Discover all the caves of Périgord!

Montignac
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Discover all the cave ...

Whether it is very hot as in summer , or cold as in winter , they are always at the same temperature and pleasant to visit : the caves of Périgord ! Take a little wool, we descend into the depths of the earth ... Below, our ancestors engraved their memories , their memories and drew with their nimble fingers, mysterious representations ... When the cave is not a testimony of the past , in Dordogne , it is transformed into a jewel case, for the evanescent shapes slowly sculpted by water and limestone until they become multicolored and elongated rocks … Discover all the caves to visit in Périgord , the hardest part will be to choose!

The International Center for Cave Art, Lascaux IV in Montignac (and Lascaux II)

Let's start with the presentation of the most famous cave in Périgord ! The Caves of Lascaux is a real success story known throughout the world , thanks to a modern , ambitious and educational museography .
It all began in September 1940 , with the discovery of the Lascaux Cave , on a hill in the town of Montignac , in Périgord Noir. These are 4 boys (and a dog, let's not forget) from the village, who discovered this cavity which was then identified as an incredible testimony of the past . Untouched at the time, the original cave suffered from oxidation due to the air and the visit of too many people, which created irreparable damage to the original designs. To guard against any definitive disaster and preserve this unique testimony of our ancestors , the original Lascaux cave has been closed to the public . A meticulous replica has been made, a few hundred meters away, it is the Cave of Lascaux II . A few years later, the Atelier des Facs Similés du Périgord Noir, produced new panels , which this time are itinerant and travel around the world to offer everyone the lessons and the beauty of these drawings: it's Lascaux III ! The International Center for Cave Art , also known as Lascaux IV , is an almost complete , very precise , modern and altered version of a completely redesigned educational structure of the Lascaux Cave. After visiting a new and incredibly beautiful representation of the cave , you will discover an innovative educational path suitable for all . A workshop with decomposed facsimiles , which you will analyze using a tablet are offered, as well as a 3D film in a specially dedicated cinema , a graphic workshop on the subject of art and humanity as well as other video animations. A must see in Périgord!

Lascaux IV

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The Grotte de Rouffignac in Rouffignac

The Grotte de Rouffignac , in the village of Rouffignac-Saint-Cernin-de-Reilhac , is a very original decorated cave . We visit it in a small electric train ! Really remember to take a sweater and something to cover up, because it is 13 degrees there all year round. We see drawings of Mammoth , but also strange and mysterious engravings ! Several rooms are to be discovered, for 1 hour and only as a guided tour with passionate guides . It is a moment that will please the whole family, for a wonder at the rendezvous. Please note, photos are prohibited inside the cave!


Entrance to the Rouffignac Cave

The Grotte du Grand Roc in Les Eyzies

The Grotte du Grand Roc is located at the exit of the village of Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil , on the banks of the Vézère. There is a large free car park to park there and I recommend that you opt for a ticket combined with the Prehistoric Shelters of Laugerie Basse , right next door! The Grotte du Grand Roc must be earned: it is reached after a nice climb on a fairly high staircase . It is a cave with concretions , you will not find engravings or drawings there, but sumptuous concretions: stalactites , stalagmites and incredible eccentrics , formed by the long and patient concentration of limestone along the drops of water on the rock face. The caves can only be visited on a guided tour, they are sumptuous and very well highlighted .

Grotte du Grand Roc concretions Grand Roc cave


The Cave of Font de Gaume in Les Eyzies

Hurry up to visit the Grotte de Font de Gaume , who knows how long it will be open to the public? It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, it is a polychrome decorated cave (the last in France, still on a public visit!), Which houses more than 200 representations of animals (bison, mammoth, horses, etc.) . The visit which is uniquely guided and fascinating has a very precise operation . It is not possible to book in advance and the number of visitors per day is very limited . Show up as early as possible , even before the ticket office opens in the morning… To reserve a time slot during the day. You will not regret it !

Font de Gaume ticket office
The Font de Gaume -Marc Kossa ticket office CC BY SA 4.0

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The Caves of Combarelles in Les Eyzies

Discovered 3 years before that of Font de Gaume , it was also classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1979. There are engravings of animals dating from the Magdalenian . More than 800 are counted, as well as some drawings! There is also, surprisingly and rare, basic human representations , engraved on the rock walls.

