Visit the chasms, rock shelters and troglodyte villages of Périgord!

Peyzac le Moustier
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Astonishing, gigantic, intimate, educational… Discover all the chasms , rock shelters and troglodyte complexes to visit in Dordogne . Some time ago, we approached the Caves of Périgord . Decorated caves, caves with concretions, we have reviewed them all, so that you can choose to visit the one (s) that best meet your expectations. Today, on the way to slightly different depths , but just as fascinating and mysterious … the Périgord is revealed to you!

 

Troglodyte or semi-troglodyte villages and complexes

La Roque Saint-Christophe

La Roque Saint-Christophe is a troglodyte fortress , installed at a height of 400 meters and occupied by our ancestors for more than 55,000 years! In Peyzac-le-Moustier , between Montignac and Les Eyzies , a stone's throw from Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère , you stroll on a limestone cliff , in a gigantic crevice. After a course in the rock , you arrive on a terrace which overhangs the Vézère Valley and the river which flows below. Admire, enjoy this exceptional point of view ! In summer and during school holidays , there are exciting guided tours that retrace the evolution of life and the occupation of these places over the centuries and millennia. The site is open all year round , yes even in winter!

>> Watch our video and photo report at La Roque Saint-Christophe

La Roque Saint-christophe

the roque saint-christophe
La Roque Saint-Christophe


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The troglodyte village of Madeleine

The Village de la Madeleine is located in Tursac , on the banks of the Vézère river . It's a real time machine! 17,000 years of occupation, on this site where the troglodyte dwellings (that is to say which are pressed against the rock and closed, or half closed for semi-troglodyte dwellings) are reconstituted to immerse the visitor in the atmosphere of a real small village of the time . La Madeleine is also an archaeological site (the time of the Magdalenian , you know it, and there you have it!), Where engravings , burials and cave paintings have been found. It is a shady , cool and very pleasant place for a half-day with the family .

The village of Madeleine
The village of Madeleine


The Forte de Reignac House

Here is a real small troglodyte castle , as there are probably very few in the world… La Maison Forte de Reignac is above all a castle-cliff (in Tursac). But did you notice, we're talking about a cliff? Because before being an imposing castle leaning against the rock, there were troglodyte dwellings inside! You can visit these rock shelters during your walk in La Maison Forte de Reignac, at the beginning ... Then, we go up, we go up and we walk in rooms with sound system, period furniture and in a very ... strange… mysterious … They say it's a haunted place? The view at the top of the complex is superb . Do not miss (for those over 18), the exhibition on torture in the Middle Ages , at the end of the visit (entry is not compulsory, you can bypass it!) ...

>>> Watch our video report and photos at Maison Forte de Reignac!

The Forte de Reignac House

The strong house of Reignac The Forte de Reignac House
The Forte de Reignac House


Belvès troglodyte dwellings

Belvès is a very pretty castrum (a fortified place) perched, classified among the Most Beautiful Villages of France , near the pretty forest of Bessède. Within the village, there are cave dwellings to discover on a guided tour, from the Tourist Office. It was once the home of the poorest villagers, under the Place de la Halle . The village has about twenty although only 8 can be visited. It is a perfect place to discover in summer, with a little wool because it is cool there.

Belvès troglodyte dwellings
Belvès troglodyte dwellings, photos from the Tourist Office

The Troglodyte Fort of La Roque Gageac

It is a new tourist site to discover, open since the 2020 season . The Fort Troglodyte de la Roque Gageac is authentic , it was under construction since 2010 following landslides, to put it back in safety conditions for visits, it's done! Come and discover a jewel of the beautiful village of La Roque-Gageac , on the cliff, between the sky and the Dordogne river . A grandiose panorama , at the cost of a nice climb on the stairs ... You will see the remains of the defense systems of this people of the cliffs , but not only: It is now the birds who are the guardians of the fort, the black kites , Peregrine Falcons and others ...

La Rqoue Gageac

The fort and its troglodyte dwellings at the top right. Photo from La Roque Gageac Tourist Office



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Rock shelters and deposits

The Régourdou Caves in Montignac

A unique tourist site in the Dordogne . On this site, the skeleton of a Man from the Neanderthal period has been laid bare . Le Régourdou is a high-quality archaeological site , classified as a Historic Monument, which can be explored on a fascinating and passionate guided tour! There is a deposit , a sinkhole , a museum and a park with real bears . There is entertainment offered in season . The whole family will appreciate this lively, moving site which depicts a period of our very ancient history that has been little explored in Périgord.

The regourdou The Regourdou

The Regourdou deposit


The Castel Merle deposit

Castel Merle is a prehistoric site , in the town of Sergeac in the Périgord Noir . At the edge of the Vézère, prehistoric men settled there 85,000 years ago, traces of occupation have been found in the 10 rock shelters on the site.

Today the Castanet family shares its knowledge with you through interesting guided tours and quality activities for the whole family. A site more confidential than the big ones which surround it, but just as fascinating and told with emotion, it deserves the turning in this pretty authentic valley.

