Foix Area


After a couple of nights in the small town of Montequieue-Volvestre we headed in an easterly direction toward our next desination, stopping to see a few sights along the way around the city of Foix, including the natural tunnel Cave of Mas-d’Azil, the Underground River of Labouiche and the Falls of Roquefort.

The Cave of Mas-d’Azil (Grotte du Mas-d’Azil) is a natural tunnel in the same area as the caves, also made of limestone, large enough for a road and a river to pass through. It is almost 1400 ft long and 160 ft high.  

The Underground River of Labouiche (Riviere Souterrain de Labouiche) is a big cave with a river running through it. It is accessed by aluminum boats that hold 12 people, propelled by a guide pulling on an overhead cable. The cave is limestone similar to others, such as Carlsbad (but on a smaller scale). The tour took about 1-1/2 hours and involved leaving the boat on two occasions to portage falls or narrow areas.

Later in the day we took a detour to Roquefort-les-Cascades to see the unusual tufa water falls. They are about 100 ft high and are unusual in that the water from the spring that feeds the falls is very calcareous, and calcium deposits form on the rocks and moss over which it flows. When the vegetation underneath the deposits dies, it ferments, and the beige crust left behind has a porous texture resembling a sponge. This type of cascade, called a Tufa waterfall, is fragile and rare. That said, it was completely uncontrolled for tourism.

Click on the pictures below for larger images and slideshow.

© Tom Lebsack 2019