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Dordogne Day Tour : Prehistory and The Art of the Caves from Sarlat

star-4.559 Reviews
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Sarlat-la-Canéda, France
Dordogne Day Tour : Prehistory and The Art of the Caves from Sarlat

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon9 hours  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Overview

Journey back to prehistoric times on this full-day small-group tour of the Dordogne’s historic highlights from Sarlat. Start with a visit to the National Prehistory Museum in Les Eyzies de Tayac to marvel over the world’s largest collection of Paleolithic artifacts. Next, enjoy skip-the-line entry to the Lascaux IV cave, a remarkable reconstruction of the original Lascaux cave, famed for its prehistoric reliefs. Finally, view the original drawings adorning the UNESCO-listed Rouffignac Cave, which dates back over 15,000 years.
  • Venture to the French countryside to explore prehistoric caves
  • Learn about the 15,000-year history of France
  • All entrance fees to the caves and Prehistory Museum included
  • A small group ensures personalized experience
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Bottled water
English speaking qualified driver guide
Live commentary on board
Professional guide
Lunch
Gratuities
Place Pasteur - Sarlat-la-Canéda , 24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda, France

Please meet your guide 10 minutes before departure Departure time : 9am except in July : 8.30am

This activity will end right where it started.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Children under 4 years old are not allowed on the tour
  • Child rate applies only when sharing with 2 paying adults
  • It is cold in the caves (13°C / 56°F), warm clothing is strongly recommended
  • Infant seats available
  • Electric train visit in Rouffignac, comments made in French during time of travel. Guide will introduce cave beforehand and will make commentaries at the bottom of the cave in English
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Please note that the infant seats are available upon request, please inform us at the moment of the booking (number and age of the children)
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 8 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Ophorus
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Dordogne Day Tour : Prehistory and The Art of the Caves from Sarlat?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Dordogne Day Tour : Prehistory and The Art of the Caves from Sarlat.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Dordogne Day Tour : Prehistory and The Art of the Caves from Sarlat?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Dordogne Day Tour : Prehistory and The Art of the Caves from Sarlat.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Dordogne Day Tour : Prehistory and The Art of the Caves from Sarlat?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Dordogne Day Tour : Prehistory and The Art of the Caves from Sarlat.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Dordogne Day Tour : Prehistory and The Art of the Caves from Sarlat?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Dordogne Day Tour : Prehistory and The Art of the Caves from Sarlat.

