Pre-historic Rock Art in the Dordogne Escorted Tour

5 nights starting from
£1325

  • Lascaux 4 replica caves - some of the most famous prehistoric art in the world

  • Font-de-Gaume, one of the finest Palaeolithic sanctuaries in the world

  • Grotte de Rouffignac, over 8km long, home to over 250 images

  • Two talks from expert, David Saunders

This tour marks a change in artistic and historic direction for our Art & History tours as we head back some 10-25,000 years to our ancient ancestors and the amazing rock art heritage in South West France. Rock art specialist David Saunders will highlight this fascinating and sometimes moving journey back in time, that shows how little the human race has changed in essence over millennia.

Available Departures

From

01 - October - 2020 £ 1325.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

St Pancras

Departing: 01st October 2020 at 07:55

Returning: 06th October 2020 at 16:03

22 - April - 2021 £ 1345.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

St Pancras

Departing: 22nd April 2021 at 07:55

Returning: 27th April 2021 at 16:03

ITINERARY

Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris and onwards to Brive. On arrival, transfer by coach (approx. one hour) to Les Eyzies and Hotel des Roches. 

Day 2: Abri Cap Blanc and Font-de-Gaume.
Morning visit to Abri Cap Blanc, a prehistoric rock shelter with a large frieze. Afternoon visit to Font-de-Gaume, one of the finest Palaeolithic sanctuaries in the world with more than 200 engraved or painted representations, including the famous kissing reindeer. This evening we will have dinner at a local restaurant. Lecture at hotel, ‘The landscape of the prehistoric cave artists’ and dinner at a local restaurant. 

Day 3: Grotte de Cougnac and Pech Merle Cave.
First to the Grotte de Cougnac, two caves with spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations in one and spectacular pre-historic cave paintings in the other. Afternoon to the Pech Merle Cave, which runs for about two kilometres, including 300 metres of galleries and pre-historic footprints of children. This evening we will have a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. 

Day 4: Free day in Les Eyzies. 
Today you will have free time to enjoy the village of Les Eyzies. In 1868 several skeletons of Cro-Magnons (the first early modern humans) were unearthed in Les Eyzies. The town is located at the centre of a whole series of archaeological sites which we visit on the tour allowing it to earn the name of the 'capital of Prehistory'. The National Museum of Prehistory is an interesting visit. This evening enjoy a lecture at the hotel ‘A century of trying to understand prehistoric cave artists’. 

Day 5: Grotte de Rouffignac and Lascaux 4.
We start the day with a visit to the Grotte de Rouffignac, over eight kilometres long, is the home to over 250 images in total, including the “Great Ceiling” which is decorated with 65 animal figures including mammoths, horses, bison, ibex and even a rhinoceros, dating back some 15,000 years. Next to the most famous cave of all, the replica caves at Lascaux 4 which have been recreated with extreme accuracy.

Day 6: Transfer back to Brive station to catch the return TGV to Paris and onwards by Eurostar to Ebbsfleet/St Pancras.

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion. 

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 23 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Return standard class Eurostar and TGV from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Brive via Paris
  • Five nights’ bed and breakfast at the three-star Hotel des Roches, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Two lectures at the hotel
  • Three dinners with wine at a local restaurant
  • Transfers, tours and entrance fees
  • David Saunders and tour manager throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Holiday insurance
  • Double for sole use supplement
  • Standard Premier/1st Class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTELS

Hotel des Roches, Les Eyzies
Comfortable and quiet three-star hotel located in the heart of the small, peaceful town of Les Eyzies, ideally situated for the famous sites of the region. Hotel facilities include a bar, breakfast room and outdoor swimming pool surrounded by gardens. Rooms all have private bathroom facilities with bath/shower, TV, telephone, safe, hairdryer and free wi-fi.

Hotel des Roches Website

MORE INFO - Please click here to see full details of this tour

Your Lecturer - David Saunders
Studying for his PhD in Archaeology, David has an interest in all areas prehistoric. He undertakes archaeological excavations at Stonehenge and Marden Henge and has lectured throughout the UK. Currently publishing a book on animal movement across the Stonehenge landscape.

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The position of the hotel was good. A minor point, we got the impression that PIP was rather more important than it was, the Musee National de la Prehistoire is really excellent and it, and the terrace above it, need to be emphasised as the essential museumto visit.

Review by Corin who travelled 03-October-2019


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An excellent trip - we loved it. David Saunders was a very knowledgeable and sociable guide - he added a great deal to our understanding of the art and the era. We would highly recommend him, as without him we would certainly not have learned as much as we did. Karen Blackwell worked very hard to make sure the travel arrangements went smoothly and her knowledge of the Dordogne area added to our enjoyment of the trip overall.

Review by Koval who travelled 03-October-2019


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A very nice restaurant for the three dinners.

