Grotte Saint-Marcel

Grotte Saint-Marcel, Bidon: Hours, Address, Grotte Saint-Marcel Reviews: 4.5/5

Grotte Saint-Marcel
4.5
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Monday
10:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
About
The cave of Saint Marcel d'Ardèche contains a vast network of underground galleries, amazing basins, eccentric formations, immense rooms with evocative names such as "the Fontain of the Virgin", "the hall of Kings", the "Painters Gallery"...
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

4.5
478 reviews
Excellent
239
Very good
174
Average
48
Poor
11
Terrible
7

Dave M
Auckland16 contributions
Worth a visit but...
Aug 2019
...if you want to have a guide who can speak English then go on the 4pm tour.

Take a jacket if you find 14degC cold
Written 11 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thanks Dave. Indeed, we offer guided tour in foreign languages : Dutch tour at 1pm, German tour at 2pm and English tour at 4pm (from 8th july to 1st september). See U soon ! Wicky
Written 17 August 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Julie R
Nice, France45 contributions
Hard to top as a wine-tasting venue
Oct 2018 • Friends
We were a fairly large group and wanted to both see the caves and enjoy a wine tasting. As has been mentioned in other reviews, it is a long way down to the actual caves, and good shoes are a must, plus a coat, as it is only 14C underground. The floor surface was wet but not that slippery - caution needed and some stamina required for the return trip, which is all uphill. The stalagmites and stalagtites are spectacular, well illuminated and awe-inspiring. Not one of us was disappointed. The deepest section of the caves is quite steep, but there is a resting point with a bench where you can remain whilst the rest of the group go on, and you will be collected on the way back about 15 minutes later. It is actually worth going the extra because some of the best formations are deep underground. There are two light shows along the way, both incredibly beautiful. Once the cave tour was over, we had opted to have a wine-tasting. With the wine being stored deep underground in pristine conditions, you get what you would expect, although what we tasted only came from the same vineyards and not from the stored bottles. A friendly, knowledgeable lady led us through 4 different wines and there is the opportunity to purchase from the shop at the entrance to the caves should you want to. The wine tasting costs extra and includes cheese and sausage (but not much)
Written 29 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tara G
62 contributions
Good caves - if you can get the tickets
Aug 2018 • Family
This would be a five star review if it were not for the ticketing. Having phoned ahead an hour before arrival to check availability of tickets and being told they were in abundance, we arrived only to find the next available tour was an hour away (bear in mind tours are every half hour: 4:00 and 4:30 for example). This was very annoying as we then had to wait for the tour in the heat.

We sat in the café and had a drink which was pleasant, however in the whole facility only one toilet was working with no loo roll.

The tours are only in french, however we saw another guide who happened to speak English explaining some things to English tourists in their group.

Caves are magnificent and well lit - it is not too cold and the steps warm you up (there are 700 but it does not feel like much). It is relatively slippy but young children managed it. There are two "spectacles" during the tour with lights and music which are good also.

Overall: would definitely recommend, just make sure there are tickets remaining!
Written 30 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michaly Segal Arnold
Jerusalem, Israel128 contributions
Worth a visit
Aug 2018 • Family
It's a grand cave, and you walk down 80 meters before you walk down in the actual cave. It's enormous. They say the trail is now 57 km but the tours are limited and take one hour. They run tours every hour in high season. Last one at 18:00. The c
ave is famous for its natural pools which are beautifully lit. They also run two light and music shows. I am not big on caves but it was a very nice family function and our teenage daughters were greatly impressed, which is not a small thing. It's slippery, so wear apprpriate shoes and it's a little chilly, so wear long sleeve top at least.
Written 17 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kirsty F
53 contributions
Something to do in the rain
Apr 2018 • Family
Took the kids here for a trip during our stay in the Rhône valley. It was very interesting however, the tour is in French & Dutch but not English even though the guide spoke perfectly good English! Thankfully we knew some French so not all was lost. The caves are very beautiful but the climb back up was difficult for the older people in our group.
Written 22 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
hello, Indeed our guide is multilingual, but it is not possible for her to speak three languages at the same time, visiting time does not allow it, we give our visitors translations into English. Cordialy
Written 8 June 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

stephfran2016
Los Angeles, California17 contributions
Definitely worth a visit!
Nov 2017 • Couples
My husband and I were visiting the rhone valley wine country and saw there was an opportunity to do wine tasting deep in the cave--we were very excited to try it! We booked through Jezabel Janvre who was our great guide. We tried two lovely wines and got a tour of the gorgeous cave--it was like nothing we had seen before! A unique experience we would definitely recommend. Ask for Jezabel!
Written 10 November 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jan e
1 contribution
Nice cave
Jul 2017 • Family
Impressive cave. Nice to visit. The light and sound show was not our cup of tea and it would be evenly good without
Written 21 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

LS130
Parker, CO19 contributions
Beautiful cave with wine tasting thrown in!
May 2017 • Couples
We recently visited the cave for the speleoenoology tour. My husband is a geologist so a cave visit was a must! The wine tasting experience was very unique and really did benefit from the no outside smells, no sight influences that are eliminated in the cave. And the cave is beautiful!

The guides spoke good English and worked hard to include my non-French-speaking husband although I think I got more out of it as a French speaker. Our group was us two (50's) and 7 twenty-something's from Paris. I was amazed at the access we were given. Clambering up and down and being allowed to wander a little would never be allowed in such a site in the States.

This was a workout, and we were a little banged up and sore the next day. We spent 3 hours from 10-13h and the drive up from Aix was close to two hours so this was pretty much a full day activity. We did not bring along our phones or camera, although the young people did use their phones for pics. I assume they figured out how to carry them in-hand. A large camera would get too banged up or be inaccessible in a pack most of the time.

We thought the food would be our best memory of our trip to the south of France, but the Grotte turned out to be the highlight of our trip. Our guide did recommend Auberge La Farigoule in nearby Bidon, and even called in a reservation for us. It was a very memorable meal...locals enjoying a relaxing lunch on a sunny day.

The website could be a little clearer with dates and times for the various tours. Communication was pretty good although I had to ask whether wearing sneakers was going to be okay (it was). I recommend the cave for families with teens, although maybe not the wine tasting. Would be a good activity for younger kids too (maybe 8 and up) but you would need to be very watchful.
Written 4 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Barbara15A
Littleton, CO60 contributions
One of the must see caves in the area
Jun 2016 • Family
This is a well lit easily accessible cave. The staircase down is also a long steep climb back up though. The guides are passionate about imparting their knowledge to all the visitors. They make the trip all the more worthwhile. If you would prefer a tour in English, just call to see what times one is offered.
Written 12 January 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Neil J
Moscow, Russia195 contributions
Really beautiful and active caverns
Aug 2016 • Family
The Gorges de l'Ardeche is a beautiful place to visit with lots of possible activities to be enjoyed. On a somewhat rainy day, instead of canoeing as we had planned, we visited the Grotte de Saint Marcel. There are several caves in the region but we decided on this one. The cave is pretty amazing, but the highlight is the pools. These are naturally formed and simply have to be seen to be believed. Other parts of the cave are also very interesting. Lots of steps (of course) but the 1.5 hour tour is worth it. Note that only guided tours are available. There are also speluncking tours available but we did not do any of those. Although judging by what we did see, they would be really cool. On our list for the next time.
Written 2 September 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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