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Traveler Tips


  • "Few tourists are allowed at a time so it is well controlled." See review
  • "It was our last stop of the day and did not allow for adequate time to see this fascinating sight." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
59 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 59 reviews
star-5
This tour made prehistory come alive for us!
Jennifer_C
, Jun 2022
Our guide, Martin, was prompt, professional, and knowledgeable. The small size of the group was ideal, and the van very comfortable. Martin's explanations made the Museum of Prehistory so memorable, pointing out many exquisite tools out of huge displays, and really walking us through the different Homo species and timelines. The Grotte du Rouffignac was amazing. Huge, with cave art so pristine it looks like it was done recently. Having an English-speaking guide was essential as the tours are only in French. This cave was the highlight of the trip! During the drive to Lascaux IV, the description of the medieval village of Madeleine really made it come alive. It's hard to envision a multistory village of 1500 without his providing context. Finally, Lascaux IV was a technological marvel and had beautiful cave art, but so so crowded. Not the tour's fault, as it's timed entry from the museum, but a real contrast to the experience at the Grotte du Rouffignac.
star-5
Great guide!!
Eloise_P
, Jun 2022
The guide (Benoit) was fabulous!! We’ll versed in human prehistory and the understanding of the process and willing to share his knowledge so we could learn.
star-4
Into history!
Keith_R
, Jun 2022
First and most important…Benoit (spelling?) was fantastic! He is full of information, willing to chat about things, has a good sense of humor and willing to share his ideas! The four of us in the van enjoyed being with him and always getting an answer plus for our curiosity. The museum is a huge WOW with relics from ancient history and Benoit could describe them completely for us. Lascaux 2 (?) was a phenomenal ride through. The only down side was the tour through Lascaux 4. Great cave reproduction with a Tour guide who gave us lots of info. Unfortunately our group-as all- were too big and the showing of the cave walls was difficult to see plus hearing our tour guide was poor
star-5
Wonderful day trip
Russell_M
, May 2022
Maartin was magnificent. He was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The trip was excellent. We learned a lot and had fun. All our questions were answered
star-5
Truly wonderful day full of prehistory
karenlouise_c
, May 2022
Martins knowledge of prehistory is extensive, I learned so much. Also manages time very well which was important given the museum’s schedule. And he had very good lunch suggestions. A wonderful day!
star-5
An enlightening tour
Helen_S
, Oct 2019
We had an excellent small group tour of the full day pre-history sites with Emilion, who speaks perfect English. He was a low key but very informative and helpful guide. My only regret is that we really could have used more time (1/2 hour or more) at Lascaux IV. It was our last stop of the day and did not allow for adequate time to see this fascinating sight. Nonetheless, I'm glad that we were able to have this experience.
star-5
The Caves
Louise_M
, Sep 2019
Wonderful day. Our guide Florence was extremely knowledgeable and very friendly. We saw the prehistoric Museum first, a very good way to start the day’s tour. The second place we went to was in Rufignac where we were taken down into the caves on a little train. The guide there was passionate and very informative. The last place was Lascaux, the re-creation of the original caves found in the 50’s — so much to absorb, truly amazing. An excellent day. Highly recommended.
star-5
A wonderful Trip to PreHistory
Karen B
, Aug 2019
This was a wonderful experience. We got to experience a prehistoric cave by a small tram. Few tourists are allowed at a time so it is well controlled. The museum of Prehistory was also on the tour and it was clarifying and illuminating. The Lascaux museum experience is so well done. It pus the 21st century human in touch with our forbears and explains techniques of how they painted in these caves. Mind boggling to be so in touch with the past.
icon Response from Host , Aug 2019
Bonjour Karen, Thank you for this 5-star review! We are delighted to see how much you enjoyed your full-day tour in Dordogne. Indeed, Lascaux caves and the museum of Prehistory are very impressive and interesting. Again, thank you for your recommendation, we look forward to your next visit in France. Kind regards, Carole from Ophorus
star-1
Bad experience with Viator tour this trip
Victoria_H
, Jul 2019
After fabulous experiences with Viator tours in Europe, I signed up quickly for this trip--the major reason I came to SW France. I am a historian and wanted very much to immerse myself and my grandchildren in the cave art produced by people 15-30 thousand years ago. Reviews talked about the wonderful guides other travelers were given. Sadly, this tour went poorly for my family. The tour guide for Viator's local contractors (OPHORUS Excursions Tours in France) had no sign alerting us to their van, parked on the street instead of in the large parking lot adjacent. The meeting place the Viator confirmation had said was "Place Pasteur," which was that parking lot. The guide, Florence, was irritated that we had trouble finding her. She insisted that we should have known that the bus stop was the correct meeting place. Then we had a problem of our own making--just as I was looking for the tour guide, my son realized after reading the difficult French information that by the time we returned, the price would skyrocket for parking. He set off for the nearest free parking, which was a 10 minute walk back. There was no time-limited entry to the Prehistoric Museum, and the three other passengers in the van were quite willing to wait for him, but after 5 minutes, Florence announced that she would wait no longer, so my grandchildren, my daughter-in-law, and I were left standing on the street while Florence drove off. My son returned within 5 minutes, but, alas, it was too late. Florence also refused to let us catch up with them at the museum, nor would she provide the tickets we paid for for us to return the next day (we did return and purchased tickets on our own). We met her at the Roffignac cave, where we were handed tickets--no English information about the cave. The tour showed us the paintings, but since the tour was in French, we missed a great deal. The same situation obtained at Lascaux IV. Florence handed us tickets but provided no additional information. I had hoped for a guide like the ones in the reviews I read about this tour, someone who would make an effort to interest the grandchildren in paleolithic art. The initial mix up was our fault, no question, but in my previous experience with Viator tours, the guides bent over backwards to accommodate clients. Bottom line: expect no leeway if you meet for this tour in Sarlat. And know that Viator will not refund any portion of the fee you paid.
icon Response from Host , Jul 2019
