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Photo of Les Eyzies

Visit Les Eyzies

Up to a million visitors per year (to this village of 900 inhabitants) ensure that Les Eyzies is often rather busy. Les Eyzies is in the heart of the Vezere Valley and surrounded by many, many caves and prehistoric drawings and shelters - including some of the most beautiful to be seen in Europe - and other prehistoric attractions.

Indeed, the cave-lined Vézère valley has been classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO. It was in Les Eyzies that Cro-Magnon man was discovered (the three skeletons were discovered at the end of the 19th century, as well as the cave paintings at Font de Gaume, nearby, one of the last prehistoric cave-painting sites that is still open to the public.

Explore Les Eyzies de Tayac

Les Eyzies really is at the centre of a very beautiful area, with the many cliff and rock formations, and surrounded by rivers, hills and tranquil countryside.

Les Eyzies runs along the Vezere Valley with the river Vezere on one side and the imposing overhanging cliff above the village on the other. The village is home to a number of important sites including the National Prehistory Museum which houses one of the world’s most complete collections of prehistoric artifacts.

Les Eyzies

The National Prehistory museum was once situated in the castle which is built into the overhanging rock. The museum is now in a modern purpose built building below and amongst its many exhibits is home to the skeleton of a new born Neanderthal which is one of the most intact Neanderthal skeletons in the world and was found in the prehistoric shelter at nearby Le-Moustier.

As part of the visit you can go onto the upper terrace and see the castle and the remains of the troglodyte dwellings up close and also the iconic statue of Primitive Man which stands above the village.

As well as the excellent Prehistory Museum the International Centre of Prehistory (Pole International de la Prehistoire) is just down the road and provides a wealth of information and displays about prehistoric times. It is free to visit too!

Also just a couple of hundred metres from the National Prehistory museum is Abri Pataud, a cro-magnon shelter dating back almost 40,000 years.

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On the edge of Les Eyzies is the Abri Cro-Magnon which is a prehistoric shelter and visitor centre. This is where the first anatomically modern human remains were found and there is a visitor centre with lots of information about Cro-Magnons, our ancestors, and you can also visit the prehistoric shelter and walk up a hunting trail with the sounds of prehistoric animals filling the forest.

Visitors now frequently use the town as a base for exploring the region. The town itself lies mostly along a main street with the cliffs looming up above the village. The houses and shops are a pleasant mix of stone and colombage (half-timber) and have a reasonable number of bars and restaurants for anyone planning to visit or use the town as a base for visiting the area.

Walk up above the main road on to the Rue du Moyen Age to see the houses above which are built into the cliff. Take a walk also behind the main road to the river where there are some charming houses built along the river edge. There are also picnic areas along the river edge.

The stream of La Beune meets the Vezere river at Les Eyzies and you can see the Moulin de la Beune in a picturesque setting on the edge of the stream.

Les Eyzies

Attractions nearby

There are numerous caves to visit in and around Les Eyzies, plus a number of prehistoric parks (perhaps more for the children...) for a glimpse of what life was really like in the Dordogne 10,000 years ago.

The caves of Font de Gaume, Lascaux and the Grotte du Grand-Roc are amongst the most important of the nearby caves. See Les Eyzies caves for more details of the more important caves and prehistoric settlements.

Take a look at our 1-day guide for the key things to do around Les Eyzies.

If you have seen enough caves then you could head west to the lively market town of Le Bugue which also has various activities for children or east to the stunning medieval town of Sarlat.

See also: 

Photos of Les Eyzies

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Map of Les Eyzies and places to visit

 
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Les Eyzies places to visit

Gardens of the Chateau de Campagne

Gardens of the Chateau de Campagne

The gardens of the Chateau de Campagne are very pretty as are the views of the stunning castle.

Gardens of the Chateau de Campagne guide
Campagne

Campagne

Campagne is a picturesque village with the grounds of a chateau to explore.

Campagne guide
Les Eyzies caves

Les Eyzies caves

Overview of the caves near to Les Eyzies.

Les Eyzies caves guide
The International Centre of Prehistory

The International Centre of Prehistory

The International Centre of Prehistory has exhibitions about prehistoric man.

The International Centre of Prehistory guide
Musee National de Prehistoire

Musee National de Prehistoire

The Musee National de Prehistoire in Les Eyzies contains a wealth of information and exhibits relating to the French paleolithic period.

Musee National de Prehistoire guide
Grotte du Grand Roc

Grotte du Grand Roc

A wonderful natural cave full of a rare form of tiny twisting stalactites.

Grotte du Grand Roc guide
 
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