Grotte de Bédeilhac

Useful Information

Location: Near Niaux and Fontanet, Ariege.
Open: Christmas holdiays, Winter holidays daily 14:30, 16:30.
All Saints' day holidays, Easter holidays daily 14:15, 17.
APR to JUN daily 14:15, 17.
JUL to AUG daily 10-17:30, last tour 17:15.
SEP daily 14:15, 17.
OCT to APR Sun 15.
Closed 25-DEC, 01-JAN.
Fee: Adults EUR , Children (6-16) EUR , Children (0-5) free, Students EUR , Family (2+2) EUR .
Groups (+): Adults EUR , Children (6-16) EUR .
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: electric.
Dimension: A=690m asl, L=750m.
Guided tours: D=75min. At 13 tour in English.
Address: Grotte Prehistorique de Bedeilhac, 09400 Bedeilhac, Tel: +33-561-059506, Fax: +33-561-051315. E-mail: contact
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.


1866 diggings by Filhol, Noulet and Garrigou.
1906 first prehistoric paintings of bisons, horses, reindeer and ibex discovered by E. Harlé and identified by Abbé Breuil and H. Obermaier.
1924-25 G. Vidal excavates the contents of the gallery which bears his name today.
1927 R. Sawtell, I. Treat and P. Vaillant-Couturier visit the cave and publish a description in the book Primitive Hearths in the Pyrenees. They describe some objects discovered almost on the surface in the middle of the Final Room: arrowheads, a scraper, and teeth of horses with bore holes.
1927-29 excavations by J. Mandement and B. Jauze on the terraces of the Room of the Fall. Discovered many engraved plates.
1935-39 excavations by the Commander E. Octobon and his son Robert in the Final Room.
1941 excavations of R. Robert at the entrance of the gallery on the right-hand side (published in the Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française (B.S.P.F.), 1943).
1944 levelling work by the Germans destroyed the access ramp. R. Robert made an excavations to rescue the content of Vidal gallery (published in the Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française (B.S.P.F.), 1946).
1950 M. Martel discovers a magdalénian hiding-place in Vidal gallery. An engraved plate of a rear-axle of a horse was found.
1950-53 excavations by R. Robert in the Vidal gallery (published in the Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Ariégeoise (B.S.P.A.), 1953).
1993-96 excavations by Michel Barbaza in the Vidal gallery (published in B.S.P.A, 1997).


The cave of Bédeilhac is located in the basin of Tarascon-sur-Ariège. It is a huge entrance portal made it a good shelter for humans during the middle and late Magdalénien. This is proven by two horizons with human remains, which were excavated in various locations in this cave. Dating was possible by the style of the discovered remains, and by the ArchaeologyC14-dating.

Unique are clay sculptures, which were only found here and in three other sites: Tuc-in Audoubert, Montespan and Labouiche. Other findings are flintstone scrapers, teeth of horses with bore holes, and many paintings and engravings on the walls.