Padiraca Caves or Gouffre de Padirac is the or the Padiraca Chasm located in the Midi-Pyrenees region in southwestern France.
The depth of the sinkhole is 103 meters, but this is not a karst sinkhole in the usual sense. In this case, the cave was already inside the rock, and then the ceiling collapsed and a hole with a diameter of 33 meters was formed.
The first mentions of it date back to the 3rd century, and in the 15-16th centuries the cave was even inhabited. The second attraction of the cave is the underground river, along which you will pass by boat.
This cave system is considered to be one of the most prominent pyrodic phenomena in the Massif Central. The caves are over 40 km long, although only 2 km of galleries are open to the public.The cave itself is quite large, but 2 kilometers of routes are open for tourists.
Access : Coordinates: 44.85805, 1.750139 / Gouffre de Padirac is a stalactite cave located 13 km north of Gramat in Quercy in the Lot department in France.
- The cave, a depth of 103 m, contains an underground river system that is partly accessible by boat. This cave system is considered “one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena of the Massif Central”.
- Padirac holds the record for the most visited underground tourist facility in France, with more than 350,000 visitors a year, and with a record 460,000 visitors in 1991.
- A steel tower with 455 steps was built for the descent into the Gouffre. There are also two elevators available.
- The various speleological expeditions have made it possible to discover approximately 41 km of underground.
- Excursions : You can sail through the cave with boats.The tour takes approximately 1.5 hours from the reception. The route is approximately 2 km long, including 500 m by boat.
- opening hours : Padirac Cave is open to visitors from the end of March to the beginning of November each year during the day, sometimes in the evening.
Entrance fees:adults 12 €,children 4 – 12 years old – 8.50 €,up to 4 years old – free.The ticket includes going down the cave by elevator or stairs
Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / Guided cave tours go there over secured stairs through the 94 m high Salle du grand Dome.
Go next : The pilgrimage town of Rocamadour / Brive la Gaillarde ,a city in the south of France, in the New Aquitaine region / Autoire ,The village belongs to the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of France.