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Cave tours - Shut out of Font de Gaume, any other ideas?

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Sarasota, Florida
posts: 44
reviews: 136
Cave tours - Shut out of Font de Gaume, any other ideas?

We will be staying either in Sarlat, Beynac or La Roque Gageac for 3 days in early Oct. of 2012. Tried to reserve a tour for Font de Gaume via email and was told they are already full and we would need to show up the day of and see if they have any spots left. My questions:

Does anyone know the odds of 2 of us getting a walk-on spot on a tour of Font de Gaume for that time of year?

Can you reserve in advance for Lascaux 2? If so, how?

We'd really like to see an authentic cave - what are some other recommendations for the vicinity and can you reserve a tour for them ahead of time?

We've seen some info about Pech Merle - how far is that from Sarlat (or Beynac or La Roque) and is it worth a visit?

Complicating matters - my spouse has somewhat limited mobility -- so walking/climbing long distances is difficult (although not impossible with a walking stick and small portable stool.)

Thanks for any help - we are really disappointed that Font de Gaume may not happen, as it seemed really interesting and just within my spouse's walking ability, so any other alternatives are appreciated!

Bayside, Wisconsin
posts: 265
reviews: 174
1. Re: Cave tours - Shut out of Font de Gaume, any other ideas?

We were given the following contact for a person guide to Font de Gaume. We made contact, but due to an issue on our part, we were unable to keep our appointment. I pass this information on without actually using him. This is from 2008, so I have no idea if he is still in the area or the business.

I hope this works out!

Bart Vranken

Guide – Interpreter – Lecturer

Prehistory – History – Art-history

La Combe

24620 Les Eyzies

France

Tel. : +33.(0)5.53.35.56.27

Mob. : +33.(0)6.83.29.59.45

e-mail : bart2407@aol.com

Palmetto, Florida
posts: 2,298
reviews: 10
2. Re: Cave tours - Shut out of Font de Gaume, any other ideas?

Hi

For three days I think You may find Sarlat a good place to stay. It's quaint but big enough to explore for that long. Easy drive from there to sights. Font du gaume is tough, you may have to get there first thing in am. Lascaux II has many time slots. We just showed up and got tickets at Montignac, then went to cave, and this was in June too. No need to reserve in advance.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 16,519
reviews: 48
3. Re: Cave tours - Shut out of Font de Gaume, any other ideas?

It is disappointing about the Font de Gaume which is quite a marvel but Lascaux II is also amazing and you don't need to reserve -- they run tours continuously -- we have done it twice and had no trouble getting a tour within a couple of hours

there is another real cave you might try in the area -- Rouffignac Cave. You go in a little train deep in to the hillside and see a number of paintings particularly of mammoths. it is not as artistically elegant as the Font de Gaume or Lascaux but it is very interesting.

And definitely see the movie Cave of Forgotten Dreams which takes you on a tour of the Charvet cave recently discovered which will never be open to tourism

Newcastle-under-Lyme
posts: 19
4. Re: Cave tours - Shut out of Font de Gaume, any other ideas?

Hi. You could try Les Combarelles which is only 2 mins up the road from Font de Gaume. Figures are carved into the rock (no paintings)-and are amazing!! Only 6 people per visit and the floor is fairly level (few steps up to get in). You have to get a ticket in the Faunt de Gaume shop. We booked and only had to wait a couple of hours (maybe we were lucky so go early). Price was 7 euro 50, and the tour takes an hour.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 29,810
reviews: 7
5. Re: Cave tours - Shut out of Font de Gaume, any other ideas?

as Janet said, no reservations necessary at Lascaux -- and it has the benefit of being paved and level (with time to sit during the discussions)

Font du Gaume is not easy access by anyone's standards -- it's several hundred yards up a steep hill, and once inside, involves some clambering around in near-dark. It's a cave, so the floor is dirt and rocks and uneven, although they've improved the footing in recent years.

It's not impossible, but it's not easy access.

Edited: 3:18 am, July 25, 2012
England, United...
posts: 2,707
reviews: 20
6. Re: Cave tours - Shut out of Font de Gaume, any other ideas?

We were staying in Montignac and so purchased our tickets for Lascaux II from the tourist office (you get a discount if you also purchase tickets for Le Thon which is a small prehistoric park just outside Montignac). We also visited Rouffignac on the train. Just be aware that the commentary is mainly in French (our guide did throw in a few words for the benefit of my husband).

The paintings in the caves at Lascaux are reproductions of the original (hence the name Lascaux II) but they are very well done and there are tours in both English and French with a very interesting commentary.

Incidentally, we had a similar problem to Font de Gaume when trying to purchase online tickets for Padirac. Even the Tour Office couldn't help. We just turned up (the queue was short over the lunchtime period when everyone else seemed to be in the restaurants) and were able to get in without difficulty. We visited in late September/early October.

Edited: 5:39 pm, July 25, 2012
Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro
posts: 30,835
reviews: 22
7. Re: Cave tours - Shut out of Font de Gaume, any other ideas?

There is an article about the Rouffignac Cave in the local newspaper today. It does look very interesting.The article does say it is closed at lunchtime 12-2.

http://www.grottederouffignac.fr/cadreGB.asp

I'd like to go myself but it's too far from where I am staying.

8. Re: Cave tours - Shut out of Font de Gaume, any other ideas?

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