The Font de Gaume cave

Les Eyzies de Tayac
Share The Font de Gaume cave
The Font de Gaume cave

Exiting Les Eyzies, towards Sarlat, a small house hides a lovely prehistoric site with many paintings : Font-de-Gaume! Would you like to follow me on the tour ?

The tickets for the sites of Combarelles and Cap Blanc are also sold here. Also note that you need to walk approximately 400 metres (1,312 feet) to access the cave once you got your ticket ! I have been advised to come 30 minutes before the beginning of the visit. Note that photos are not allowed.

I head towards the entrance of the cave and the more I climb and the more I see of the great view over the Eyzies ! I then find my guide who informs me that all bags must be left in the lockers for the safety of the cave. It is therefore with a little twinge that I leave my beloved rucksack all alone outside ; this time it won’t be part of my adventure ! Clothing must not hang out and I put my hood away and close all my buttons ! The cave is really well supervised in order to preserved it as best as possible, and during summer it is recommended to book in advance your tour as only 80 people per day can visit it !

I enter the cave, the ceiling nearly touches my head and it is very narrow inside. I take the staircase trying not to touch the walls. I discover this 14,000 years old place which saw Neandertal, Cro-Magnon and several evolutions of sapiens ! The part of the cave after the staircase has a much higher ceiling, more than 12 metres (39 feet), from the bottom, the walls looks like waves.

I discover the first paintings, black and red buffalos, very large and amazingly well preserved. They are painted and the details are engraved. In total, there are 82 buffalos that decorate the cave on the 200 other representations !! Unfortunately, some paintings are engraved by modern time graffitis and the time damages them !

Prehistoric people used the walls and the concretions to realise their work : a horse leg is a stalactite, the buffalo’s bump is a part of the wall and I can see the influences of the Lascaux caves on several representations. A buffalo even looks like a small sculpted buffalo that can be seen at the Musée National de la Préhistoire des Eyzies (The Eyzies Prehistory National Museum) ! I then discover deers and horses. Sometimes I need to guess the shapes but it is always great fun ! The guide plays with his torch lamp, creating shadows and letting me visualise the paintings.

The last room hides two beautiful buffalos superbly well preserved. The hair is black/brown and they proudly overlook the wall ! It is amazing and I personally could not do it better. The prehistoric men had a really good eye to choose the best wall to do such or such representation !!

The cave carries on further but it is really narrow and not open to the public. However this part is virtually visible on their website. I think it is a really great idea, especially to discover the other paintings !

At the end of the visit, the guide makes me turn back and shows me, under a wall, the negative of one hand ; the colours are between yellow and black ! When I think that somebody did the print of his hand thousands of years ago, it touches me !

The visit lasts approximately 50 minutes and it is a true delight for the eyes. Some of the paintings are of an exceptional quality and that makes me fully enjoy this discovery. The guide has a real passion and rediscovers for himself all these representations each time he visits it, he is a fine connoisseur of the wall painting and can answer all my questions !! The guide also explained that the visits during the low season are a little bit more complete and last longer as there are fewer visitors ! Do not hesitate, go and visit it !!


La grotte de Font-de-Gaume

La grotte de Font-de-Gaume
La grotte de Font-de-Gaume
La grotte de Font-de-Gaume
La grotte de Font-de-Gaume
La grotte de Font-de-Gaume
La grotte de Font-de-Gaume


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