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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 10 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

Known as the ‘Sistine Chapel’ of Palaeolithic art, the Lascaux Caves were painted around 17,000 BC. The breathtakingly sophisticated polychrome paintings of bison, horses, reindeer and aurochs demonstrate a keen eye for perspective and movement.

Sadly, the cave had to be closed in 1963 because of the damage caused by carbon dioxide in visitors’ breath. A partial replica, Lascaux II, opened in 1983, and in 2016 a complete replica, Lascaux IV, opened as part of Montignac’s high-tech International Centre of Parietal Art.

While you’re there 

Combined tickets are available for the nearby Le Thot Park, with a museum, workshops and a park, home to some of the animals painted on the caves.

The nearby town of Sarlat, made from golden limestone, is one of France’s most beautiful Renaissance towns and lies just half an hour’s drive south of the caves.

Price from: £15
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Choose between an hour-long tour of the cave replica with a human or audio guide, although you’ll need to book a time slot in advance for the former to be sure of a guide in English. Book tickets in advance on the Lascaux website, especially in July and August.

Although trains do make the journey from Bordeaux, it’s expensive and complicated – it’s much easier to make the beautiful two-hour trip by car. This also makes it easier to visit the Le Thot Prehistoric Cave Centre, and the town of Sarlat after.

When to do it

It’s open all year round, seven days a week. There’s a lot to see (allow three hours to see everything), so try to get to Lascaux by 10am, before the coach parties turn up.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

InterContinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel

Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France[139.1 miles]

The 230-year-old grande dame of Bordeaux’s hotel scene is a neo-classical masterpiece from the outside, and sumptuously restored on the inside. It’s perfectly located too, in the heart of the Golden Triangle.

Official star rating:

Hotel de Seze

Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France[139.2 miles]

An historic, elegant 18th-century hotel ideally located in Bordeaux’s swish Golden Triangle, with a locally-rated spa and restaurant.

Official star rating:

L’Hotel Particulier Bordeaux

Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France[139.4 miles]

Once a cardinal’s luxurious townhouse in the heart of Bordeaux, now a charming little hotel with characterful guestrooms and apartments. An excellent base for first-time visitors.

Official star rating:

Hotel de Tourny

Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine , France[139.4 miles]

This stylish but friendly and unfussy boutique hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Bordeaux. Perfect as a base for sightseeing, and great value for the location too.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

A vintage wine and culture destination with delicious tastings, grand architecture, gourmet restaurants and a glorious coastline. 

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