The Niaux cave drawings

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The famous Niaux cave is one of the rare decorated caves still open to the public, sheltering drawings dating back 14,000 years. 

You start by going through some truly impressive galleries before entering the Salon Noir, a monumental rotunda whose walls are covered with outstanding and highly detailed depictions of animals: bison, horses, ibex and deer.

The visits are strictly regulated in order to maintain an even temperature of 12 degrees C. July through September there are 11 visits per day of up to 20 people with 45 minutes between each group, including a tour in English at 1pm. Three visits per day the rest of the year. The tour lasts 90 minutes; start times vary depending on the season and other factors. 

niauxThe cave floor has been left mostly in its natural state: wet, very uneven and slippery in places with a metal grating along one section prone to flooding. Sturdy walking shoes are essential. Each visitor is given a flashlight. Very young children should not be taken on this tour because once it's underway you can't turn back.

Strictly speaking you must book ahead. However, outside the ticket office a sign indicates how many spaces are left (if any) in the day's scheduled tours. If you arrive in the morning you might be able to reserve a spot in a tour in the afternoon. But don't count on this in July and August.

To book a place in a tour, go to THIS PAGE..

Many thanks to these photographers

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