Xploria, the forest that explores timeXploria, the forest that explores time
©Xploria, the forest to explore time in Le Mas d'Azil - Ariège|HerveLeclair@aspheries.com / alg
XploriaThe forest to explore time


By Mélanie, destination expert

In the extraordinary forest of Castagnès, come and discover the Xploria museum-park and enjoy a nature trail, designed for adventure, to learn about the history of biodiversity while having fun! Follow the thread of time, from the creation of the universe, and discover the evolution of flora and fauna. A veritable open-air museum of natural history!!!

A wonderful adventure ...

In the heart of the forest

Finally a bit of freshness! you enter an extraordinary forest… Here you feel protected by the imposing hundred-year-old chestnut trees and the verdant vegetation. Branches crackle and leaves sing in the wind. Without further ado, the children set off on their adventure. They hurry through the time corridor. The first fossils set the tone: the visit will be rich in discovery.

Open your eyes, the journey through time begins.

Playing archaeologist

Excavation areas

With an adventurer’s bag on their backs, the children set off happily in search of the first paleontological excavation workshop. Like apprentice archaeologists, brush and shovel in hand, they dig in the sand in search of dinosaur bones. Their eyes light up at the slightest find…

A little further on it’s a beach of footprints that will attract their curiosity! But where are the dinosaur footprints hidden? The children are concentrated but also excited at the idea of discovering who has the biggest footprint… is it the long-necked dinosaur, or the carnivore?

Finally, a last stop will be necessary near the glassed-in pond! Overhead digging trays await the little wolves! Here, skeletons of modern fish and mammals are hidden beneath the sand. Will they recognize them?


Life in the pond

Take the time to observe… The inhabitants of the pond come to meet you!

The Nenufars let themselves be carried along, sometimes disturbed by the little green frog that tries to be discreet. After some time in the water, dragonflies have chosen the tall grass to transform: the nymphs are still visible! Snails love to cling to the glass to show off. And the webbed newts remain rather shy and swim quietly.


Enter the world of dinosaurs

Who hasn’t dreamed of taking on a dinosaur? Open your eyes, the forest becomes your playground! Enter the secondary era…

Young or old, you’ll be amazed at the encounters you can make along the way. Dinosaurs, pterosaurs (flying reptiles), sea giants and the first birds will no longer hold any secrets for you. You’ll be able to touch the fossils and observe the details of life-size animal reproduction.

On the way to the Tertiary Era, the giant mammals of Prehistory accompany you: the polar bear, the megaloceros or the saber-toothed tiger.


Florent, the Xploria park manager, loves to chat and pass on everything he’s learned. You can find him at the park’s reception desk and ask him any questions that come to mind.

Xploria’s neighbor is Kokopelli, a lovely organic and free seed store. Don’t leave without discovering the many varieties of flowers, vegetables and medicinal plants, and the bookshop. Together, with Xploria, they work on biodiversity.

Xploria’s many activities will keep you on site for almost 2 hours.

Don’t forget your picnic, a space is set up in the shade of the chestnut trees!