• Grotte de Thaïs

The Cave of Thais
In the footsteps of Homo Sapiens

At the gates of the Vercors Regional Natural Park, between Valence and Grenoble, the Grotte de Thaïs is located in the heart of the picturesque village of Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans. This medieval village, bordered by the green waters of the La Bourne river, is known for its aqueduct dominating the Isère reservoir and its Bateau à Roue. From prehistory to recent speleological diving explorations, this cave is told to visitors in the intimacy of its galleries.

The Grotte de Thaïs: an exceptional underground universe

During a guided tour of about an hour, you will learn more about the formation of this cavity, its occupation during the Ice Age, its techniques for cutting flint or lighting the fire and you will discuss the explorations still in progress. of the cave siphon.

The Grotte de Thaïs is a prehistoric and geological site with exceptional underground architecture; his visit highlights the subtleties of this thousand-year-old cave. Walk the 600 meters of gallery under the village of Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans and marvel at this maze among its sculpted rocks in surprising red and black colors.

Once this subterranean landscape was flooded with water and is now dotted with rock carvings. Indeed, the discovery of 2 camps and artistic objects in the Cave of Thaïs attests to the presence of the Magdalenians and then the Azilians for more than 3000 years. Then set off to discover the way of life of Homo Sapiens through the many clues left behind. The excavation of its habitat floors has brought to light tools, ornaments, spears, reindeer antlers and bones engraved with geometric patterns and signs dating from 13,000 years BC, including the ticked bone discovered preserved today in the Museum of Valence. This ticked bone represents a unique piece: it is the first form of annotation known to date to the human species and would be one of the first calendar systems.

Visiting the Cave of Thaïs

The Grotte de Thaïs is open every day from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (departure time of the last visit). The visit of the Thaïs cave is not possible in winter, its opening period is from the beginning of April to mid-October. Regarding the prices, they vary from €1.50 to €9.50 depending on the age of the visitor, and we strongly advise you to book your visit online on our site. The temperature of the cave is around 13°C, so even in summer remember to take a "little wool".

It is a visit to be made with the family, indeed the visit addresses different themes that fascinate children. You can combine a visit to the Grotte de Thaïs with a wheeled boat ride and the discovery of the Jardin des Fontaines Pétrifiantes in La Sône, one of the most beautiful villages in the Vercors.