the right-hand side. And here a parking lot for the Mines de Vielle Aure is located, with a 5 minutes walk to the mine entrance. There is a mining museum and an underground tour of the former manganese mine. The museum shows mining tools like picks and crowbars, lamps, and hanging compasses and theodolites which were used for surveying. The site is open only during the summer holidays.

We had this site originally listed with the name Mine de Vieille Aure and there are still websites using this version. However, the town and the mine are actually written Vielle Aure, so that the name we use now. This typo was widely used, probably because the French word vieille means "old" and most people thought the name was old Aure. We have no idea if vielle is just a local dialect, if it actually means something completely different, or if it is just a name without meaning.

Manganese mines are rare, and so manganese minerals are also rare, although the metal is actually not expensive or valuable. The manganese mines of the area are quite popular among mineral hunters which search for minerals on the slack heaps. There are several other manganese mines in the area, but they are not open to the public and located higher up on the mountainside. To reach them, you will need a good map, and it requires generally several hours walking.