At Grotte du Pech-Merle, one of the few of Upper Paleolithic caves in France still open to the public, view children's footprints preserved in what was once clay, over 0.8 km (0.5 mi) underground. Amidst the stalagmites, stalactites, and other natural formations, view iconic cave paintings of spotted horses and woolly mammoths. Red handprints reach out to you from prehistoric times. Plexiglas protects the paintings and prints, but you can still come within inches of these remnants of the Gravettian culture, which was in existence around 25,000 BCE. English tours must be booked in advance, and slots fill up quickly. The drive to get here is long, on steep, one-lane country roads. Take a look at our Cabrerets trip itinerary planning tool to schedule your visit to Grotte du Pech-Merle and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
Grotte du Pech-Merle reviews
The cave complex at Pech Merle was quite extraordinary, tunnels and caverns cut this way and that, driven through the rock by millennia of flood waters. In one immense grotto we saw the spectacular...
The cave complex at Pech Merle was quite extraordinary, tunnels and caverns cut this way and that, driven through the rock by millennia of flood waters. In one immense grotto we saw the spectacular... more »
I loved the caves and they were fascinating but it was disappointing that there was no English. Sadly I don't speak French and appreciate that everyone can't translate for us. But they had the little.... more
I loved the caves and they were fascinating but it was disappointing that there was no English. Sadly I don't speak French and appreciate that everyone can't translate for us. But they had the little.... more »
The tour was excellent here and I highly recommend to anyone visiting the nearby regions. We drove an hour to visit and it was more than worth it. Our tour was in English and the guide spoke clearly and was very informative. You get earphones so you can hear the guide even if they are far away. The tour was an hour all together and about 40 mins of that is spent in the caves. You get to be very close to many of the drawings, though no pictures or touching are allowed (very understandably). There are some steps and ups and downs but it is pretty accessible for most who can move freely. The path is concrete and so is smooth, not uneven which makes for easy walking. There is a great shop at the end with some nice photos and other items to remember what you saw in the caves. Overall it was a great experience and was only €14 per adult. In the museum after you can see some more artefacts and information along with a 30 minute film about the cave which has English subtitles. Highly recommended!
A good day out. The site has a good little museum and film explaining the relevance of the site. The tour itself lasted a good 40 mins and was conducted by a very friendly and knowledgeable guide in English. It was good to be able to get into the cave, which in itself is huge and impressive. Being able to see the original cave art in location is a great experience. There is not a lot of cave art here however and what there is is probably at the more basic level on the whole though there are a few very good examples. But this is not Lascaux, but a worthwhile visit, especially when it was 40c on the surface!
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