Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N - Grotte de Niaux
Deep in the Pyrenees, hidden among the folds of the valley of Vicdessos near the town of Miglos, in the Ariege region near Foix,  is found the “Grotte de Niaux” (pronounced grot de Neeo) cold and dark caves that contain rare prehistoric cave art rivaling the larger and more famous caves of Lascaux. There is even fairly modern “graffiti” to be seen when first entering the caves left by explorers from centuries ago up to fairly recently. I imagine young men of the late 1800s and early 1900s in suits taking their ladies out for a look in the “grotte” wooo…spooky, and left their names with dates to let us, who would come later, know they’d been there. Today one must call ahead if you’d like to tour inside. Only small groups are allowed, to guard the temperature in the caves and therefore preserve the cave paintings. Much has been learned from the mistakes made in previous cave finds the world over and Niaux is putting that information to work. There is usually at least one tour in English if they know in advance that you’re coming. Not many have heard of Niaux. It’s a nicely kept secret, but those who discover it, either by accident or on purpose, treasure the experience they find within…
The colors are not false in this photo. They are beautiful in real life as well.

The cover of the guide book you can purchase there. All proceeds go to help keep the caves preserved.

If you didn't know it was there, you might miss it... can you see the cave entrance in this photo? Click on it to make the photo larger.
Coming up to the "Grotte" entrance

The village down in the valley from up at the caves. The balcony gives a spectacular view

Some of the prehistoric art found in the "Salon Noir," Niaux
The small village of Miglos

This gives you an idea of the size of the entrance

Looking at the placards placed on the back of the huge "artistically designed entrance," describing the all sorts of information about the caves.

For more information go HERE

Some images from:


  1. Hi Lisa - this is fascinating .. I went to the Ice Art exhibition at the British Museum and bought the book and a DVD of ice art in caves - which I've still to watch .. but the paintings are quite extraordinary .. and how lucky you were to be taken to these - advantages of French in-laws I guess! I really need to read up more about the prehistoric cave art .. and I will!

    Cheers Hilary - PS I've loads to come to read too ..

    1. I'm doing a terrible job of replying to people's comments this year! So many blogs to visit! So glad you keep dropping by Hilary!

  2. It is amazing to think of our ancestors drawing on caves - wonderfully emotive. I've visited Lascaux and it is very 'touristy'. I hope they can keep the ethos of this lovely site to preserve it's wonderful cave paintings.

  3. Awesome. My father was a spelunker who got to help explore and chart a cave we've yet to find the end of, but I loved the adventures he'd take me on through caves. I think they're only cooler when they have the human element in them.

    True Heroes from A to Z

  4. That's very cool and reminds me of the time I went to Mammoth Cave, in Kentucky. Of course, there were no cave paintings to see there, though.

  5. Gorgeous cover and spectacular photos! Makes me want to go there- such magical atmosphere.

    Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2014, My Latest post

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  6. What a great opportunity to see what the prehistoric people chose to paint.

  7. How awesomely beautiful. I'll definitely add this to my itinerary for my next visit to France.

    visiting from A to Z Challenge Drusilla

  8. Wow, that cave is huge! Never would've thought about body heat having an affect on the paintings. I'm sure no flash photography is allowed either.

  9. Hi Lisa,

    How did I get here? Ah yes, I'm all over the place :) I love those sort of caves. And prehistoric drawings always fascinate. I have seen the petroglyph carvings in some caves on Vancouver Island. Your photos have brought back such memories.

    Thank you for another insight into the France you know and love.

    Gary :)

  10. So much beautiful historic places l am learning of since coming to Belgium. The difference with African Countries lies in the conservation of them. Save for some like Egypt, most let those to ruin away.
    Marie at


Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I may not always be able to respond to the comments you leave, however, I appreciate you dropping by and will do my best to visit your blog as well, if you have one!