Caves and Castles of Dordogne, France

Last Updated on December 4, 2022 by Natalie Rabinowitz

Chateau de Losse Ā© Natalie Rabinowitz
The Modern Human

In 1868, in a shallow cave called Cro-Magnon, workman Francois Berthoumeyrou found a fossil skull that French geologist Ɖdouard Lartet would recognize as the first of several fossil skulls belonging to our speciesā€”Homo sapiens, the modern human.

Lascaux II Ā© Natalie Rabinowitz

In September 1940, Marcel Ravidat, 17, with his dog, Robot, discovered a hole in the hill of Lascaux when Robot fell into the hole. As a result, Marcel descended, hearing Robot from deep down inside the ground. He is most likely the first person in 17,000 years to see the incredible find.

Grotte des Combarelles
Grotte des Combarelles Ā© Natalie Rabinowitz

Lascaux was open to the public from 1948 and closed in 1963 due to the continuous stream of visitors’ increased carbon dioxide and humidity, decaying the prehistoric paintings. Today, visitors can see the replica at Lascaux II and experience the same excitement as the four young men.

See and Do

Welcome to the Dordogne region, along the Dordogne river. One of the cradles of humanity, offering an abundance of cave paintings to see and the Prehistoric history of the earliest homo sapiens. Along with kayaking, stunning Middle Ages Architecture and fortified castles dating back to 1,000 AD.

Maison Forte de Reignac Ā© Natalie Rabinowitz
For the Love of Food

Local delicious foods include Confit de Canard, foie gras, truffles, and Bergerac wines. Highly recommend an experience of farm-to-table dining.

Fromage at Sarlat-la-CanĆ©da Ā©Natalie Rabinowitz

As I was travelling alone, my trip was a rare find, all-inclusive, with an archaeologist as our guide and his hospitable wife who welcomed us into their home.

PIP (PĆ“le d’interprĆ©tation de la PrĆ©histoire) Ā© Natalie Rabinowitz
Getting Around

I still plan to go back without a car and travel by a combination of trains, kayak, small-group tours, walking and rely on the ever helpful, Rome2rio.

Chateau Castelnau
Chateau Castelnau Ā©Natalie Rabinowitz
Pech Merle Ā© Natalie Rabinowitz


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