Rouffignac is one of the best prehistoric decorated caves. There are over 250 figures drawn in black and engraved throughout this large cave. The artwork is estimated to be 14,000 years old. It is called "the cave of 100 mammoths" but in fact there are 160 mammoths, about one-third of the total mammoth drawings in prehistoric art. The most impressive part of the cave is the Great Ceiling, which features over 65 black drawings of horses, ibex, mammoths and bison. Cave bears also hibernated in this cave and their claw marks are still visible on the walls.
This cave is also famous for its electric train that visitors ride for the tour. Since the majority of the drawings are a kilometer inside the cave, and the floor is not really suitable for walking, you ride a small train for the majority of the tour. The last stop on the tour is the Great Ceiling, where the train stops and you walk a few meters over flat ground to stand under the ceiling, admiring the smiling animals.
This cave is the best cave for people with limited mobility. You have to walk 80 m over flat ground to get to the train and then just a few meters to see the Great Ceiling. It's also good for children because they can't wander off. This cave does feel colder than the others because you're not walking around, so you might want a warmer coat. This cave has a great gift shop, so stock up on souvenirs here!
Guided tours only, lasting about one hour. You can't make reservations. Tours are in French, an ipod touch with a summary of the tour in 10 languages is available to rent. In July and August all tickets for the day go on sale at 9 am so you will need to go early to make sure you get tickets. Your tour time may be several hours after you buy tickets and there isn't much to do in the area, so it's probably a good idea to pack a lunch to eat while you wait for your tour. During the other months it is not so crowded and tickets for morning tours are sold at 10 am, while afternoon tickets are sold at 2 pm. Closed November through March.
Address: off road D32, 24580 Rouffignac Saint Cernin, France
Services: Free parking, gift shop, toilets, picnic area, vending machines