The Niaux cave, in the footsteps of the Cro-Magnons

If you’re on holiday in a Yelloh! Village in the Ariège, Niaux Cave is a great idea for an outing with the family. It is a natural treasure that will fascinate visitors of every age.

Spotlight on Niaux Cave

Niaux Cave is one of the best-known caves in the Ariège. It was discovered in the 17th century and forms part of a vast underground network that includes several other caves, such as Lombrives. The network was officially listed as a Historical Monument in 1911.


The cave was formed during the Jurassic period. Archaeological studies show that it was frequented during the Upper Palaeolithic. Excavations began at the beginning of the 20th century. They unearthed a rich collection of Magdalenian cave art, produced around 16,000 years ago. The archaeologists agree, however, that the site was not permanently inhabited. The Magdalenians probably used the place as a hunting camp, which accounts for the many animal drawings.


On your agenda?

Discover these works on a guided tour of the cave, which lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. The tour begins with an 800 m long gallery, comprising a range of different geological features. You will then head to the “Black Room”, Niaux’s most beautiful chamber, with vaults reaching over ten metres high. You will also admire the 70 paintings depicting prehistoric animals that lived in the Pyrenees mountains.


Other, more recent illustrations have also been discovered. They date from the 17th century. Some of them show red geometric shapes, the meaning of which remains a mystery…


Unfortunately, the tour only covers a small part of the cave. The rest is closed to the public in order to protect the artworks. This is because the presence of visitors had altered the climate in the galleries, posing a serious threat to their conservation. However, you can admire these works in the form of replicas at the Parc de la Préhistoire in Tarascon-sur-Ariège. And if you still want more, there’s another cave opposite the Niaux cave, known as La Vache cave.



09400 Niaux 

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