See The Dordogne’s Most Beautiful Caves in Style & Comfort
While some travellers will opt to rent a car and explore the prehistoric sites of the Dordogne on their own, one clear advantage of taking a bespoke tour of the area is that you won’t have to do any of the heavy lifting. Your private docent will organise an extraordinary itinerary that will take you straight to the region’s most-stunning caves and other marvels of prehistory, and you’ll be able to sit back and relax as you’re ushered in a comfortable, well-appointed vehicle. Sit back and relax while you enjoy the rugged natural scenery: this is one of France’s most beautiful regions, boasting pristine, rushing rivers, green, unspoiled landscapes and dramatic cliffside villages.
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There are nearly a dozen prehistoric caves of note in the Dordogne, and your bespoke tour can include as many of these as you wish. Chief on the list will be the astonishing site at Lascaux, which is located about 30 minutes from the town of Sarlat and arguably harbors the most-celebrated prehistoric cave art in the world. While the genuine site has been closed to the public to protect the “Sistine Chapel” of the Upper Paleolithic era from further degradation and damage, the replica cave remains a true marvel. There are some 2,000 figures painted and engraved here in minute detail, exactly reproducing the colors and forms of the originals: aurochs, stags, a wooly rhinoceros, and other animals; intriguingly, only one image of a man graces the walls here.
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Other sites worth seeing on your private excursion include the incredible Rouffignac Cave, which extends for eight to ten kilometres underground and are graced with some 150 prehistoric paintings. Here, you’ll see figures of ice-age creatures such as wooly mammoths, as well as bison, ibex and rhinoceros. The trip here includes an intriguing ride on an underground train to traverse the enormous network of subterranean caves.
Paleolithic Wonders in the Vézères Valley
Meanwhile, Les Eyzies is a village situated in the heart of the Vézère Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its paleolithic and prehistoric sites. Wall paintings, caves and archaeological sites abound in the area, and the village itself is a rugged, fascinating place that almost appears carved into the rock itself.
Here, you’ll be able to explore the extensive collections of the National Prehistory Museum, explore a genuine Cro-Magnon shelter, and visit the International Centre of Prehistory for even more in-depth exploration of the region’s millennia-long connections to prehistoric humans and civilisations. Key in the region is the Font de Gaume Cave, boasting some 200 breathtaking, original Ice-Age era cave paintings of animals.
The Abri du Cap Blanc rock shelter is also impressive, albeit small: the shelter features bas-relief sculptures of animals, mostly horses. And at the Palaeolithic site known as Les Combarelles, visitors can discover over 600 engraved images of reindeer, bison, ibex, bears, lions and other fauna.
In addition to these famous places, there are many other fascinating sites in the Dordogne to include on your bespoke itinerary, from stalactite caves and formations to many other caves marked indelibly by prehistoric humans. We’ll put together one that’s perfect for you.