The Ardèche Caves
Here, we reveal the most beautiful caves to explore during your stay at our dream campsite in the Ardèche. If you love water sports, you will probably also enjoy canoeing in the Ardèche.
Chauvet 2 Cave
The Chauvet 2 Cave, an original reconstruction of the real Chauvet Cave, is located in Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. You will discover the way humans lived 36,000 years ago, extraordinary paintings and engravings of fifteen species of animals that seem to come to life. A unique place in the world that you must see.
A TRIP TO THE PAST DURING YOUR STAY AT LE POMMIER
One of the most beautiful masterpieces of humanity, known worldwide, will transport you 36,000 years into the past. You will meet your ancestors, the Aurignacians, and their “pets”, including mammoths, which are recreated here life-size. In Chauvet 2, you can get up close to the walls and observe and decipher the faithfully reproduced drawings. You take the tour with a headset for full immersion in the prehistoric era. The Chauvet 2 cave is a model for education. Each child leaves this experience transformed, in awe of how much further reality goes than a textbook. An incredible experience to share with your family.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chauvet Cave in the Ardèche was discovered by three cavers in 1994. Dating back 36,000 years, the cave has remained closed to the public to keep the paintings that adorn its walls intact. The Chauvet 2 cave, a reconstruction of the original cave, is now the largest reconstruction site in the world!
AN ADVENTURE IN PREHISTORY
Throughout the season, Chauvet 2 organizes activities and workshops for the whole family. In a Paleolithic campsite, sitting cross-legged, you will learn how to make fire without a lighter or matches, or go spear hunting for bison. You can even draw like your ancestors or play music with their instruments. Accessories, clothing and tools tell the story of these prehistoric humans as children watch, enthralled.
DON’T FORGET TO RESERVE!
To visit Chauvet 2, it is best to make a reservation and arrive 30 minutes before the time indicated on your ticket. The reconstructed cave tour lasts one hour. Before or after, allow an hour to visit the Aurignacian gallery where you can explore the prehistoric way of life and participate in activities. There is also a restaurant on-site. It takes 35 minutes by car to get there, towards Vallon-Pont-d’Arc. Bring warm clothing. It’s only 16 degrees in the cave!
For more information: https://www.grottechauvet2ardeche.com/
Other caves not to be missed during your stay in the Ardèche
There is not only Chauvet 2 to visit in the Ardèche. There are nearly 500 caves in the region! Here is a selection of caves open to the public that you can visit during your stay at our campsite.
Madeleine Cave in Saint-Remèze, on the left bank of the Ardèche Gorges, opens into the heart of the cliff. You will visit caverns with colored concretions at different heights. Today, you can enjoy the magnificent scenery through 25 caverns spread over a circuit of about 500 m. Don’t miss this site in the middle of the tourist route of the Ardèche Gorges, between Vallon-Pont-d’Arc and Saint-Martin-d’Ardèche, surrounded by the Nature Reserve with many species of birds of prey and breathtaking views. An exceptional place with a variety of activities available, including a breathtaking Sound & Light show that immerses you in the amazing story of how the cave was discovered. There is also a spectacular view of the landscape and canyon, an exhibition in the Maison de la Réserve where you can learn more about the place and a discovery track where you can observe local plant and animal life.
For more information: https://www.grottemadeleine.com/
An exceptional cave site between the Ardèche Gorges and the Cèze Valley, the Grand Site de l'Aven d'Orgnac. The cave is a geological gem. Explored by Robert Joly in 1935, the Aven d'Orgnac was opened to the public in 1939. From then on, the site gained in popularity, becoming a regional museum in 1988 and now the Cité de la Préhistoire. 180,000 people visited the cave in 2016. With its eco-label Grand Site de France, the Aven d'Orgnac cave offers a wide range of exciting activities for young and old, experts and beginners, whether you prefer athletic or relaxing activities. The Grand Site of Aven d'Orgnac and Cité de la Préhistoire invite you to discover history and nature... For a full or half-day, with family or friends, your experience 121 meters underground will be unforgettable.
For more information: https://www.orgnac.com/
Another exceptional cave to discover is the Aven Marzal, explored in 1892 by E. A. Martel, the fist speleologist to be known worldwide. At a depth of 125 meters, you will journey through the corridors of time, down towards the center of the earth.
In Saint-Remèze, in the Ardèche Gorges, you will find three activities on-site:
-The Musée du monde souterrain, which traces the evolution of equipment used by cavers
-Aven Marzal, an underground adventure, 45-minute guided tour at 125 meters underground, with audio guides in English, German and Dutch.
-A prehistoric zoo: the forest of the dinosaurs, where you will discover life-size models of dinosaurs, animals and prehistoric humans on a circuit covering 800 m. You can get up close and hear them roar. And for your little paleontologists, they can explore the archaeological digs and compete with the dinosaurs to see who is the fastest.
For more information: https://www.aven-marzal.com/
Saint Marcel Cave
In the heart of the Ardèche Gorges, Saint-Marcel Cave is a magnificent spectacle with its galleries and concretions and the Gours Waterfall, unique in Europe. Saint-Marcel Cave is one of the largest caves in France, classified as a National Heritage Site for its geology and archaeology. The network extends over more than 60 km. On a 400 m tour, you will follow the tracks of the fossilized river to discover vast caverns and galleries delicately sculpted by the rising waters of the Mediterranean. The sound and light show features the grandiose Gours Waterfall, which reveals a succession of one hundred calcite pools, something you won't find anywhere else! The Saint-Marcel cave network is internationally known, and is the 4th-largest network in France. It is always being explored and 5 discoveries were made by speleologists this year alone, including a new 30 m high cavern. Exploring means surprises for those who know how to look closely: a cave bear skull, an animal or perhaps a human tooth or even footprints.
For more information: https://www.grotte-ardeche.com/
Cocalière Cave is located in the commune of Courry, between the departments of the Gard and the Ardèche. It is a magnificent tour that you can take with the family during your stay, through one of the most beautiful caves in France! Stroll through an incredible 30 kilometers of caves and observe all the concretions along this underground journey.
For more information: https://www.grotte-cocaliere.com/