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“Beautiful experience with nature spoiled by terrible managment”
Review of Gouffre de Padirac

Gouffre de Padirac
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Padirac
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Gouffre de Padirac, the most famous cave in Europe, is considered as one of the most interesting geological sites in France. After a vertiginous descent, by lift or stairs, of 103 metres, you embark on a boat trip along the subterranean river with spectacular views on the galleries. That's when you discover the "Grande Pendeloque" - a gigantic stalactite of 60 metres high - hanging by a string, it appears to admire itself in the "Lac de la Pluie". You then walk towards the "Lac des Gours" or the "Salle du Grand Dôme" with its 94 metres high vault.
Reviewed September 30, 2012

The caves are no doubt beautiful and would be something to see. However, be prepared to be treated as if you are heading to military bootcamp. The service is terrible and the workers are extremely impolite, ignorant of the facts and history of the caves and science behind it, and causing what would be a peaceful and enjoyable experience into a stressful series of shouted orders, dirty looks, impatience and pressure to speed through the attraction. In addition, there are no pictures allowed at in the caves. The reason is purely greed-based. They want you to take no photos in an effort to force you to buy the one picture of you on the boat that they take (like at a theme park roller coaster) or buy a postcard upstairs. It is ridiculous. If you go, when you get off take a look at the forced pictures, no one is smiling because no one enjoyed the experience. If you go take as many pictures as you want. You've paid to be there and they are not going to take your camera. The rule is ridiculous and the staff completely destroys the experience. I would never go again. For the drive to get there and the price to get in, it should not be as it is. Do not give them your money and if you do take all the pics you want and ignore them and try to make the best of the experience. (imagine going to niagra falls or the grand canyon and being told no pictures, it is not like the Louvre where a pic ruins the painting).

11  Thank Nadnerb5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"underground river"
in 87 reviews
"boat ride"
in 96 reviews
"cave system"
in 27 reviews
in 33 reviews
"walking tour"
in 17 reviews
"spoke english"
in 12 reviews
"on foot"
in 17 reviews
"take pictures"
in 9 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 16 reviews
"flights of stairs"
in 7 reviews
"book in advance"
in 20 reviews
"high season"
in 13 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 7 reviews
"mobility issues"
in 6 reviews
"ticket office"
in 10 reviews
"buy tickets"
in 5 reviews
"great attraction"
in 5 reviews

421 - 425 of 3,643 reviews

Reviewed September 30, 2012 via mobile

Having already seen many caves in the south of France, I did wonder whether this one would be worth the drive. The brochure doesn't give much away, but what I thought was just a sink hole, turned out to be an amazing sight with an intricate system of caves underneath. I was very impressed with the atttaction, the price and will be definitely be visiting again in the future. If you speak the lingo, pre-book so you can jump the long lines and also consider that this might not be the most equipped attraction for people with mobility issues.

2  Thank CaraDanMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

My wife did not like it, she did not understand why someone would be interested in visiting a cave humid, Dark, 'dirty' and full of bat (so they say). On my side, I found the view remarkable, the size humongous and a once in a life time experience. Be aware there is a lot of stairs and it could be slippery. Also be aware that in Summer you may have to wait a long time. Buy on internet in advance. There are restaurant and shops around and a nice park to stroll. Once you are in the boat, it will take you 40 minutes back and forth. The wait can be 4 hours though...

1  Thank xtof44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012

After a long queue just to pay and then a long queue to get onto the boats the rest of the trip around the caves and on the rivers was pretty impressive! The guide spoke great English and was humourous which helped and the boat ride was fun.

Considering they get so many visitors and charge about 9 Euros per person the toilet facilities were a disgrace. They should invest some money into improving these facilities and the shop and maybe some refreshments too.

1  Thank ajwbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 23, 2012

Aside from the extraordinary caversn, the fabulous ride, the big hole in the ground, this place is like a time machine of the early industrial era. Big gears, chains, staircases, a steampunks dream. It was way cool.

1  Thank sageworks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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