Pont Valentre, fortified stone arch bridge crossing the Lot River at Cahors, France
Pont Valentre, fortified stone arch bridge crossing the Lot River at Cahors, France

Archaeological Tours

Spain & France: In the Shadows of Ancient Artists

Memorably complemented by a trans-Pyrenean journey through the splendid scenery of northeast Spain and across southwest France, this innovative itinerary is themed around a variety of opportunities to study at first hand some of Europe’s finest cave art and, with the aid of expert interpretation, to gain a true understanding of its uniquely important cultural and historical significance.

Across their long time-span of up to some 30,000 years these images and the methods used to create them have revealed to anthropologists many important clues into the evolution of the early human mind. The ancient subterranean caverns housing them also hold keys to other practices from an even earlier past before Neanderthals gave way to modern humans. The Castillo cave complex in Spanish Cantabria can even boast archaeological levels 130,000 years old.

Our route through France encompasses wider time horizons on occasion as we fast-forward through encounters with eventful chapters of this region’s tumultuous history – from Viking invasions, Albigensian crusades and Santiago pilgrimages to the Hundred Years’ War and church schisms. None of these will trouble us today though, especially during a relaxing visit to the beautiful Dordogne, an area widely renowned for its outstanding cuisine and wines.

What's included?

  •  Expert scholar & tour manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  Local transport & private transfer to/from airport and group hotel
  •  Entries & tips
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Four lectures from your expert scholar
  •  A name badge, luggage strap and bag tag
  •  A study guide, reading list, and other useful tour documentation compiled by your expert scholar and your Archaeological Tours team

Tour highlights:

  • Discover amazing examples of the earliest forms of human creativity and expression through cave art created originating as long as 30,000 years ago
  • View some of the accomplished Chauvet cave replica the most spectacular early Homo Sapiens imagery ever uncovered
  • Explore the famous Niaux cave and the paintings of the cathedral-like Black Salon with a prehistory scholar as your guide
  • Enjoy delicious regional cuisines and local wines – and enjoy luxurious stays in beautiful hotels
  • See the incredible grand ceiling at the Rouffignac cave and wander the newly opened replica center, Lascaux VI

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