Grottes, Caves & Gouffres

Perigord & Quercy

Gouffre de Padirac

Pre-historic caves

There’s something about visiting certain natural and historical places that makes them so difficult to understand, quantify or really relate to. Think about it.. The pyramids in Egypt, the ocean and looking up into a starry night sky… It just makes you feel so insignificant. 

In my opinion, visiting pre-historic caves gives you a similar feeling. When you look at a 40,000 year old cave painting depicting animals that are no longer in existence, it makes you question the significance of your 80-90 years on this earth. Nobody knows who made these paintings, nobody knows EXACTLY how old they are, nobody has seen the animals in these paintings…

All that we’re (almost) certain of is that at some point in time, someone stuck a lump of animal fat on a stick, set fire to it, walked into a cave and started drawing stories of his life. We’re fortunate enough to have some of the oldest and most well-known cave paintings right next door. Including the world famous Lascaux!

Underwater rivers & lakes

The water that you see dripping off the ceiling of some of these caves is over 50 years old… That’s how long it takes to filter through the limestone above.

The Gouffre de Padirac (pictured) is an amazing experience. If the group wants to, we can include this as part of the trip to Rocamadour. Similarly, there is a cave (Pech Merle) next to St Cirq Lapopie with some of the oldest cave paintings known to man.

Within 10 minutes of Perigord Retreats, we have the Grottes de Cougnac. 

Why we visit

I guess you could say that the owners of these cave paintings are some of the first artists, ever. Isn’t that reason enough to spend an hour exploring one of these caves?

If you’re still not convinced… We often use these cave visits on the off chance of a rainy day or if the sun is a bit too much!