Castel Merle Castel Merle
Castel Merle in Sergeac

The shelters of Laugerie Basse

In Les Eyzies, the prehistoric shelters of Laugerie Basse are listed as World Heritage by Unesco . Inhabited since the Magdalenian , they have been richly exploited scientifically, many artefacts have been found on site. It is a site which is equipped with modern technology to approach archeology and studies carried out on site, from an educational angle. The scenography is attractive and we understand better what the stratigraphic sections are, the excavation zones, the chronology of the site's occupation… the children like it, because we use a kind of tablet. I recommend that you take the combined ticket with the Grotte du Grand Roc just next door to have a good time on these two sites, without taking the car. Bring a picnic to enjoy the banks of the Vézère!

>> Watch our photo and video report on the Laugerie Basse shelters

Laugerie Basse Laugerie Basse

Laugerie Basse, excavation and stratigraphic section


L'Abri Cro Magnon

It was in 1868 that Cro-Magnon Man was found at the same place where the Cro-Magnon shelter museum is today. Two years of work were necessary to offer visitors an original , modern and interactive museography . Understanding the past , going into detail in this discovery so striking for our present and our future, this is the goal of the Cro-Magnon shelter museum. An exciting place, with different reading levels.

The Cro-Magnon shelter Cro-Magnon shelter

The Cro-Magnon shelter


The Fish Shelter

The fish shelter takes its name from an atypical and unique sculpture of salmon , found in the shelter. This is a site for connoisseurs and patients alike as there are very few visits allowed due to the authentic quality of the site. It can be visited with a guide, who will highlight the engravings it contains. The ticket can be purchased the same day at the reception of the Font de Gaume cave, in Les Eyzies. Make a phone call to the Tourist Office to find out more.

The shelter of Cap Blanc

The shelter of Cap Blanc is in Marquay, a pretty village not far from Les Eyzies. We visit it on the same principle as the fish shelter: the ticket office is in Font de Gaume and the first served may have a visit organized during the day. The excavation sites were conducted on site at the beginning of the 20th century and highlighted prints, but it was not until the 60s and new, less abrasive techniques to really enjoy the artistic masterpieces and historical that she accomodates. Horses in bas-relief, wolves, another monumental engraving and a burial of a female person of about 25 years old were also found in this shelter.

Cap Blanc shelter

Cap Blanc shelter


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The clumsy shelter

It is also located in Les Eyzies, it is not for nothing that this city is the capital of prehistory in Périgord! 45 minutes of visit allow you to discover the Pataud shelter and the museum. The centerpiece is a sculpture of a woman carved into a block of stone some 24,000 years ago. It is not often that human representations are updated. L'abri pataud is a tourist site that will awaken in your children the vocations of archaeologists , because it explains very well the progress of an excavation site and shows eclectic objects.

Shelter Pataud
The Pataud shelter


The Caves of the Château de Commarque

The Château de Commarque is a plural site. We take advantage of a very peaceful and pleasant walk in an isolated valley. We then take the full measure of the magnificent quality of the castle , appreciating it from afar. The visit of the castle itself is fascinating and well done. There are games, workshops and all kinds of fun processes to immerse yourself in Commarque's past. Finally, there are caves and rock shelters at the bottom!

The Castle of Commarque
The Castle of Commarque


The Caves of Roc de Cazelle

The Roc de Cazelle , located at the exit of Les Eyzies towards Sarlat, is a very nice site to visit with the family. It's a stroll , between forest and troglodyte shelters , then there is a course with dinosaurs (fakes!) And a small farm with backyard animals (real ones!). What is moving is that the site was inhabited until relatively little time ago, we can see the traces of the typical rural life of Périgord in this singular place.

The Roc de Cazelle

The Roc de Cazelle

The Caves of the Abbey of Brantôme

In the famous town of Périgord Vert, also known as the Little Venice of Périgord , come and discover the Abbey of Brantôme . This one has a troglodyte course to discover, there are caves and explanatory panels to understand the occupation of these shelters for more than 1000 years. We see magnificent engravings and bas-reliefs. At the end of the visit, discover the Fernand Desmoulin museum , a painter and engraver who, thanks to his art, completes the visit of the troglodyte ensemble.

Brantôme Abbey Brantôme Abbey
Brantôme Abbey, photo by the Périgord Dronne Belle Tourist Office

The one and majestic chasm of Périgord

The Gouffre de Proumeyssac in Audrix, not far from Le Bugue, is an exceptional site, unique in Périgord! It is a chasm , into which you descend after walking along a path that plunges you into the bowels of the undergrowth, or installed in a basket that descends to the heart of the immense cavity . It is the enhancement of the site, the lighting that allows the reliefs to stand out and the visitor's attention to be focused on the most unique elements of the abyss. An underground river enchants and animates the place, the stalactites , the multiple and diverse crystallizations , the impressive columns and draperies leave the observer amazed! It is a rich visit, sublimated by the play of light, like a brush of these incongruous geological forms.

>>> Click to read our report on the Proumeyssac chasm and prepare your visit

The Gouffre de Proumeyssac

The Gouffre de Proumeyssac Brantôme Abbey
The Gouffre de Proumeyssac

Here you are a fine connoisseur of all the troglodyte complexes , shelters and chasms of Dordogne. To make the most of your holidays in Périgord and go directly to the sites best suited for you. With children, among experts , for conscientious observers or for those who love bombastic sites , there is something for everyone! And you, what is your favorite site ?

 

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