Trip Planner:   Europe  /  France  /  Occitanie  /  Hautes-Pyrenees  /  Aventignan  /  Nature  /  Grottes de Gargas

Grottes de Gargas, Aventignan

(40+ reviews on the web)
Cave
The Caves of Gargas in the Pyrenees region of France are known for their cave art from the Upper Paleolithic period - about 27,000 years old.The caves are open to the public.LocationThe caves are located near the town of Aventignan in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in south-western France, at the edge of the Haute-Garonne close to Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges.HistoryHuman occupationThe caves have yielded evidence of occupation from the Mousterian to the Middle Ages, but it is most famous for its paintings and engravings of the Upper Paleolithic.The paintings have numerous negative hand stencils made by the stencil technique. The hands are red or black, using a mixture of iron oxide and manganese crushed with animal fat, and sprayed around the hand against the wall. Some have one or more fingers absent which leads to hypotheses of diseases, frostbite and ritual amputation, but most researchers prefer the symbolism of bending one or more fingers.Many figurative engravings are also present in other parts of the caves, depicting horses, bison, aurochs, ibex and mammoth. Carbon-14 dating of a bone stuck in a crack in a wall decorated with hand stencils revealed close to 27,000 years BP, indicating that the cave was frequented in the Gravettian period. It is surmised that the Hands paintings probably date from this period.
Use our Aventignan itinerary maker to visit Grottes de Gargas on your trip to Aventignan, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
Source
map
Create a full Aventignan itinerary

Plan your trip to Aventignan

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Hautes-Pyrenees by other users

11 days in Europe BY A USER FROM CHINA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in The Pyrenees BY A USER FROM SLOVENIA July, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Bordeaux & The Pyrenees BY A USER FROM SLOVENIA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in The Pyrenees BY A USER FROM SLOVENIA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Lourdes, Paris & London BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Lourdes BY A USER FROM POLAND June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 27 days in France BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, relaxing, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 2 days in Lourdes BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Lourdes BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Lourdes & Paris BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Lourdes BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We were delighted by the visit of this magical place presented by a nice guide and teacher but we were very unpleasantly surprised by the presence during the visit of very young children (about 2/3 years) who have stopped complaining, coughing, shouting and jumping everywhere throughout the visit. Parents said nothing and instead, at the slightest note of those present, be offended and made comments embittered suggesting that we are abnormal to not appreciate the vicissitudes of their offspring... I really think that a minimum age should be required or that visits for children should be provided with respect to all visitors." Each freedom stops where that of others begins..."
    View original
  • Cave beautiful, perfectly preserved. Each of our visits the magic. Our guide (Laure) passionate about his topic did we travel back in time. Small and big kids are waiting for the next night with impatience!
    View original
  • I already knew this cave for being there when I was in elementary school. But what a joy to go back! The site is enhanced by interactive and playful space. As well as a restaurant. There are also picnic. The lighting of the caves is made by LED lights that do not alter the cave nor the paintings rock. The cave includes many "hands" painted which makes a site rich in Europe. The meaning of the visit is suitable for the entire family because it is clockwise descending and no amount of the cave. The guides are interesting and accessible even after visits to ask other questions
    View original