Where is the Gouffre de Padirac ?
The first site of the underground world in France, the Gouffre de Padirac is located in the eponymous commune, north of Gramat, in the historic region of Quercy near the Corrèze campsite. Part of the emblematic sites of the Lot department, the Gouffre de Padirac is the monumental entrance to a natural cavity, which opens in the Jurassic limestone of the Causse de Gramat. At the bottom of the chasm, at a depth of 103 meters, flows an underground river that winds part of the large network of more than 55 km of development.
Visit the Gouffre de Padirac
Located 50 minutes by car from your tents at the campsite in Corrèze, the famous Gouffre de Padirac will be one of your stops during your vacations in the department of Corrèze, among the many castles of the Périgord such as that of Sarlat.
First underground site of France, the chasm of Padirac is a natural curiosity not to be missed during your stay.
A must-see site in Occitania, the 35-meter wide cave plunges to the bowels of the earth at a depth of more than 100 meters. Unforgettable, the visit of Padirac is done in part by boat, on the underground river which dug several tens of kilometers of galleries.
An ideal family outing, the visit to the Padirac chasm fascinates all generations.
The descent into the chasm can be done by the 543 steps of the stairs or by an elevator. At the bottom of the cave, boats await visitors for the first part of the visit: the guides will take you through about 1 km of underground river before starting the second part of the visit which will be on foot.
You will then cross different caverns and monumental rooms whose underground lakes and gigantic limestone concretions are highlighted in a magical way: stalactites and stalagmites, columns, “piles of plates”, calcite cascades and other pendants form an unreal decor. Majestic and impressive by its size and beauty, the room of the big dome is a real mineral cathedral.
A visit to the Gouffre de Padirac plunges you into a timeless atmosphere. This feeling, still vivid for today’s visitors, was already experienced by the first explorers of the chasm and the first tourists when it opened to the public in 1899. A timeless site, Padirac was also one of the very first tourist sites in France in the 19th century!
Gouffre de Padirac prices
- Adult : 19.50 € (in French)
- Children from 4 to 12 years old : 14.50
- Free admission for children under 4 years old
- Reduced rate for adults : 18 €.
- Reduced rate for children : 12.50 €.
Group rates (adult or mixed group of at least 20 people)
- Low-traffic day:
- Adult : 15.60 € (in French)
- Children from 4 to 12 years old : 11.60 € (in French)
- Children over 12 years old: 14.50 €.
- Free entrance for children under 4 years old
- Busy day:
- Adult : 17.60 € (in French)
- Children from 4 to 12 years old : 13 € (in French)
- Children over 12 years old : 16 € (in French)
- Free entrance for children under 4 years old
Rates for school audiences (from 20 students per group)
- Student over 12 years old : 14.50 €.
- Student under 12 years old: 11.60 €.
- Accompanying person: 15.60 €.
Reduced rate: on presentation of proof: handicapped, FFS licensee, identity card, student card
It is possible to organize a group visit to the site. This offer is aimed at teachers and tourism professionals, including campsites located in the vicinity.
Private tours of the Gouffre de Padirac are also possible, upon reservation, whether for a couple, a family or a tourism professional. Visitors are welcomed by one of the site’s guide-boaters. They will have the opportunity to discover the adventures of Edouard-Alfred Martel, the first person to have explored the chasm and the precursor of modern speleology. The guide will also immerse visitors in the history and formation of the site.
Our advice before your visit to the Gouffre de Padirac
Let yourself be tempted by an hour and a half visit at a depth of 103 meters. Leave for an exploration by boat on the underground river of the chasm. This exploration leads you through a labyrinth of cavities with unexpected shapes – mushrooms, rock lace… -, until you reach the Rain Lake whose translucent waters are sure to captivate you. At this stage of the adventure, you will discover the Grande Pendeloque, a 60-meter high limestone concretion, suspended above the Rainy Lake.
The next step is the emblematic Salle du Grand Dôme which impresses as much by its 94 meter high vault as by its numerous concretions which tell millions of years of history.
The magic of the place is fascinating. However, one must not lose sight of certain characteristics of the site:
- Take warm clothes because the temperature is about 13°C all year round;
- For conservation reasons, you will not be able to take photos or film the site;
- Remember to book several days or weeks in advance, especially if you plan to visit the chasm in high season…
Vacations near the Gouffre de Padirac
Located only 45 km from the castle of Gibanel, the Padirac chasm can be reached by car in about 50 minutes: the ideal way to get there early and avoid the busy hours. The itinerary is very simple and takes you along the Dordogne river towards the south.
When you arrive in Padirac, there are several free parking lots near the chasm. Whether you are traveling by car, motor home or even canoe, you can park near the site for free. Access to the most famous chasm in France is therefore quick and easy from the Gibanel campsite. The round trip can be done without any problem during the day. The visit of the chasm lasts approximately 1h30, you can take advantage of the journey to discover the medieval city of Rocamadour, located at about 15 km from Padirac.