Review by Brunton who travelled 03-October-2019


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Review by anonymous who travelled 03-October-2019


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The tour was interesting and I felt that Karen and David had good knowledge of the area. Also, they were organized and things went smoothly. It’s very helpful that they had been there before and could recommend restaurants, etc. The hotel was satisfactory. What I noticed the most was that each time we entered and sometimes near reception I could smell cigarettes. Maybe someone who works there smokes, I’m not sure, but it’s not a pleasant, welcoming smell.

Review by anonymous who travelled 03-October-2019


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The order of the cave painting excursions was well thought out. The expert guide was excellent and his two lectures were very interesting and well presented. It was a good idea for three of the five evening meals to be prearranged in a local restaurant, as this promoted tour participant cohesion.

Review by anonymous who travelled 03-October-2019


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Every aspect of the tour was a success. I would definitely like to book another Travel Editions tour for next year. My one comment would be that it would have been great to have a "study pack", i.e. no need for a glossy booklet with colour photographs, but a couple of paragraphs on each cave we visited, providing the approximate dates and some background info such as dates each cave was discovered, estimated age of rock art (it fluctuates from 12,000 to 40,000 years in the 6 caves we visited) plus some other interesting highlights. Other than Lascaux, the cave shops do not sell any literature on their content and we were standing around mostly in the dark, so unable to make notes. It would have been great to come home with some notes to keep each experience in the forefront of my mind.

Review by Lodge who travelled 03-October-2019


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Highly enjoyable and stimulating. Apart from the art (!), Lea Eyzies in the springtime was a joy. Apart from the water issue, our French hosts were welcoming and efficient...as were both Karen and David.

Review by Harcourt who travelled 25-April-2019


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My participation in the Rock Art tour had an inauspicious start. After visiting the Abri Cap Blanc on the first day we climbed up the path to the Font de Gaume cave situated near the top of a hill. Feeling in need of a short rest I turned to sit down near the local guides hut, stumbled and fell, hitting my head on the ground. The site guide phoned for help and about twenty minutes later three young pompier[fireman] paramedics arrived carrying rucksacks filled with medical kit. After checking that I had not broken anything, my blood pressure and pulse were measured and found normal. My forehead was swabbed and bandaged and I was escorted back down the hill to a waiting ambulance which took us to a doctors surgery in Les Eyzies , conveniently located near our hotel. Docteur Nguyen Huu Chieu Roger's English was on a par with my schoolboy French but our knowledgeable Tour Manager Karen Blackwell made short work of translating the medical questions. After a thorough examination Dr. Roger decided that all I needed was a stitch or two which he promptly made. Finally, he filled in a form for me to claim back his fee of 52 euros when I got back home. I cannot speak too highly of the medical help provided by the three paramedics and their speedy arrival. Dr. Roger's attention and treatment was equally fast and effective. Later that day I was able to attend the first of the excellent lectures delivered by David Saunders before enjoying dinner at the restaurant near the hotel. The food and wines were delicious and the presentation of each course can only be described as works of art. There were no after effects of my accident and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the tour. The cave art at Pech Merle displaying mammoths and dappled horses was particularly memorable and the replica paintings and engravings of horses, bison, stags, etc. at the Lascaux International Centre came up to expectations. The Hotel Des Roches at Les Eyzies and the coach that took us from site to site were both very comfortable and helped to make the Rock Art Tour a memorable experience. Regards, David F. Davidson.

Review by Davidson who travelled 25-April-2019


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 25-April-2019


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There were long delays on trains on both outward and homeward journeys - but I fully accept this is something beyond your control. Otherwise, the trip was great.

Review by Phillips who travelled 25-April-2019


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It was a shame that the original travel times had to be altered. It meant very late arrival at the hotel. The trip across Paris on the outward journey meant there was no time to buy lunch. However, all in all, it was highly enjoyable. Karen is beyond praise as tour manager. David Saunders also excellent.

Review by Griffiths who travelled 25-April-2019


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 25-April-2019


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This was a very interesting and informative holiday in a beautiful part of France. I enjoyed the train journeys, which included a bus transfer across Paris on the outward journey. The coach travel from Angouleme to the hotel was too long at the end of a long day. The hotel was comfortable, and the breakfast sufficient. It would have been good if some evening meals were available in the hotel, as to go out each evening was sometimes tiring after a long day. I found the evening meals a bit too rich for my taste, but it was a good opportunity for the group to eat together and get to know each other. One meal was very late in the evening, with an early start the next day. David, the archaeologist, was friendly, approachable and very willing to share information with us. His lectures were well illustrated and just the right length. He joined us for meals and on the tours so we were able to ask questions at all times. Our tour manager was friendly, organised and well informed about the subject and the area. She welcomed feedback and provided us with enough information to enable the group to function well and to understand what was required of us. She was asked to consider re-scheduling some of the timetable for future holidays and she was open to our suggestions.

