The most well-known and impressive prehistoric caves in France. The paintings here are thought to be over 17,000 years old and mainly represent large mammals, signs and humans.
There are about 2,000 figure drawings, nearly half of which are of animals. The caves were only discovered in 1940 and after were open to the public for 15 years. It was discovered though that the carbon dioxide produced by the thousands of visitors was damaging these precious paintings and so they are no longer open to the public. Excellent faithful reproductions of the Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery can be seen at Lascaux II in Montignac, just 200 metres from the actual cave.
Watch out for
At present the Lascaux II site is not accessible to wheelchairs due to the stairway (to reach the cave) and an extremely narrow passage inside the cave.
- "I've been to Lascaux before and wondered if it was as wonderful as I remembered. I was amazed again. Yes, it's a replica, and I don't like fake anything, but it is accurate to within 5 cms, all the painting are done using the original pigments and techniques." - Trip Advisor
- "The caves are dark, but the paintings are either highlighted or pointed by a flashlight by the tour guide. Most of them are vivid and beautiful." - Trip Advisor
- "Just trust me, go there and take the tour ( you can get one spoken in English) and you will enjoy it. Can't believe I actually said that but it's true!" - Trip Advisor
Read our own review of the Lascaux caves.
When to come
Opening times and vary may vary throughout the year but as a guideline:
15/02 to 16/03 (holidays): 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:30
17/03 to 31/03: 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:30 (closed on Mondays)
01/04 to 04/07: 09:30 to 18:00
05/07 to 31/08 (holidays): 09h - 19h
01/09 to 02/11: 09:30 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00
03/11 to 31/12: 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 17:30 (closed on Mondays)
Open between 13:00 and 14:00 during school holidays.
How to book
You can book in advance on the website. It is worth doing this as you will be given a time slot so that you can arrive at the correct time. They are only closed in January.
How to get passes
From 12 April to 14 September, the ticket office is in the centre of Montignac, next to the tourist office, Place Bertrand de Born. It is best to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
You can also buy a twin ticket for Lascaux II and the centre at Le Thot.
- Lascaux II