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La Grotte de Villars, Villars

#9 of 63 in Outdoors in Dordogne
Outdoor Activity
The Villars Cave, in French Grotte de Villars or Grotte du Cluzeau, was occupied during the Lower Magdalenian by Cro-Magnon hunter-gatherers. The cave is part of the French commune of Villars in the northern Dordogne département. Besides its enormous wealth in beautiful stalactites, stalagmites and similar calcite deposits it contains cave paintings and some engravings. The Villars Cave and the Rouffignac Cave are the biggest known cave systems in the Dordogne.Geography and geologyThe Villars Cave is situated 3.5 kilometres to the northeast of Villars and about 500 metres to the northnortheast of the hamlet Le Cluzeau. It can be accessed via the D 82 from Villars to Saint-Saud-Lacoussière; after a right-turn at Le Cluzeau one crosses the hamlet and reaches the ample parking area on a hill. The entry of the cave is at 170 metres above sea level, somewhat below the parking area along the left-hand slope of the little stream Ruisseau de l'Étang Rompu, a left-hand tributary of the Trincou River. The cave was formed by karstic phenomena affecting the outcropping oolithic limestones of Upper Bajocian (Jurassic) age. On the other side of the valley arrives a southeast-trending fault which most likely disrupted the cohesion of the local strata and triggered the erosional shaping of the similar oriented cave system by carbon dioxide-laden waters during the Quaternary.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
170 reviews
  • The cave of Villars is a good compromise between the geological cave (which abound in the region) and the prehistoric cave. However, he has a few paintings and they overlap gradually calcite. To do at the beginning of stay (and in any case before Lascaux)
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  • very interesting tour of this cave with magnificent concretions, some original paintings and real scratches of the cave bear. Impressive. Visit very well conducted by the guide.
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  • In the meantime our turn, young people are the route of the prehistoric garden, journal of games in hand... This busy! Arriving at the cave (stairs steep and slippery, good shoes recommended for adults but the 88 years hold up with help, out easier). Duration 45 minutes that pass very quickly (it is good sign!). Nice comments, allowing all to enjoy the site and its development during lighting: wonderful natural decorations decorated with claws bears and rare paintings that close the visit. Much better than what we had hoped! Car parks, restorations, shop.
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  • Super interesting and a very good way to cool down on a hot day!
  • Excellent value for money, staff really friendly. Guide was very informative and spoke very good English to compliment the written translation. Gardens were great too, well worth the visit.
  • Interesting location with a very professional delivery.
  • Fun, interesting visit
  • It has 13km of caves and the tour involves a small part of this and lasts around 45 minutes. There is also a 20 minute film which is just a little dated with English subtitles. The guide spoke both English and French which was helpful but the number on the tour (slightly too many for me) made it difficult to hear and see sometimes though they use an excellent sound system which does help. The caves are amazing and really well worth the visit.

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