Review by Boddy who travelled 04-October-2018


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A really fascinating and enjoyable tour. Both tour manager and expert speaker/guide were excellent. Very nice hotel conveniently situated. Included meals very good. The journey was rather long - it was the extra nearly 3 hours by coach that really made it tiring. Why not just fly to Bergerac (or offer that as an alternative option)? The visits were great because we saw a variety of types of cave and cave art. I would definitely be interested in a tour to the Spanish equivalents. Overall a fantastic trip.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 04-October-2018


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 04-October-2018


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An informative, interesting and engaging tour which we enjoyed very much. Our only thought was that the journey involving 2 trains and a lengthy coach ride was tiring and took up a whole day at each end of the tour, though it's hard to see how it could be shortened. Our Tour Manager and Lecturer were patient and efficient.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 04-October-2018


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Excellent tour. Would definitely go on anything similar again in future. Any chance of Cave Art in Spain?

Review by Anonymous who travelled 04-October-2018


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 04-October-2018


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Excellent tour, each site was different and we saw some amazing prehistoric art over 3 days

Review by Anonymous who travelled 04-October-2018


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Vey interesting and enjoyable tour. The tour manager and lecturer were excellent and the caves we visited spectacular. The hotel was fine and the nearby restaurant gave us some good meals.

Review by Hardy who travelled 30-August-2018


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I agree with all the comments made so far by other travellers on this departure. Karen is a very friendly, approachable tour leader who added lots of info about the region in general. The caves were really fabulous and each quite different. The hotel was very comfortable with good communal space for the group to get together, and in a great location. There are things to do in the village on the free Sunday. I particularly enjoyed the visit to Abri Pataud, and others in the group walked to caves at Les Combarelles. I really enjoyed the holiday.

Review by Roper who travelled 30-August-2018


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I cannot praise this tour enough. Karen was friendly, efficient and knowledgble about the district in general. She put the area into its present day context. David gave an excellent overview of current thinking on the pre-historic era which put all our cave art visits in perspective. The tour was well planned by both our leaders who compememted each other. It was if they had already foreseen any hitches. I could do the tour all over again.

Review by Davies who travelled 30-August-2018


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I was very apprehensive about the amount and type of walking which would be necessary and found that all the trips were well within my capabilities, I would have welcomed a more specific itinerary outlining when buses would be used etc. I thought the hotel was charming and the local village an ideal place to stay with plenty of good restaurants and the excellent museum. I was glad to have a free day in the village to enjoy them. I also thought the itinerary was one of the most well balanced I had ever encountered, A very good variety of sites (loved them all) and not too much in one day, plenty of good information but no danger of overload. I cannot praise David and Karen enough for the care and attention to detail with which they planned and organised this trip. One last thing, thank you for the very well balanced meals in the local restaurant, something which I have come to expect from Travel Editions Tours.

Review by who travelled 30-August-2018


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Tour manager and expert lecturer were excellent. Hotel and location were very pleasant. Some of the bus travel was a bit lengthy, but necessary to see the cave art. Overall an interesting and worthwhile trip. Glad we made it. Will book with Travel Editions again.

Review by Unwin who travelled 30-August-2018


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Tour manager was very good at organising the journey in difficult conditions. Lectures were well prepared, and food and wine of a good standard.. The coach driver was careful and efficient. We would recommend this tour to anyone interested in cave art.

Review by Lowe who travelled 19-April-2018


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Excellent trip, full of interest. Although affected by the SNCF strike, the alternative time-tabling worked adequately although the scramble through Gare du Nord on the return leg was stressful. Our very experienced tour leader managed brilliantly. The variety of rock art sites visited was very well chosen. Our hotel, Des Roches, was a wonderful base - a friendly, very well cared for, homely hotel serving great breakfasts and with a comfortable bar. The restaurant where we had the included dinners was terrific. All-in-all, a great success.

Review by Grant who travelled 19-April-2018


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Karen was a delightful leader - always cheerful and helpful and calm when dealing with the train strike.The hotel was lovely - the only reason we did not rate it as excellent was the lack of kettle, etc in room. Strike made travel difficult.

Review by Parlett who travelled 19-April-2018


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Review by who travelled 19-April-2018


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Betty Denman and I already filled out your questionnaire and gave it to Karen. We were both extremely happy with the whole trip and all aspects of it. Full of appreciation that you managed to let the trip run so smoothly despite the rail strikes. Thanks for a brilliant new and unusual tour!

Review by Eaton who travelled 19-April-2018


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A brilliant trip with an outstanding tour leader. There were problems with the French rail strike but these were overcome by you with little inconvenience to us. The hotel was charming but the plumbing was extremely noisy,if anyone flushed their loo it sounded as if a lorry was going through my room! The meals provided in a local restaurant were delicious. The cave art was spectacular and very varied. The balance between the different caves was good and I felt we saw the right amount for those of us who are not cave art specialists! Beautiful countryside too. David our lecturer was very approachable and explained things well. I have been on quite a few Travel Edition tours but this has to be one of the best.

Review by who travelled 19-April-2018


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