Theses caves, in the Basque country about a 45 minute drive from Biarritz, are part of a series of 3 caves, Isturitz, Oxocelhaya, and Erberua, but only the first two are open to the public. These caves were first inhabited by Neanderthals about 80,000 years ago and people continued to use this cave until the Bronze Age. The highlight of the tour of both caves is a stalagmite with 14,000 year old carvings of animals in Isturitz.
A special tour is offered on Sundays that takes you to both caves, and this is the only way you can visit the Galerie Georges Laplace in Oxocelhaya cave, which has a 17,000 year old frieze of horses. Click here for information on how to reserve this tour.
There is a small museum that showcases some of the artifacts found at the site, including bone flutes as old as 35,000 years.
Guided tours only, in French, lasting about 45 minutes. You can make a reservation by emailing email@example.com. English, Spanish and Basque tours available for groups by reservation. Open March-November. Open for groups all year by reservation.
You must walk down 86 steps in the cave, and there are some places where you have to bend down a little to get through, but the tour is not too strenuous.
Cave homepage (French)
Hours and prices (French)
Hours and prices (for English, click on the British flag up top, then scroll down to the heading "The CAVES: information and prices" and there is a link that says "download our documentation" and it will open a pdf)
Address: off road D251, 64640 Saint-Martin-d'Aberoue, France
Services: English tours, free parking, gift shop, toilets, cafeteria in July and August