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Has anybody been to the Caverne du Pont d'Arc...?

Hi Travelers,

Has anybody been to the Caverne du Pont d'Arc (aka the Chauvet Cave Replica) in Southern France? It opened two years ago to the public with prehistoric paintings and drawings from the actual cave (now closed for preservation except for scientists, etc.) from 36,000 years ago.

Our group has a tour in Italy, starting in Venice on October 16th. We are planning to arrive a few days early and using the Eurail Pass, make our way via train to the cave project site which is between Lyon and Marseille.

We are now researching information and ideas...

Posted by Vic OP
Davis, CA
17 posts

The Lascaux Cave is very well known, but is now closed to the public and a replica was also recently built. After many decades of exposure to the environment, the cave paintings and drawings have deteriorated and are still deteriorating.

The Chauvet Cave was never opened to the public. Also, the cave entrance was sealed by a giant rock-slide for 25,000 years. This is why the prehistoric paintings and drawings are so well preserved from 36,000 years ago...

Posted by Vic OP
Davis, CA
17 posts

Just found out that the free shuttle service to the Chauvet Cave replica will not be available in October. Sounds like it is just a peak season service, operating only during July and August.

Commercial transportation services will be available. That sounds like taxi service, which is ok.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
16797 posts

You mentioned using an Eurail Pass. Have you done your homework of comparing prices? The days of rail pass being automatically good deals are long gone. Most rail passes in Italy are not economical given the relatively low prices of Italy trains with deep discounts available for on-line purchases and the need for the seat reservation fee on all trains except Regionale.

Posted by Vic OP
Davis, CA
17 posts

Hi Frank. We are still researching information and ideas. The Eurail Pass is an option. We have used the European train system to visit approximately a dozen countries. The tough problem is in Southern France. How to get from Montelimar to Vallon Pont d'Arc. And how to get from Vallon to the Caverne du Pont d'Arc. The free shuttle service operates only during peak season, which is July and August. Although the entrance fee to the Chauvet Cave Replica site is only 13 euros, the tickets are not available yet. And when they become available, you have to reserve a specific time slot to visit the replica site which needs to match the transportation going in and coming out. The guided tour through the replica cave is only one hour. Their website is recommending to allow three hours to visit the total replica site area. We are finding out more details as we do the research....