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The Cave of Saint-Marcel d’Ardèche in France

One of the largest caves in France offers an exceptional show

Best time: all year round

The Cave of Saint-Marcel d’Ardèche

Saint-Marcel d’Ardèche is a unique network of caves located in the Ardèche Gorges Nature Reserve in the south of France, The caves boast outstanding rock cathedrals and cascading calcite pools of water, created by the growth and erosion of minerals. The cave of Saint-Marcel d’Ardèche was discovered by a hunter in 1836, who stumbled upon it by accident.

The underground world of Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche consists of 35 miles (57 km) of galleries and tunnels. Its main attractions are giant chambers with rimstones forming large basins, which are unique in Europe. Visitors can take an amazing 0.3-mi (0.5-km) path, exploring the landmarks with such poetic names as the Fountain of the Virgin, Gallery of Painters, and Table of the Kingsand. The excursion is enhanced by the amazing sound and light show, contributing to the experience.

A regular excursion in the cave lasts for about one hour. Saint-Marcel d’Ardèche also offers spelunking excursions for those who want to explore the cave like a speleologist. The temperature in the cave, which is open year round, is always around 14°C (57°F). The ticket to the cave costs 13 euros for an adult and 8 euros for a child.

Practical info

What is the unique feature of the rimstones in Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche cave, France?

Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche cave in France is known for its unique large basins, created by the rimstones that form part of the cave's 35 miles of galleries and tunnels. These formations are unlike anything else found in Europe, and they offer a remarkable sight to visitors. The cave is also known for other beautiful features, such as rock cathedrals, calcite pools, and landmarks with poetic names, all of which can be viewed along the 0.3-mile path visitors can take during their visit. Show more

Who was responsible for discovering Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche cave in France? When was it discovered?

Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche cave was discovered accidentally in 1836 by a hunter. This impressive cave system is located in the Ardèche Gorges Nature Reserve, a popular tourist destination in the south of France. Since its discovery, the cave has been studied by various scientists, researchers, and archaeologists, all helping to expand our knowledge of the cave's history and geology. Show more

What makes Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche cave in France truly exceptional?

Located in the southern part of France, Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche cave is an exceptional underground adventure that attracts tourists year-round. What makes the cave so special is its 35 miles of galleries and tunnels, with outstanding rock cathedrals and cascading calcite pools of water, which are formed by the growth and erosion of minerals. Visitors can take a 0.3-mile tour and explore awe-inspiring landmarks such as the Table of the Kings and the Gallery of Painters while enjoying a remarkable sound and light show. Show more

When is the best time to visit Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche cave in France?

Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche cave in France is open throughout the year, and visitors can explore the 35 miles of galleries and tunnels that it offers at any time. However, the best time to visit is between May and October when the weather in the Ardèche region is mild and dry. The tickets to the cave cost 13 euros for an adult and 8 euros for a child, and visitors can enjoy outdoor recreational activities in the region in addition to exploring the cave. Show more

What are some of the excursion options available to visitors at Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche cave in France?

There are various excursion options for visitors to Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche cave in France to choose from. Standard excursions, which take about an hour, lead to fascinating landmarks such as the Fountain of the Virgin. Alternatively, visitors can opt for a spelunking excursion if they want to explore the cave like a speleologist. The cave also offers a fantastic sound and light show. Adult tickets for visiting the cave cost 13 euros, while tickets for children cost 8 euros. Show more

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen