10 caves to discover underground Catalonia

We are a country very rich in heritage and a part of it is underground. These are some of the caves that we find throughout the territory, each one with its uniqueness, that deserve to be discovered

5 min
The Cardona Salt mines in an archive image.

BarcelonaGoing underground is a magical and unique experience. An opportunity to get away from the routine and daily landscapes and discover an unknown, fascinating and often mysterious terrain, with labyrinthine landscapes and unusual morphologies that tell us many things about our past. In Catalonia we have everything from unique caves where stalactites and stalagmites are the protagonists, to mines from which salt or coal was extracted. Some spaces to which we can add caves and grottoes open to the landscape – both mountain and sea – where prehistoric man lived and which in times of conflict have also served as refuge for the inhabitants of the area.

Interior landscapes of imposing natural beauty, which can be discovered throughout the territory and which, in the case of the caves, are the result of years of erosion caused by currents of water, ice or lava, among other factors . Places with a common origin, but with very different features, since no two caves are the same. If you want to discover these natural treasures that Catalonia hides underground, here is a list of some of the most interesting.


Parc de les coves prehistòriques de Serinyà

Pla de l'Estany

Serinyà prehistoric caves.

The park is made up of three caves, the largest of which is Arbreda, the most important site in the place due to the great wealth of human employment that occurred especially from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic but also until the historical period. It is currently in the process of excavation and what we see today reminds very little of its original form, since much of the roof has disappeared. The second cave is Mollet, which has preserved its original shape quite well. It is the one that contains the oldest human presence, from about 200,000 years ago, and remains of animals such as the ancient elephant, the prairie rhinoceros or the cave lynx have been found in the cave. Finally, the Reclau Viver cave is the one that best preserves its original appearance. It is divided into two rooms, the entrance or hall that still has the ceiling intact, and the gallery or hallway that has a large part of the sunken roof. Currently, the Parc de les Coves is being remodeled and conditioning works are being carried out to convert it into an interpretation center. Guided tours are held in summer.


The Montserrat caves

Baix Llobregat

A natural underground cavity 530 meters long with an interior slope of about twenty meters and a temperature that remains above 14 ºC and a humidity of almost 100%. Also known as the Salnitre caves, they are located in the municipality of Collbaton, and allow you to take a 400-meter underground walk with galleries, corridors and ducts. In addition, during the visit you will be able to see stalactites, stalagmites, columns and flags. Guided tours are offered on weekends and holidays and access to the caves is by climbing 244 steps.


The Toll caves


The Toll Caves Prehistoric Park allows us to jump back 38 million years in the area that today occupies the municipality of Moià, when the area was submerged under the waters of an inland sea. A place filled with all types of underwater life but, above all, with large coral reef barriers. The disappearance of this sea, millions of years later, caused the fossilization of the reef and gave way to the rock that gives shape to the Toll caves, where the filtration of rainwater ended up forming the network of chasms, galleries and rooms throughout. along the 1,148 meters that make up its interior. The cave became the refuge of prehistoric animals such as the cave bone, the cave hyena or the cave lion, which is why it is known by the nickname Palace of Quaternary Fauna. The complex is made up of several caves and you will also find replicas of four different Neolithic huts, all of them belonging to sedentary communities. Guided tours are available.


Espluga de Francolí Cave

Conca de Barberà

Espluga de Francolí Cave.

The Espluga caves open the doors to the prehistoric past of our humanity and encourage you to visit the different human communities that lived together in this same place thousands of years ago. Here you will find one of the longest and deepest caves in the world in a visit that is quite an adventure and that allows, equipped with a wetsuit, helmet and light and accompanied by two caving guides, to go up the underground river and explore the deepest galleries.


Ànes Cave


The Ànes cave, with the entrance located in the Municipal District of Bellver de Cerdanya, is a cavity with 335 completely horizontal meters, in a route suitable for taking with the family. Guided tours are carried out that allow you to discover the numerous rooms and corridors that make it up, since it is made up of a large main gallery with notable stalagmitic formations and an ascending side gallery. It was not fully explored until 1950 and in later years some utensils and human remains from the Bronze Age were found, which confirmed its added historical value to speleology.


Mura Cave


A spectacular gallery with a length of 160 m and without difficulty to be visited. On the walls you can still see quite a few formations of stalagmites and stalactites and some curious feathery crystallizations of aragonite, known in the scientific world as flos ferry. Furthermore, in the cave there is a very interesting fauna, since in winter bats take shelter and, in addition, there lives a beetle that we only find in some caves and chasms in the Sant Llorenç and Montserrat massifs. Guided tours take place on weekends.


The Meravelles caves of Benifallet

Baix Ebre

A speleological complex made up of six caves that allows you to take a 500-meter route, where you can see all types of stalactites, stalagmites, columns and flags. The Meravelles cave and the Dos Cave are the two cavities that can be visited with a guided tour that lasts 45 minutes. In the Dos cave you can see the historical remains of the Neolithic and the Battle of the Ebro; in Meravelles the spectacular eccentrics, extraordinary formations. All the formations, created with the slow drip of water, generate spectacular formations that make the imagination fly.


Tobacco Cave

La Noguera

Located at one end of the Sierra de Mont-roig, in Camarassa you can visit the Tabaco Cave, a 198-meter cavity, which allows you to take a trip back in time to the moment of the birth of the Pyrenees. Its geometric shapes are caused by the different stalactites and stalagmites that exist inside and the remains of cave paintings that are still preserved help to explain and understand how our ancestors lived. Guided tours are offered and access is free, but prior request is required.


Cercs mines and Riutort oil mine


The Cercs mines in an archive image.

In the case of Cercs, a mining train will take you inside the Sant Romà mine on a tour of 450 meters of gallery, which will make you relive in the original place what work was like inside the mine. During the departure journey, which is done on foot and accompanied by a guide, you will be able to discover the coal extraction processes during the 150 years of activity of the mine. For its part, located within the perimeter of the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park, is the Riutort oil mine, one of the few underground oil mines in the world. An exceptional historical curiosity of the Industrial Revolution in Berguedà. The visit takes place along the galleries of this mine, which is characterized by resembling a natural cave, with the singular peculiarity that it hides its stones impregnated with black gold.


Cultural de la Muntanya de Sal Park


Tour of the Cardona salt mines.

In Cardona you have the opportunity to take a guided tour 86 meters deep inside the galleries of the Muntanya de Sal, open since 1997., on a walk through the old mining facilities where you will learn about the history of the exploitation of salts, the geology, mineralogy and botany of this Area of Natural Interest, the Salina Valley of Cardona. You can also enter the mine shaft machinery building and see a true gem of industrial archeology: the shaft machinery designed and built by Alsthom (today Alstom) in the 1920s.

Schedule a getaway to Northern Catalonia

In Capcir, in North Catalonia, you will find the spectacular Fontrabiouse caves, where you will discover the underground world through a two-level layout that you can visit in the company of a guide. Several rooms, an underground lake and paving flows of dazzling colors fill this cave with charm, which, located 1,500 meters above sea level, is the highest equipped cave in Europe. It was an old blue marble quarry that was exploited until the 1950s. Later the calcite galleries were discovered and visited. You will be able to see different calcite sculptures, created by the erosion of water and infiltrated snow more than 6 million years ago.