The Dordogne owes some of its immense allure to its limestone geology: In the river valley are insurmountable rocky cliffs that helped to defend castles, while the landscape is also chiselled with caves that sheltered the prehistoric humans who created the world’s most celebrated stone-age wall paintings.
Lascaux is the one we’ve all read about, and you can see an accurate reproduction at Lascaux II or see authentic Upper Palaeolithic paintings at Grotte de Roufignac.
During the region’s violent medieval period the Dordogne River was also a strategic boundary, which has left the region with a wonderful set of castles on rocky roosts above the valley.
Lets explore the best things to do in Dordogne:
1. Lascaux II, Montignac
Visitors haven’t been admitted to the original cave complex at Lascaux since the 60s because of the damage caused by carbon dioxide and contaminants.
But there’s no real drawback in opting for the next best thing at Lascaux II: The revered 17,000 year-old paintings have been reproduced down to the finest detail, using identical pigments and techniques to the Upper Palaeolithic originals.
So it gives you a perfect sense of the wonder that must have been felt when the caves were discovered in 1940. You will enter in groups of 40 and will be talked through the images on a multi-lingual tour.