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The Cave of Saint-Marcel d’Ardèche

One of the largest caves in France offers an exceptional show

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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 about 14°C (57°F). The ticket to the cave costs 13 euros for an adult and 8 euros for a child.

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