Few kilometers away from LE MOULIN DU BEL AIR CAMPSITE IN THE LOT, discover one of the most spectacular natural site in France : the GOUFFRE DE PADIRAC (the « Chasm of Padirac »). At the edge of the Natural Park of the Causses of the Quercy, close to the Dordogne Valley and close to Rocamadour, this chasm is a geological marvel. A not to be missed visit during your camping holiday in the Lot.
The existence of the Gouffre de Padirac has been known for a long time by the inhabitants of the region. They took refuge there during the Hundred Years War. However, its first real exploration dates back to 1889 with to the speleologist Edouard-Alfred Martel (who also discovered Aven Armand, in Lozère).
The first contact with Padirac is through its colossal entrance: a hole in the Causse of 35 meters in diameter and 75 meters deep! This cavity alone is worth a look. But this is just an appetizer. When you reach the bottom, when the sky is no more than a blue circle above you, you will enter a most fascinating underground world. The Padirac chasm is made up of 42 kilometers of galleries decorated with stalactites and stalagmites. Rest assured ! You will only visit a small part. Only 2.2 kilometers.
A boat trip a 100 meters under the surface
No sooner have you entered the underground galleries than the show begins. Wherever you look, it is a fairyland of stone with spectacular limestone concretions that you would think came out of the mind of a brilliant sculptor. All magnified by the lighting of the chasm to make your visit to the Padirac chasm unforgettable.
After the first few minutes of walking, you would think you had seen most of the abyss. The magic has only just begun. The second part of your visit takes place on a boat that follows the underground river and leads you to the discovery of beautiful underground lakes where the concretions are reflected, making up a unique and wonderful show.
The visit to the Gouffre de Padirac lasts approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. In July and August, as well as on weekend with bank holiday, remember to book your place in advance to be sure you can choose the time of your visit.
During your camping holiday in the Lot, the Gouffre de Padirac is an excellent alternative for rainy days (which are very rare on the Moulin du Bel Air campsite), but also for hot days: its temperature is indeed constant at 13 ° degree. A bubble of freshness in the middle of the summer heat. Even when it is very hot outside, remember to take a little wool during your underground walk.