Cabrerets, Lot: tourism & sightseeing
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Visit Cabrerets (Midi-Pyrenees, France)Photo Gallery
The small village of Cabrerets is on the Célé river a few kilometres north of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the Lot department of France.
The village is attractive but very small and would perhaps go unnoticed by visitors except the village contains one of the most visited caves in France, the Grotte de Pech Merle. You can also see two castles in this riverside village.
Explore Cabrerets and the Grotte de Pech Merle
The drive to Cabrerets from Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is very picturesque along the river valley, with trees and cliffs to the sides of the road. The village itself is small and dominated by the river. From the bridge in the centre of the village there are pretty views in both directions along the Célé.
On the bridge there is a notice that explains that all the houses along the river were originally much closer to the water. In 1925 they were then all demolished and rebuilt a few yards back to make space for the road!
Here in the centre of the village you can also see one of the two castles in Cabrerets. The remains of the Chateau des Anglais, or the Chateau de Diable to give it its alternative name, are almost hidden against the rock and were built in the 12th century by local lords to protect a troglodyte fortress.
You can see the main Château de Cabrerets on the edge of the village centre, on a raised promontory overlooking the river. This is an imposing castle built in the 15th century and with two large towers and a main living area (the logis) with battlements along the top. An impressive sight but unfortunately unless you visit Cabrerets on the annual Journée de Patrimoine in France you will have to settle for admiring the castle from the road: it is only open to the public this one time a year.
Grotte de Pech Merle
On the edge of Cabrerets, the Grotte de Pech Merle is the principal attraction in the village and attracts a large number of visitors every year. It is one of the few caves in France where you can still see the original cave paintings (rather than a copy as at Lascaux caves).
Developed over two levels, the cave complex at Grotte de Pech Merle is very extensive, with a visit exploring more than one kilometre of tunnels (there are six kilometres in total). During the visit you will see a very large number of cave paintings including animals such as bisons and horses and paintings of people as well as extensive rock formations such as stalactites and stalagmites. One particular highlight is the footprints of a small child, preserved undisturbed for more than 10000 years.
As part of your visit you can also see a museum with further prehistoric items and information about the history of the caves and a video.
Visitor information: the caves are closed most days during the period October to March. See www.pechmerle.com for details of opening times and prices and most importantly details of how to book in advance, especially important in summer as only 700 visitors a day are allowed to enter the Grotte de Pech Merle.
Perhaps the ideal way to spend a day here would be to include a trip to the Grotte de Pech Merle caves and a stroll around Cabrerets with a visit to the very beautiful village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, separated by a picnic on the riverbank at Bouzigues and a walk along the scenic towpath called the Chemin de Halage de Galin, under the cliffs. Then back to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the evening for dinner in a restaurant and a chance to see the town lit up at night. A long day but one you will certainly remember!
Activities such as canoeing and kayaking are also popular on this stretch of the Célé.
Map of Cabrerets and places nearby
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Address: Cabrerets, Lauzès, Cahors, Midi-Pyrenees, 46330, France || GPS: latitude 44.506944, longitude 1.655278
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Saint-Cirq-Lapopie: most beautiful village (5 km)
- Causses du Quercy: regional natural parc (8 km)
- Gréalou dolmen de Pech-Laglaire (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (17 km)
- Cahors cathédrale St Etienne (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (18 km)
- Jardins secrets de Cahors: remarkable garden (18 km)
- Cahors: secteur sauvegarde (18 km)
- Cahors Pont-Valentré (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (19 km)
- Assier Chateau: national monument (26 km)
- Gouffre des Vitarelles: site of natural beauty (26 km)
- Figeac Hopital St Jacques (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (32 km)
- Figeac: secteur sauvegarde (32 km)
- Gorges de l'Aveyron: site of natural beauty (40 km)
The French version of this page is at Cabrerets (Francais)