My family of six will be spending the day driving from Provence (Gordes) to the Dordogne (Sarlat) in mid-July, driving past Pech-Merle in the mid-afternoon. Are private guides allowed to escort small groups in the caves, and if so, how might identify a good English-speaking guide and make prior arrangements for a tour? Thanks
In order to preserve the drawings they allow only 700 visitors per day. In July they are open until 18:00. As it likely to be crowded in July you need to reserve a place on their site. The entry is made by groups escorted by a guide. Regarding an English guide you will have to contact them as although they do have an English version I'm not sure they have an English guide.
I do not believe that it is possible to enter the caves without one of their guides. A private guide would not be allowed. The numbers of visitors are strictly controlled and you will need to book a tour with an allocated group. If you were to just go there on the day you wish to visit, I think you would have trouble getting in. You would need to book in advance. Our guide did not speak English, but he new enough (together with my appalling French) to explain the highlights to us and he went out of his way to do that.
Get quick answers from Grotte du Pech-Merle staff and past visitors.