Prehistoric Sites Dordogne

Old Jan 24th, 2005, 09:31 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Prehistoric Sites Dordogne

Lascaux II, Le Thot (included in admission to Lascaux II?), La Roque St Christophe, Grotte de Font-de-Gaum, Gouffre de Padirac, Grotte du Pech Merle.
If I had to narrow my choices, which are absolutely unmissable, and which are perhaps a little less impressive than the others?
Also, have I missed an 'unmissable' one from my list? Grateful for any helpful comments.
twoflower is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2005, 01:38 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 415
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It is very difficult to say which you would appreciate most but if you are interested in cave art rather than just pre-histroic sites then I would discount La Roque St Christophe which is a rock shelter and Gouffre de Padirac which is a cave system without evidence of occupation. Peche Merle is magnificent in my opinion but is well away from the other sites that you mention. A side benefit of visiting Peche Merle is the proximity of St Cirq La Popie. Lascaux 11 is worth seeing because of the beauty of the copied art works, but od course, it is not the real thing. One you have not mentioned, that I especially enjoyed is Rouffignac - a very long cave system which you see from a small electric train. If interested in this subject you may like to read "The Mind in the Cave" by David Lewis-Williams a very interesting study of why people may have made these difficult & dangerous journeys to create these drawings & paintings
GregY2 is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2005, 02:34 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 989
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Font-de-Gaume is well worth seeing especially since it will most likely be closed to the public after this year.
LascauxII was somewhat impressive for me but I could'nt get out of my mind that they are really just reproductions.
Rouffignac was to me the unmissable one.
We were unable to visit Pech Merle but have heard it is a must.
grimmy is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2005, 03:51 AM
  #4  
cmt
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,793
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If youll be going to Font-de-Gaume, Combarelles is very nearby (a longish walk or short drive away) and very much worth seeing. Those are the only two I saw, so I can't comment on the others.
cmt is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2005, 07:37 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,473
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've been to all of the ones you've mentioned - some of them twice.

The two "don't miss" are Pech Merle and Lascaux II. Next, it's a tie between Rouffignac and Font-de-Gaum. If the latter is indeed to be closed after this year, then I would make it a "don't miss" also.

Padirac has no pre-historic stuff.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2005, 08:38 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 88
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My favorites are Lascaux II (reserve for the English tour, great for the explanations of how and why the art was created, good to go here first), La Roque St. Christophe (highly recommended by our innkeeper for its explanations of how the people lived there and protected themselves from invaders), Gouffre de Padirac (very fun underground boat ride and fantastic formations, no cave art but different from the other caves), Grotte du Pech Merle (absolutely the best cave art! very informative museum). We did not like Font-de-Gaume (hard for us to see the cave art and tour only in French).

Lots of great little towns to see along with these cave sites!
jal52 is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2005, 08:55 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,553
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's not true that there are only French tours of Font-de-Gaume. You do need to make reservations for most of these places, Font-de-Gaume especially, and if you want a tour in English, book well ahead of time.

I think Font-de-Gaume is the best of the Dordogne caves (haven't made it to Pech-Merle yet, which I understand is even better). It's authentic, it's inspiring, and it's going to be closed to the public soon, so go see it. As mentioned, Combarelles is just up the road and is an admirable cave as well.

Lascaux II is as much an artistic and engineering wonder as it is a gret cave. The mere fact that they replicated so exactly the original is inspiring. And the tour is great.

La Roque-St-Christophe is absolutely fascinating, but it's not a cave. Still it's halfway between Lascaux II and Font-de-Gaume, so as long as you're there....and the Village Troglodytique de la Madeleine is right on the other side of the road, another interesting site.

The Gouffre de Padirac is amusing.

Pech Merle is a couple of hours away from the rest of them.

Yes, admission to Le Thot is included with the Lascaux II tickets. I wouldn't waste much/any time there - most of the attractions are for young kids.

A couple you haven't mentioned that are worwthwhile: Bara-Bahau in Le Bugue and the cave in Rouffignac both have excellent engravings. And Cap Blanc has fabulous sculptures. You might want to mix it up a bit and include engravings and sculptures along with the chromatic caves.
StCirq is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2005, 10:06 AM
  #8  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi all,

>Font-de-Gaume is ...going to be closed to the public soon...<

Oh, Phoo! When?

ira is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2005, 10:45 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,553
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As far as I can tell the closing date is about as ephemeral as the reopening date of l'Orangerie.
StCirq is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2005, 12:25 PM
  #10  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OK, thanks.
ira is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2005, 11:03 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks everyone. Your comments are most helpful, and I even have some additional sites to consider!
Yes, I know Pech-Merle is some distance from the others, but my tour (self planned and self-driven) will go through the Dordogne, the Lot, and onto the Gorge du Tarn then Provence, so will cover all of the areas concerned.
twoflower is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2005, 07:00 AM
  #12  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi two,

>..my tour (self planned and self-driven) will go through the Dordogne, the Lot, and onto the Gorge du Tarn ..<

We will be going the other way.

You might want to consider stopping in Conques for a night and then on to St Chely du Tarn for a night before going through the Gorges du Tarn and further South.



ira is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2005, 08:24 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,473
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>>>..my tour (self planned and self-driven) will go through the Dordogne, the Lot, and onto the Gorge du Tarn ..<<<<

>We will be going the other way.<

We were there for 2 weeks last year - beautiful area. If you don't have my Languedoc Itinerary, e-mail me at [email protected] to get a copy. I have lots of side trips described and also descriptions of our meals in restaurants in the Lot area around Espalion.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2005, 09:12 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,697
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can't compare the many different caves, but to me, there is still nothing that compares to being in the actual cave. For my money, I much prefer seeing the Font-de-Gaume over Lascaux II.

Although Lascaux II is impressive to look at, it is still a replica, and I can't quite forget it. The tour size can be larger (not quite the delicate images of the real caves), too. But it's the smell and the dampness that also adds to the experience. I willingly admit that LascauxII is a GREAT imitation, and you will definitely get a lot out of it. But if it's a choice of one or the other, go for the real thing.
And yes, there are English tours at Font-de-Gaume; reserve in advance.
progol is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
ESW
Europe
6
Dec 27th, 2012 11:50 AM
twoflower
Europe
20
May 15th, 2007 04:08 AM
csmccullough
Europe
10
Jan 23rd, 2006 05:03 AM
loisco
Europe
4
Feb 17th, 2005 10:40 AM
hokeness
Europe
11
Aug 19th, 2002 12:22 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:19 AM.