Around France

7 Days In Dordogne: Lascaux to Brantôme

Caves, canals, and missteps describe day four of the Dordogne seven-day adventure. 

Overcast and rainy weather changed our planned route for day four of our Dordogne seven-day adventure Good thing we are driving. Instead of Rocamadour, we headed for the painted cave at Lascaux.

The route to Lascaux from our hotel wasn’t very long, so we gave ourselves a little time before setting out. Interestingly, the curvy roads and scenery along part of the way reminded us North Carolina girls of our own Blue Ridge Mountains. Same trees, same rocks, and hills. Or so it seemed.

Before reaching Lascaux, we read we were to buy tickets at the tourist office in the nearby town of Montignac. Not so. After stopping there…and a brief visit to an art exhibit in the local church where I came close to buying these handmade items…

Dordogne seven day adventure

Art and craft exhibit in Montignac

Dordogne seven day adventure

Dordogne seven day adventure

…we went to the Lascaux park site for tickets. Or let’s say we set off to find our way there.

Hint: If you navigate with a Garmin or other device, shut it off here. Follow the printed road signs to Lascaux. If not, you’ll spend your precious time going in circles.

Dordogne Seven Day Adventure: Lascaux II

Lascaux I is the original, authentic, painted cave found by four boys and their dog in 1940. The cave was closed in 1963 to prevent the drawings from being destroyed by human contact — mostly CO2. Lascaux II was opened to the public in 1983 as an exact replica of the original. Lascaux IV, a new, modern park and more exhibits, is under construction. It is supposed to open this year. Hmmm…

Photos were not allowed within the cave, but these photos may give you an idea of the park area and surroundings.

Dordogne seven day adventure


Dordogne seven day adventure
After lunch at a brasserie in Montignac, we dead-headed for Brantôme, mostly driving on a super-highway.

Yes, foie gras again. A Dordogne hamburger, with thin slices of duck breast, too.

Dordogne seven day adventure
Dordogne Seven Day Adventure: Brantome

Ohh la la! Step aside, Sarlat, I may like Brantôme best yet! What a beautiful town!

Dordogne seven day adventure


By the time we’d left Montignac, the sun was shining. The perfect setting for Brantôme. The town is straight out of a fairytale, with knights in shiny armor.

Dordogne seven day adventure

Brantôme is on an island surrounded by the River Dronne. The town’s centerpiece is the abbey, founded by cave-dwelling monks in the eighth century.

Dordogne seven day adventure
The abbey, the caves, and the bell tower said to be the oldest in France, are must-sees. The carvings in the cave and the tale of the Abbey through the centuries are remarkable. It’s one of my favorite sites along this journey.

Dordogne seven day adventure
Dordogne seven day adventure

Dordogne seven day adventure

Dordogne seven day adventure

Dordogne seven day adventure

Hint: If you plan to have dinner in Brantôme, you’ll have to wait until 7 pm. 

Back to Sarlat

When we discovered we wouldn’t find a place to eat dinner in Brantôme, and it was after 6pm and a two-hour drive back to our hotel, we decided to go straight to the neighborhood restaurant near our hotel.

Arriving back in Marquay, the hotel manager, Joel, gave directions to the cafe …only a few steps away in the village. Also, when we arrived, the restaurant was closed. We dragged our hungry selves back to the hotel, where Joel had another suggestion.

“Just five minutes down the road,” he  said, drawing a map with curved lines and “x’s.”

Back in the car, we went …in the dark. By the time we had traveled for ten minutes, we knew we had missed the turn to the restaurant. Oh well, Sarlat was five minutes away.

 “Stop at the first place that’s open,” we said, almost simultaneously.

The first place was a bar that served pizzas. It appeared to be men-only.

“Never mind,” the waiter was gorgeous.

Dordogne seven day adventure

When I told him he looked like a movie star, but I couldn’t remember his name, the handsome man looked puzzled. When I told him the star was married to Penelope Cruz,  he said: “Javier Bardem.”

We all burst into laughter.

Dordogne seven day adventure
The black cloud that had gathered over our evening was lifted.  And the pizza was delicious.

Tomorrow, Rocamodore.

Stay tuned…

For more on the Dordogne

7 Days in Dordogne: Step-by-Step 

7 Days in Dordogne: Albi to Cahors

7 Days In Dordogne: Lascaux to Brantôme

7 Days in Dordogne: Rocamadour

7 Days in Dordogne: Market Day in Sarlat

7 Days in Dordogne: Up, Up and Away!

7 Days in Dordogne: The Finale


8 replies »

  1. Went to Lascaux and sarlat today. Staying in idyllic bordielles, we’ll check out brantome tomorrow. Thanks for your writings, lots of good tips.

    • Oh I’m jealous! Have a great time. Tomorrow I’m posting about Sarlat. Would love to know if you agree. Read ahead on “My Travels” and perhaps you’ll find more tips on places I went to and enjoyed. Thanks for the note!

  2. Debby, we never did find Lascaux. We finally went to the other cave and it was nteresting. Directions were terrible on GPS andd signs didn’t help.

    • Totally agree about the directions. That’s how we ended up at the craft show! But we persisted. Now I understand there’s another Lascaux exhibition to explore.

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