Ariège counts 6 caves to visit that is to say the greatest number of the whole chain of the Pyrenees and Occitanie! Explore a cave in Ariège, it is to let yourself be carried away by stories of exceptional natural and prehistoric discoveries ... as in Niaux cave, Mas d'Azil cave, or at the Lombrives cave …!
Prehistory in Ariège, 14000 years of history
In Ariège are scattered many caves witnesses of a history dating back more than 14000 years. The last men of the Palaeolithic, the Magdalenians, hunter-gatherers, marked the cavities of the Pyrenean massif with their daily life, notably by inventing parietal art: paintings on the rock of the Salon Noir of the Cave of Niaux as shown by. The paintings and engravings are characterized by a very keen sense of proportion which makes their works glaring with realism.
But the Magdalenians are also known for their movable art: the tools of their daily life are engraved with geometric shapes, or representation of animals, humans ...
An organized people, which has left its mark on the Ariège caves, Niaux, Cow cave or the Mas d'Azil.
Caves where nature digs incredible cavities
The exploration of the caves in Ariège has given rise to exceptional visits such as that of the cave of earthworms, the cave of Bedeilhac la underground river of Labouiche.
Some smaller caves are also being explored in potholing !
When we venture into these astonishing places which open up the Earth under our feet for miles, it is difficult to remain insensitive to the work of nature, forming galleries, underground lakes, stalactites (or stalagmites).
Three of these rare and unique sites in Ariège are labeled Great sites Occitanie (the cave of Niaux, the cave of Mas d'Azil and the Prehistory Park).
Did you know?
All our caves to visit are located less than 30 minutes from Foix and its castle! If you love caves and want to visit them all, this city is central. Book your accommodation !
Amazing parks to learn history
Ariège also brings together theme parks to discover in a fun way the main features of prehistory.
- Le Prehistoric Park, in Tarascon-sur-Ariège, will bring young and old to the rhythm of the Cro-magnons thanks to workshops, immersive games, and activities. Unforgettable moments with the children in the days of our Magdalenians, who left the first human traces in Ariège Pyrenees.
- Le Land of Traces, in Saint-Lizier, meanwhile devised educational courses specializing in the science of interpreting traces: prehistoric humans, animals, natural elements… An exceptional place, source of new knowledge.
- Xploria, at Mas d'Azil, is, with its playful, entertaining and scientific nature trail, a place full of anecdotes about flora and fauna.
All the more extraordinary tours on the theme of prehistory to discover in Ariège Pyrénées!