Laugerie-Basse, Dordogne visitors guide

Photo of Laugerie-Basse in Vezere Valley (Aquitaine region)

Visit Laugerie-Basse, France

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Laugerie-Basse is a prehistoric shelter situated next to the lovely natural cave of the Grotte du Grand Roc a few kilometers out of Les-Eyzies.

Les-Eyzies is a world renowned centre for prehistoric caves and shelters and Laugerie-Basse is one of the UNESCO listed prehistoric sites of the area.

Explore Laugerie Basse

The prehistoric shelter of Laugerie Basse was used by prehistoric man between 15000 and 10000 years ago. Archaelogists have been working at the site, which is in fact two shelters, for many years now.

immodest venus

Before your visit you can watch a video explaining who lived here and the range of finds that have been found during archaeological digs. The range of tools and particulary the way the tools have been decorated with pictures of birds and mammals is fascinating.

There is a display of some of the finds, the highlight of which is a tiny but wonderful carving of a woman known as the "Venus Impudique" or "Immodest Venus" found by Marquis Paul de Vibraye in 1864. The tiny statue looks to be of a naked young girl and is very rare as prehistoric man rarely carved or painted human forms.

Exploring the shelter you can see why prehistoric man chose this site. There is a huge natural overhang in the rock providing natural shelter. There is running water by the shelter and its position is raised above the valley providing some natural defense from predators.

Indeed there is also a lookout cave quite a way up the cliff . Even without the lookout cave there are excellent views over the valley from here and particularly further up the site at the entrence to the Grotte du Grand Roc.

Laugerie Basse

If you are travelling with children they can conduct a "virtual dig" using borrowed tablets and at certain points in the abri they can search for various archaeological treasures and answer questions as part of the game.

Visiting Laugerie-Basse

Most people will want to visit Laugerie-Basse as part of a visit to the magical natural cave system of the Grotte du Grand Roc next door. A combined ticket can be bought to reduce the price.

The shelter is open most days but closed in January and in low season it is closed on Mondays.

Places to Visit Nearby

Les Eyzies is a centre of prehistory and so there are lots of shelters and caves in the area for anyone with an interest in prehistory. One of the most important is the Grotte du Font de Gaume as it is one of the last with prehistoric paintings still to be open.

The Lascaux caves whilst a copy of the original - closed to protect the paintings -  is quite magnificent and definitely to be recommended.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Dordogne guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also:

Map of Laugerie-Basse and places nearby

Visit near Laugerie-Basse with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Dordogne

Plan your visit to Laugerie-Basse, Dordogne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Decorated caves of the Vezere Valley: national monument (2 km)
  • Abri de Cap Blanc: national monument (2 km)
  • Abri of Laugerie-Haute: national monument (2 km)
  • Grotte du Grand Roc: site of natural beauty (2 km)
  • Font-de-Gaume: national monument (3 km)
  • Eglise de saint-Pierre (Audrix): religious monument (9 km)
  • Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere: most beautiful village (10 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Léonce (Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere): religious monument (10 km)
  • Limeuil: most beautiful village (11 km)
  • Abbaye de Saint Martial (Paunat): religious monument (12 km)
  • Jardins du château de Losse: remarkable garden (13 km)
  • Jardin de Planbuisson: remarkable garden (14 km)

The French version of this page is at Laugerie-Basse (Francais)