Visiting the Prehistoric Wonders

Advertisement

Visiting the Prehistoric Wonders

Perhaps the most famous cultural sights in the Dordogne are the prehistoric caves and grottos, such as Lascaux II, Grotte du Pech-Merle, the Domme grottoes, and Grotte du Grand-Roc. Lascaux can take up to 2,000 people a day, but others—such as the Grotte des Combarelles in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac—only take six people on a tour at any given time (guaranteeing an intimate look). Either because demand far outstrips supply, or because tickets are so limited, it's recommended you call or email to prebook tickets. For places like Lascaux book as far in advance as possible (up to a year). For less popular sights, a couple of days ahead of time should do, or you can sign up for a tour as early in the morning as possible.

The main tourist offices in the region, such as the one at Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, have the lowdown on all the caves and prehistoric sights in the area. If you were not able to call ahead for tickets, it's worth stopping by the cave of your choice even if the office says tickets are sold out—space often opens up. Be forewarned: You might get signed onto a tour that starts in a couple of hours, leaving you with time to kill, so have a game plan handy for other places to visit nearby.

Reaching Lascaux II is a major production without a car. If driving from Sarlat, head to Montignac, 26 km (16 miles) north on Route D704; Lascaux II is 1 km (½ mile) south of Montignac on Route D704. If using public transportation, get yourself to Montignac by bus from Sarlat, the nearest town with a train station (on the Bordeaux-Brive line). Sarlat has early-morning buses (7 and 9 am), which leave from Place de la Petite Rigandie. In Montignac you can buy tickets for Lascaux II next to the tourist office on Place Bertran.

More travel tips

Advertisement