Cave of Font-de-Gaume, Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, Aquitaine, France 

This extraordinary cave contains the only original polychrome (as opposed to single colour) paintings still open to the public. About 14,000 years ago, prehistoric artists created the gallery of more than 230 figures, including bison, reindeer, horses, mammoths, bears and wolves, although only about 25 are included in the fantastically atmospheric tour. Look out for the famous Chapelle des Bisons, a scene of courting reindeer and stunningly realised horses, several caught in mid-movement. Try to reserve ahead by phone as far in advance as you can.

Font de Gaume is such a rare and valuable site that there is always talk of the cave being closed for its own protection. Visitor numbers are currently limited to 78 per day, and after the few tickets available for advance reservation are gone, you must line up very, very early on the day to get one. The small 45-minute guided tours are occasionally in English.

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