Travel to the (almost) center of the Earth, discovering the secrets of the chasms of Dordogne and the surrounding area. From Proumeyssac to Padirac, you will be amazed by the view.

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Gouffres de Dordogne: what are the must-see sites?

It's not Jules Verne's journey to the center of the Earth... but almost.

Like the famous prehistoric caves, the chasms of the Dordogne valley and the Vezere have many secrets to reveal to you. The opportunity to enjoy fun and original activities for the whole family, several dozen meters underground. Follow the guide and immerse yourself in the depths of Périgord !

The chasms: a discovery of the hidden heritage of the Dordogne

Tourism in the Dordogne is the caves de prehistory of course, but not only that! Treat yourself a dive in Périgord visiting a hole.

What is a chasm?

The abyss is a vertical cavity formed naturally in the soil. The chasms are of karst origin : karsts are environments formed from soluble rocks, most of the time limestones, affected by erosion. It is not rare to come across landforms, underground rivers and different types of cavities, including chasms and caves. Périgord and the Vézère valley are perfect examples.

Chasm or cave?

No longer confuse chasms and caves. Cave forms in the cliffs, While the Gulf deepens tens or even hundreds of meters under your feet. In Périgord, we find both! Why not take advantage of your stay to visit the sites and prehistoric caves of the Vézère valley, as the Lascaux cave and his incredible paintings? The Bara-Bahau caves et of Rouffignac and the Combarelles cave, near Sarlat, are also worth the detour for a immersion in prehistory.

Why visit the Dordogne chasms?

The chasms of Vézère and Dordogne valleys are among the most remarkable in France. The Proumeyssac chasm is an unmissable place to visit, like that of Padirac in the Lot. Go exploring underground vaults and their concretions (stalactites, stalagmites) in explorer mode: children will love it.

An activity sheltered from showers when it rains, or fresh on hot days? These are the advantages of the abyss, with a temperature of 13 or 14 degrees all year. You will also take the opportunity to disconnect for a few moments without a 4G network.

Which chasm to visit in Dordogne?

The Proumeyssac chasm, 50 meters underground

Located in the town ofaudrix in the heart of Périgord and the Vézère valley, the chasm was officially discovered in 1907. Previously, the place was surrounded by terrifying legends of disappearances. Today, they are well and truly forgotten! The abyss contains an underground vault spectacular, the largest in Périgord, called “ Crystal Cathedral ". This says a lot about the beauty of the concretions of the chasm.

Note in your diaries: the chasm is open all year round except in January, with a rich entertainment program for adults and children.

Tour in a gondola, sound and lights, activities for children: ask for the program

How to discover the secrets of the abyss? You have the choice between different activities and tour options:

  • The one-hour guided tour by a guide, or the tour by basket with a breathtaking view of the concretions;
  • Sound and lights Cathedral of Lights " breathtaking ;
  • Special family entertainment with the show “ The mysteries of Proumeyssac », new for 2023;
  • But also generator bikes to produce part of the energy needed for the visits.

Also think about the Padirac chasm!

The Padirac chasm is to be seen in the Dordogne valley, a stone's throw away from Rocamadour in the Lot department. A chasm just as incredible as those of Périgord, the first explorations of which date back to the end of the 19th centurye century. It is distinguished in particular by its underground river located at a depth of 103 meters. To visit the abyss of Padirac, meet between end of March and beginning of November !

Prepare your visit to the Dordogne chasms

To explore the chasms of the Dordogne or Vézère valley, it is better to anticipate and book well in advance. Especially if you opt for visiting the abyss in a basket, and if you decide to come to Périgord in summer.

Also remember to book your accommodation, your campsite and other activities: the discovery of the prehistoric cave of Lascaux and its International Center for Cave Art, the caves of Font-de-Gaume et of Combarelles, etc.

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