Grottes de Matata

Useful Information

Location: Near Meschers, 13km southeast of Royan.
Classification: ExplainSea cave
Light: electric.
Guided tours: D=40min.
Address: Les grottes de Matata, Bd de la Falaise, 17132 Meschers, Tel: +33-546-025229.
Hotel de Grottes, +33-546-027002.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


730 inhabited by Arabs.
844 used as hideout during viking attacks.


This sea caves are located high above the valley and estuary of the Garonde river. They were formed by the waves and then lifted by the forces that formed the Pyrenees. The dry and comfortable cave was used by man during centuries.

The cave contains the nature museum of the Garonde estuary. It tells about the modern and historic life in the area. An interesting information explained here is the sturgeon, who lived in the river and was hunted for the caviar, his eggs. But too much fishing and pollution of the river decimated them in the mid 20th century. Today the number of sturgeons in the river rises slowly but continually.

The caves were intensively used by man, so they are heavily alterated. Still they seem to be of natural origin and not artificial. But the soft cretacious limestone or chalk allowed the construction of cave hosues nearby at Meschers, which are used by man until today.