Tour at The Cave of Fairies (Thouzon Cave) in Vaucluse, Provence France

Thouzon Cave in Vaucluse, Provence France is a 230 meters long cave, this cavity, also nicknamed the fairy cave. It’s very proud to reveal to its visitors its marginal discovery of the underground mineral world (marvelous golden fistulous stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, gours, and even cave pearls).

Thouzon Cave

Located in the town of Thor, in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur (Vaucluse), the cave of Thouzon settled at the hill of the same name. It also has its own boutiques of minerals and lithotherapy.

Visit my previous post: One Day Itinerary en Provence France – Finding the perfect Lavender Field.

Thouzon Cave the Underground Jewel

Thouzon Cave Vaucluse

In 1902, the cave was discovered by workers during the exploitation of the stone quarries located nearby. The cave remained intact thanks to its immediate development.

In September of the same year, the first guide had the satisfaction of making the inhabitants discover. These famous ‘straws’ were, in reality, fistulous and eccentric.

Tour Guide

Since 1981, the current operators, Michèle and Denis Mathieu, have brought in some interior fittings and have enhanced the route. It is now accessible to the public for a visit of three-quarters of an hour. This cave is also labeled as one of the Caves of France.

The temperature inside the cave goes down up to 13°C (56°F) regardless of the temperature of the exterior area.

Our visit to the Cave of Fairies

Our visit to the Cave of Fairies

During our stay in Saint Saturnin, we’ve settled to visit the Thouzon cave situated not too far from where we stayed. It was about 8-10 minutes’ drive, very easy to go there, grabbing the normal departmental road of Provence.

Getting at the Thouzon cave area, we entered the ticketing section, enclosing with the shop/boutique of this tourist attraction. There were a bunch of tourists who were in the queue for going to their guided tour.

We bought our tickets for the whole family, prices for an adult are €9.20, we had a child together with us (€6.70 ) for Children 5-11 years old. 

While waiting for our turn for the guided tour, Hubby and I went to wander around the boutique and explore a bit. I discovered a lot about minerals and other geological information about it.

Shops Thouzon Cave Vaucluse France

According to its history, 60 million years ago the Thouzon Cave underwent its crystallization: stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, rimstone dams, and cave pearls. There are also balance pillars, cones of rocks, clogged joints, wells, meanders, and flint nodules.

Shops Thouzon Cave Vaucluse

For starters, collectors, or lithotherapy amateurs, this place would be a perfect fit. You can even buy your own minerals and customize it as much as you want. Unfortunately, neither of us from the family collects any of these minerals. However, I truly find it passionate to learn more about this earth’s jewels.

Tour Guided Visit

tour guided

The bell rang, and it’s our turn to visit the grotte (cave). It really didn’t take long for us to wait, we had our time of lèche-vitrine (window shopping). My mom-in-law bought some souvenir bracelets and other stuff.

Finally, we were ready to enter the grotte, I was definitely excited since it was my first time to visit a cave in Europe, yes, no joke, it was my first. Our tour guide (a young lady) introduces to us and tells a bit of the introduction and history of Thouzon Cave.

Cave Thouzon Interior 1

She warned us as well about the temperature inside the cave, 13°C or above. But we were all ready and excited to see the magically gorgeous stalagmites of the cave

Wandering in this majestic cave makes you feel like a member of a royal family. There were jillions of sparkling stalagmites, stalactites, and others. 

Stalagmites

Cave Thouzon Interior 4

For freshmen like me, here’s what you need to know about stalagmites, it is a type of rock formation that rises from the floor of a cave due to the accumulation of substance deposited on the floor from ceiling drippings. 

Stalagmites may be composed of lava, minerals, mud, peat, pitch, sand, sinter and amberat (crystallized urine of packrats). The identical formation hanging down from the ceiling of a cave is a stalactite. 

Mnemonics have been developed for which word refers to which type of formation; one is that stalactite has a C for the ceiling, and stalagmite has a G for ground.

There are various forms and types of stalagmites. The most common stalagmites are speleothems, which usually form in limestone caves. Another type of stalagmite is formed in lava tubes, while lava is still active inside.

Moving on to a common stalagmite found seasonally or year-round in many caves is the ice stalagmite, commonly referred to as icicles. The largest known stalagmite in the world exceeds 70 meters (230 ft) in height and is in Sơn Đoòng Cave, Vietnam.

Stalactites

stalactite 1

A Stalactite on the other side, is from the Greek stalasso, ‘to drip’ meaning that which drips. It is a type of formation that hangs from the ceiling of caves, hot springs, or manmade structures such as bridges and mines. 

Therefore, any soluble material, can be deposited as a colloid, or is in suspension, or is capable of being melted. May form a stalactite. Stalactites may be composed of lava, minerals, mud, peat, pitch, sand, sinter, and amberat (crystallized urine of packrats). 

Forms and Types

Meanwhile, a stalactite is not necessarily a speleothem. Though speleothems are the most common form of stalactite because of the abundance of limestone caves.

On the other hand, there are forms and types of Stalactite. Let’s start with Limestone stalactites which are the most common are speleothems. Another one is the Lava Stalactite, like the lave stalagmite, it is formed in lava tubes while lava is still active.

Moving to a different form of lava Stalactite, there are Shark tooth stalactites. A broad and tapering in appearance and Splash stalactites. Tubular lava stalactites When the roof of a lava tube is cooling. A skin will form that traps semi-molten material inside. Lastly, Ice and Concrete Stalactite.

Accordingly, the White Chamber in the Jeita Grotto’s upper cavern in Lebanon. Contains an 8.2 m (27 ft) limestone stalactite is claimed to be the longest in the world.

Best Shots from Thouzon Cave

Visit the official website of Thouzon Cave (Les Grottes de Thouzon)


Thouzon Cave in Vaucluse, Provence France

 

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2 Responses

  1. Tayo says:

    This cave looks magical! I love visiting caves and had no idea France had one of such beauty. I always find it hard to capture caves on photos but you’ve done a cracking job showing all the details. Thanks for sharing

    • Alexine says:

      Thank you Tayo, it was a bit challenging to take photos in the dark. Luckily, they have installed some lamps which is very helpful for photographers. Hope you’ll visit in one of the caves in France in the future.

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