8.50 am - Pick up at your accommodation in Sarlat or surrounding area.
9.00am - Depart from Sarlat
- Visit Pech Merle decorated cave
- Free time for lunch in Cabrerets
- Visit Cougnac decorated cave
6.00pm - Arrive in Sarlat
Take in the Cave Drawings of the Pech Merle Cave and Learn its Fascinating History
The Quercy region is on your program for today. Located next to the small village of cabrerets in the lot area, the grotte du pech merle is one of the most amazing caves to visit. Open to the public since 1926, the cave is famous for its rock art, prehistoric paintings and cave art that dates back 25,000 years ago.
Completely isolated in a wooded area, the cave presents the unique particularity of possessing both rich parietal paintings as well as fascinating natural concretions. Amidst amazing stalactites and calcite pearls the guided tour of this very large cave prehistoric cave will have you admire art work that dates back to nearly 30 000 years. Highlights of the visit include bison and mammoths drawn in black, heads of bears engraved in the rock, negative hands painted as a stencil or the more than famous spotted horses, an exceptionally well preserved prehistoric masterpiece.
Upon arrival, follow your guide and visit the cave with a local guide. We will program the English tour for you so that you may take in a maximum of information. If ever the English tour was not available due to the high number of visitors, please note that a booklet will be handed out to you so that you may follow the tour. Your guide will also be with you in case you have questions as the tour takes place. After the visit, we will take you to Cabrerets village or another small village of the area so that you may have some free time for lunch.
Experience intimate Cougnac, one of the most stunning caves of the region
In the afternoon, reach the Grotte de Cougnac or Cougnac decorated Cave. Discovered in 1949 by René BORNE, Jean MAZET, Roger BOUDET, Maurice BOUDET et Alphonse SAUVANT, the main gallery was classified as a historic monument in 1954. During the visit of this part of the cave, you will admire human figures and human forms, animal figures such as Mégacéros, Ibex and mammouths. Cro Magnon, with a lot of ingenuity, has utilized the relief of the caves so as to render the volume of the animals.
As in the cave of Pech Merle, Cougnac offers the visitor two treasures: A geological treasure as you will admire a rich density of concretions composed of thousands of stalactite and stalagmite falling from the ceiling or erecting themselves from the soil. A prehistoric treasure as everywhere our ancestors have left some traces along the columns and the walls of their cave art. Radiocarbon dates the cave to 25,000 years BP and most of the prehistoric cave paintings in Cougnac include animals, hand prints, geometrical signs. The guided tour of the cave with comments made about the prehistoric paintings and drawings will allow you to better comprehend how the artists who came to dialogue with the wall. The commented visit of Cougnac cave will last about one hour.