Lascaux Cave Paintings – An Enchanting Journey to Prehistoric Times

Lascaux Cave Paintings Guide

The Lascaux cave paintings exceeded my expectations massively. I can’t describe the feeling of looking at a painted message from our 17,000 year old ancestors. 

I hadn’t heard of the Lascaux cave paintings until I was road tripping from Spain back to the UK and looking for a pitstop.

I now realise how much prehistoric art is underrated.

It’s never one of the top sites travel magazines focus on. I guess because it’s not very glitzy compared to places like Versailles or the Louvre! After seeing pictures of Lascaux cave, I wasn’t initially that excited.

A few basic drawings on a wall… didn’t seem that enthralling to me.

How wrong I was! 

With the constant bombardment of must see places to visit on Instagram, it’s rare you travel somewhere and don’t know what to expect. You can do tonnes of research. Thoroughly plan. I mean you’re reading this post! 

I was enraptured. 

It was like getting a message from a ghost. A cave man or lady ghost.

What are the Lascaux Cave Paintings? 

Lascaux is a common term for the cave, discovered in Lascaux in France that was covered in prehistoric cave art in 1940.

Lascaux Cave Paintings

Lascaux IV Tickets

The original Lascaux cave closed to the public in 1968 because of the damage being done to the caves from the condensation of people visiting. 

Lascaux Cave Tickets

Lascaux IV opened in 2016 and is a visitor centre which have completed an exact replica of the Lascaux cave. When you are on your visit, you feel like you are truly in a cave as they even replicated the exact temperature of the caves. 

Tip –  bring a jumper for your visit! 

Lascaux is not a walk in museum. Entry to the cave is by guided tour only. These tours are only at certain times of the day and most of them are in French. 

Upon my visit in July 2021, the Lascaux english speaking tour was at 10am. That was the only English speaking tour that day. 

Lascaux IV

I missed the english speaking tour and went on the french speaking tour. I still found the experience very exciting and it didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the visit. However I imagine if you complete the tour in English you will obviously learn more about the caves and get the most out of your visit. 

French speaking tours are approximately every 10 minutes between 9:00 and 16:00.

Lascaux IV Exhibition Space

I would recommend arriving 20-30 minutes before your tour time to allow time to park, collect your tickets and go to the bathroom before the 90 minute tour.  

The tour lasts for 90 minutes. 

There are 32 spaces available for each tour. 

Prices

Lascaux IV Ticket Prices

Adult (from 13) : €20

Child (5 to 12 years): €12.90

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Lascaux IV English Tour

English speaking tours are at 11:10 each day. The tour lasts 90 minutes. 

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Who Discovered the Lascaux Cave

The Lascaux caves were discovered on 12th September 1940 by a group of four young men. The discovery was made by Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agniel and Leon Laval. 

On the 8th of September, Marcel Ravidat was walking his dog through the countryside surrounding Montignac. Suddenly the dog, named Robot, disappeared in a hole in the ground. Marcel threw some stones down the hole and when it sounded like they were travelling a long way down the hole he knew this was not just a hole from an uprooted tree. He decided to return a few days later with his pals. 

Lascaux Cave Paint Pigments

One of those pals was Jacques Marsal. He was 15  when he accompanied Marcel to explore the cave. A few days later, it was Jacques that went to tell his former teacher Leon Lavel about their discovery. Jacques camped at the site with Marcel to protect the cave until 1942 and when the cave officially opened to the public in 1948, he became one of the guides and worked there for fifteen years. 

Where to Stay near Lascaux, Montignac

I stayed at the fabulous Les Cèdres du Linard, Chambres d’Hôtes B&B Near Lascaux, Montignac, Sarlat-la-Canéda, Dordogne. Set in the heart of the Dordogne amongst the rolling hills, this bed and breakfast is an absolute gem of a find. The reviews online were good, but for £55 a night I wondered quite how good it could possibly be. I’m to make a statement and say it’s my favourite place I have ever stayed in France. Don’t miss the fresh truffle omelette for breakfast. The truffles are fresh from the garden. 

Lascaux-IV-exhibition

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