Dear Guest, We have received your review and read it with great attention. Since 2012 we have been running tours from Sarlat and a very large majority of these are positive, so we were quite surprised when your rating was published. As you mention, it is the quality of our guides that have made the reputation of our tours in the Dordogne and Florence has been with us for several years and her professionalism and guide qualities are mentioned in many reviews. The real issue concerning your tour, as you admit, is the fact that you arrived late. When this situation occurs, our guides have the possibility to wait for a certain amount of time but at some point, they do have to leave so it does not penalize the other participants – of whom you make no mention of but who did pay for their tour and are also entitled to expect a great service from us. Because of this, you and your family missed out on a perfectly organized tour that includes timed visits, live commentaries & an insider’s knowledge of the area. Our guides, including Florence, also go ‘out of their way’ to accommodate our clients in the best possible way when any unforeseen event occurs but this can happen only if the clients actually make it to the tour. My suggestion when traveling with your family in a small group of more than 4 persons would be to book a private tour. For just about the same amount, you would have obtained a much more flexible option that is just not possible when booking a shared tour. The Ophorus Team
star-5
Loved this tour
margaret_p
, May 2019
Our driver was very friendly and knowledgeable. Museums can be overbearing. Florence pointed out the important info. The guide at Lascaux made the tour very enjoyable. I hadn't expected this tour to include this much. 9 hours is a long time, but the information was tremendous.
star-5
Our tour of Lascaux and the caves of...
GREGORY_L
, Jun 2018
Our tour of Lascaux and the caves of Rouffignac was just amazing. We were in a small group of 8 and our driver/guide Marion F. with Orphorus Excursions was professional, knowledgable, and made the experience one we'll never forget. Marion's communication skills were excellent as was the passion and respect she has for the area. Our visit to the National Prehistory Museum before going to the caves gave us the foundation for seeing the prehistoric works of art in perspective. We highly recommend this tour.
star-5
We had an amazing day visiting...
Katherine c
, Oct 2017
We had an amazing day visiting Rouffignac and Lascaux caves with our congenial and very knowledgeable guide, Florence, who spoke fluent English. The caves exceeded our expectations and the countryside was spectacular.
star-5
The combination of the Pre-history...
Lolita A
, Oct 2017
The combination of the Pre-history museum, the 'real' Rouffignac Cave and Lascaux iv was very informative and entertaining. The extra stops like for lunch at Saint Leon sur Vezere were a treat. Our driver/guide, Marianne, was knowledgeable, professional and fun at the same time. She even went the extra mile to arrange our taxi ride from Sarlat back to Bergerac after we learnt that the tour would be returning well after the last train had left. This is the first glowing review I have ever given. I highly recommend this tour and Marianne.
star-5
Wonderful Tour! My husband and I...
LeAnn W
, Oct 2017
Wonderful Tour! My husband and I did the small group tour. We visited the National Museum of Prehistory for the perfect introduction to the region and what you will see on the tour. Then off to Grottee De Rouffignac going deep into the cave via small train to see amazing prehistoric etchings and art. We finished with a visit/tour of the Lasceaux IV the museum and reproduction of the original cave. Marion Ophorus Tours was an excellent guide. She is extremely knowledgeable about the subject matter. She directed us to the information and facts to give us a basis for what we saw, without overwhelming us. She stopped along the way to point out examples of communities built against the rock cliffs and dispelled many myths about Neanderthal people. Great education of the era and the area. I would highly recommend this tour.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
We saw the caves at Grotte de...
Stephen B
, Sep 2017
We saw the caves at Grotte de Rouffignac and Lascaux IV. Also went first to the museum at Les Eyzies which put everything into perspective. Had a great day. Our guide Miriam was very friendly and knowledgeable.
star-5
We had Ben ! He was sooo...
Fernweh
, Jul 2017
We had Ben ! He was sooo knowledgeable, intelligent, hilarious, engaging and wonderful. You can tell this is his passion and he is so kind and lovely we had such an amazing time, my husband and i and one other couple. It was a fabulous luxury exclusive experience the highlight of our vacation!!
star-5
Normally, we do not sign up for...
Barbara T
, Jun 2017
Normally, we do not sign up for tours but we are so glad that we took this one! Ben Benoît was a very knowledgeable guide whose enthusiasm for pre-historic art was infectious. He inspired us to visit even more caves! He guided us expertly through the museum in Les Eyzie - where we could easily have gotten bogged down and lost. The trip to Rouffignac was amazing, perhaps more amazing than Lascaux which we knew was a copy and which suffers from having so many people visiting. The stop in St. Léon and our lunch at Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe were also enjoyable. We even went back the next day. We would highly recommend this tour for the extra insight that you gain, for the way you don't have to worry about reservations or waiting in lines, and for the wonderful guides. If we return to the Dordogne, we plan to sign up for more tours!
star-5
This tour should be on your list...
Elizabeth S
, Jan 2017
This tour should be on your list. Our Viator tour guide for the day - an English speaking young man from the area who was very, very informed about the caves and passionate about the theories of how and why the paintings were produced - could not have been better. I wish I could remember his name because he really deserves a big shout out. Everything was seemless and on time. He did a great job at keeping us all together and engaged. Our group numbered about 8 - all English speakers. The Museum of Prehistory gives a very good foundation for the other sites included on this tour. Once again, our guide interpreted what we were seeing to great effect. For me, Rouffignac was one of the high points of my cave visits during my 8 day stay in the area. We were fortunate to once again have a guide at that site who is English speaking. He unfurled the wonders of Rouffignac with great drama. That cave is really breathtaking. Lascaux IV was showing its age. I'm glad that Lascaux will be opening a brand new exhibit that supports this site to much better effect and is better able to impart these glorious paintings. So this tour is highly recommended. Just go!
star-4
This was a very good tour. Our guide...
Kenneth D
, Jun 2016
This was a very good tour. Our guide Meriam was very good and knowledgeable . We had a good tour.
star-5
This is a marvelous small-group tour...
Linda B
, Apr 2016
This is a marvelous small-group tour with an English-speaking guide. Nancy in the office was more than willing to accommodate us with an alternative pick-up site as we were located some distance from Sarlat. We met Ben, the guide, and two others total of seven on the tour at the pre-history museum in Les Eyzies and spent the day at Lascaux and Rouffignac. Ben was knowledgeable and congenial. This was a marvelous tour!

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