Grotte de Rouffignac

Top choice in The Dordogne

Hidden in woodland 18km north of Les Eyzies, this tri-level cave is one of the most complex and rewarding to see in the Dordogne. Board an electric train to explore a 1km maze of tunnels in the massive cavern plunging 8km into the earth.

Highlights include the frieze of 10 mammoths in procession, one of the largest cave paintings ever discovered, and the Great Ceiling, with more than 65 figures from ibex to aurochs. You’ll also see dens of long-extinct cave bears, and 17th-century graffiti.

Tickets are only sold at the cave and do sell out, so arrive by 9am in July and August to get tickets for any time that day. April to June and September to October, afternoon tickets are only available after 2pm.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Dordogne attractions

2. Maison Forte de Reignac

3.92 MILES

This Tursac chateau was built straight into the rock face that used to shelter prehistoric humans. Now it's kitted out with period furnishing and displays…

3. Grotte du Grand Roc


Around 3km northwest of Les Eyzies along the D47, this cave contains an array of glittering stalactites and stalagmites. A joint ticket (adult/child €11/6…

4. La Roque St-Christophe

4.16 MILES

On a sheer cliff face 80m above the Vézère, this 900m-long series of terraces and caves has been a practically unassailable natural fortress for almost 50…

5. Abri Cro-Magnon

4.62 MILES

Interactive displays trace the history and stories of Cro-Magnon people; there is a small rock shelter accessible above the site.

6. Abri Pataud

5.01 MILES

About 250m north of the Musée National de Préhistoire, this Cro-Magnon abri (shelter) was inhabited over a period of 15,000 years starting some 37,000…

7. Musée National de Préhistoire

5.07 MILES

Inside a marvellous modern building alongside the cliffs, this museum provides a fine prehistory primer, with the most comprehensive collection of…

8. Grotte des Combarelles

5.15 MILES

This narrow, very long cave 1.5km east of Font de Gaume was the first rediscovered in the valley, in 1901, and is renowned for its animal engravings. Look…