Combarelles caves

The Grotte de Bara-Bauhau in Le Bugue

Also called the Sanctuary of the Bear , it is classified as a Historic Monument . It is a large cavity with an unusual entrance , adorned with engravings from the Middle Magdalenian , located in Le Bugue . We see old traces of bear scratches there , because it was a den at the same time (now, there are no more bears!)… The traces left by the animals are part of the engravings, the Prehistoric men used it as a basis for their magnificent graphic work. We see horses , aurochs , sometimes of gigantic size… It was discovered in the 1950s and authenticated a few years later.

Bara Bahau cave
We take advantage of a beautiful landscape to get there

The Sorcerer's Cave in Saint Cirq

On the cliff side, it is hidden by a dense bamboo forest ... It is an ornate cave , dating from the Magdalenian . It can be discovered on a guided tour only and it is preferable to book according to the time of year. It is a small cave that is worth the detour, there is also a small museum to visit independently and a troglodyte habitat .

The Sorcerer's Cave The Sorcerer's Cave

The Sorcerer's Cave - photos of the information sheet

The Caves of Bernifal in Meyrals

The Caves of Bernifal are too little known! It is a family cave , sublime and authentic , that we visit with a passionate guide in a small intimate group . Discovered at the end of the 19th century, it was not immediately excavated, it was then quickly classified as a Historic Monument in 1904. Drawings and sculptures can be seen there, by the light of a flashlight ... Magic!

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The Grotte de Domme, in… Domme!

The Grotte de Domme is located under the village . It is steep, which will offer you a superb walk and an incredible viewpoint over the entire Dordogne valley . Visit this underground gem, hidden under the Tourist Office! It is a cave with concretions , one sees there drapes , stalactites, stalagmites… Water mirror , colonnades … It is a universe declined in several rooms that you will appreciate in family .

The Caves of Maxange at Buisson de Cadouin

It is called the Grotte aux Etoiles , because the concretions it shelters shine with a thousand lights and shine! Located in Le Buisson-de-Cadouin , it is a family cave , discovered in 2000! We see sumptuous eccentrics , which are threadlike concretions , with a strange appearance and which go in all directions! The highlight of the show is the concretion in the shape of a Parrot, nature is sometimes facetious! There is a small light show , which highlights the most original and surprising forms. The guided tour lasts about forty minutes.

Caves of Maxange

Concretions at the Caves of Maxange

The Beaussac cave in Mareuil

The Grotte de Beaussac is an adventure in itself. Accessible from 9 years old, it can be visited in caving mode , the equipment is provided but you must come with closed shoes , warm and covering clothes . We descend to a depth of 8 meters , in complete safety. We see an underground stream , water basins, galleries and a cavity with concretions . Book with the Tourist Office Périgord Drone Belle.

Beaussac cave

The Tourtoirac Cave in Tourtoirac

When you visit the Grotte de Tourtoirac (also called Grotte de la Clautre ), you start by taking the elevator. Not to go up, but to go down, you can imagine! It was discovered by speleologists in 1995. It shows concretions and a beautiful underground river . We visit it with an audio guide and accompanied, in small groups. The path is easy and we have time to marvel at the wonders of nature it contains. The patterns slowly drawn by water and rock are sometimes poetic and representative, a dolphin, a frog… A magical moment!
An important point: the cave is wheelchair accessible and for people with reduced mobility .

The cave of Villars in Villars

Not far from Brantôme , a magnificent village not to be missed, the Grotte de Villars will not fail to surprise you. It consists of 600m of galleries , with several rooms which offer superb concretions to discover. There is also (2 in 1!) A prehistoric part , with paintings dating from 19,000 years ago, connoisseurs will appreciate their original bluish color . After your visit, don't forget to have a picnic and go for a tour of the very pretty prehistoric and educational garden adjacent.

Villars cave Caves of Villars
Caves of Villars - Photos of the information sheet


We went around the caves to visit in Périgord ! You have all the information you need to make your choice. Rather cave with concretion? With paintings, engravings? Rather unmissable or confidential visit? Périgord is a jewel, there is so much to see, that you will find that one stay is never enough to go around it! In a future article, we will talk about sinkholes and shelters, which are complementary to cave tours. See you soon !


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