Your private guide will pick you up from your hotel on the morning of your tour and take you to Rouffignac, the first of three sites to be visited in a region renowned for its expansive collection of prehistoric art.
The cave art at Rouffignac dates back over 10,000 years, its woolly mammoths, ibex and bison expertly rendered in charcoal or gouged into the soft limestone walls. Rouffignac’s most impressive works are on the Great Ceiling so far back in the cave that visitors board a small train to view them. Along the way you’ll pass various works of art with the Rouffignac guide providing a commentary as you go. Little prepares you for the Great Ceiling, however: a vast collection of engravings of horses, bison, ibex and mammoths brought to life by expert commentary. The cave is completely dark, with the Great Ceiling illuminated by a single torch beam to limit any damage.
Once you’ve seen Rouffignac you’ll return to your private vehicle and drive on to the small town of Les Eyzies which is home to France’s National Museum of Prehistory. Here your private driver-guide will give you a tour and introduction to this period of history as well pointing out some remarkable relics and vestiges of what life was like during this time. You’ll have time to have lunch in the village before continuing on to Lascaux, arguably the most revered cave art site in the world.
Your guide will take you to Lascaux IV, a complete replica of the caves which contain works dating back 20,000 years. The cave itself has been closed to visitors since 1963 due to the visible decay of the paintings caused by carbon dioxide, humidity and other factors that come hand in hand with thousands of visitors per day. The reproductions are exact and visitor numbers are limited to avoid overcrowding, offering an authentic idea of what the original art is actually like. Some 6,000 figures depicting large animals, humans and abstract symbols cover the walls and ceilings in an extraordinary display of human creativity. After you’ve had some time to explore the complex and listen to the commentary of the Lascaux guide, you’ll rejoin your driver-guide who will take you back to your hotel.