|Image: the Ardeche valley in front of the Grotte des Tunnel and the Grotte des Huguenots.|
|Location:||A7, exit Montélimar or Bollène, up the Ardeche valley to Vallon-Pont d'Arc. Near Vallon Pont d'Arc, 2.5km east at the Ardeche valley road. (N 44°23'425 - E 004°24'524)|
|Open:||JUN to AUG daily 10-19. |
|Address:||Grottes des Huguenots, Association CESAME, chem Mezelet, F-07150 Vallon Pont d'Arc. Tel: +33-475880671, Fax: +33-475880671|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1901||declared a historic site.|
The Grotte des Huguenots is a single chamber with a huge portal. It has two entrances, a small one directly at the Ardeche valley road, a much bigger one to the right in an angle of 90°. The cave entrances are closed by iron gates, but it may be visited during summer. The cave is maintained and protected by the Association CESAME, who used the cave to install an archaeological exhibition inside.
The interior is not very interesting from the speleologic view, but it is an important archaeological and palaeontological site. The cave is rather small and horizontal, with huge entrances allowing the light to fall in. This is ideal for an shelter.
When I visited this cave in 1971, I found a large entrance at the side of the road in the Ardèche Gorge, wide open and no access restrictions. Just inside the entrance was a large chamber about 70 m across and 25 m high with man-made level floor as if it had been used as a ball room or tea garden. We were able to explore about 300 m of horizontal passage, most of which was up to 10m high.
Text by Tony Oldham (2003). With kind permission.