Posted by Carter | Under the Outdoors, Where to?
Friday May 15, 2015
Dive into Ancient Secrets at Marseille’s Cosquer Cave
With the entrance tunnel hidden underwater and accessible only by diving 35 meters under the sea, Marseille’s Cosquer Cave is a fascinating historical site to visit in France. Besides the adventurous swim up the long, narrow tunnel into the cave, the main attraction is the 20,000-year-old Cosquer Cave Paintings that adorn the cave walls. The rising of sea levels in the Paleolithic Period that followed glacial melting sealed the cave off, preserving a small section of the ancient cave paintings on the exposed walls above water.
Getting to these Ancient Caves in France is not for the faint of heart; a technical scuba diving level is recommended, as well as using experienced guides and safety precautions. After descending 35 meters underwater off the coast of Calanque de Morgiou, you will make your way up the narrow, 175 meter-long tunnel that serves as the entrance to the cave. Since its discovery in 1985, the cave has been visited by many avid divers who wished to experience its magic in person. It’s hard to imagine that the cave was originally inland, and it can be somewhat of a surreal experience to come out of the water inside the cave and see the artwork of prehistoric people right before you.
Remarkably, over 150 engravings and paintings still remain on the walls of the cave. The images depict animals such as bison, horses, great auks, red deer, seals, jelly fish, and ibex, as well as geometric shapes, hand stencils, and digital markings. These ancient artworks were likely created for a spiritual purpose, for example, for shamans to communicate with the gods or ancestors, but their true meaning and purpose are unknown. Seeing these paintings in the eerie underground caverns is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
In addition to the Cosquer Cave Paintings, there are many other fascinating things to discover in Marseille. There are several shipwrecks off the coastline that you can explore if you are an experienced diver, or if you prefer to stay on dry land while other members of your party do the diving, you can explore the surrounding countryside and beaches. Explore the beautiful city with its eclectic architecture, charming Old Port, and casual seaside atmosphere. There are pebble beaches to sun yourself on by the Mediterranean Sea and plenty of bistros where you can sample fresh French seafood dishes. Visit the Chateau D’If, a fortress located on an island in the Bay of Marseille, or take a day trip to Provence’s wine country with your France car rental for some sophisticated fun with wine tastings and cellar tours.
Marseilles is the oldest city in France, and the region is rich in history and places to explore. Do some research and come up with a list of palaces, cathedrals, churches, and gardens to visit while you are in the city. If you prefer to connect with the more modern side of Marseilles–gritty, vibrant, and chaotic–check out the nightlife in the late evening. The city falls into a lull during the sweltering midday and afternoon hours, so head out for dinner at around 10 pm and hit the clubs and bars afterwards.
Planning Your Own Adventure in Marseille
Whether or not you opt to explore ancient caves in France, the coastal city of Marseille is a fantastic place to host your very own outdoor adventure. Hike the pathways along rocky cliffs, or relax on the beach, but remember that you’ll need a convenient and efficient mode of transportation to see it all; a private and comfortable way to get around wouldn’t hurt either! Book your car rental in Marseille with Kemwel to open up a world of possibilities beyond the limits of public transportation and taxi cabs at a price that can’t be beat. Get out and see the country, or just make things easier on yourself while traveling with your family in tow. Whatever your plans may be, Kemwel is here to provide you with the best travel deals and promotions so you’ll never pay more than you have to! Browse our rates online or call us anytime, toll-free at 1-877-820-0668, to speak with one of our friendly travel experts.