Bedeilhac Cave entrance and parking

The opening of this cave is so big you can land a plane in it. And someone did! During World War II a French aircraft manufacturer used the cave as a factory and then the Germans took it over and expanded the operation, destroying countless paleolithic artifacts as a result. A few hundred meters were flattened and covered with concrete and then, after the war, the French took it back over and paved another 300 meters of the cave! In the 1970's a TV movie about the resistance was filmed here and a plane was flown into and out of the cave. Photos of the event are on display at the cave.

Even though people did their best to ruin this cave, there are still some 14,000 year old engravings and drawings to be seen. There are a few carved animals, handprints, some charcoal drawings and a huge black bison. There is some art that is in part of the cave that is not on the tour, but they have some reproductions on display. This cave is only about 15 minutes from Niaux, which you should try to see if you are in the area. It is also only a few minutes from the Parc de la Prehistoire.

Bedeilhac reception building

Guided tours only, groups can make reservations. Open April through September and on school holidays in winter. Closed on Tuesdays in April, May, June and September. There are 5 tours each day in July and August, 2 tours in the afternoon during the other months. You must pay in cash.

This tour is more strenuous than most, because this cave is truly massive. The tour lasts for about 90 minutes, you must walk about 2 km in the cave and you have to crouch or sit on the floor to see some of the art. Parts of the floor may be wet, and it is slippery in some areas.  It is mostly flat, but there are some stairs with no handrails and you need to be sure-footed so you should wear hiking footwear. Everyone is given a lantern to light the way, just like at Niaux. Make sure children can handle this tour as there is no turning back once you start! When I visited, English was the common language of everyone on the tour, so the guide spoke English, but that cannot always be guaranteed.

 

Cave homepage (French)

Hours and prices

Address: off of road D618, 09400 Bedeilhac et Aynat, France

Services: Free parking, gift shop, toilets