Les Eyzies, Dordogne: tourism & sightseeing
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Les Eyzies is a village in the heart of the Vezere Valley (in the centre of the Dordogne) and within easy access of a great number of prehistoric caves and drawings and remnants. It is because of this, and the beauty of the surrounding natural environment, that the village is a very popular base for visitors exploring this unique region.
Because of the remarkable number of prehistoric sites nearby Les Eyzies calls itself the 'world capital of prehistory'.
Things to do in Les Eyzies
It is said that les Eyzies receives over one million visitors a year. Apart from the village itself which is a typical (very small) Dordogne village with yellow stone houses the most popular attractions include:
- the National Prehistory Museum, housing one of the world’s most complete collections of prehistoric artifacts.
- Abri Pataud, a cro-magnon shelter that is one of the oldest in Europe dating from almost 40,000 years ago
- the cave at Font de Gaume is on the edge of the village of Les Eyzies and contains some of the oldest cave paintings in the world (and the oldest where you can actually see the original paintings, rather than a copy - the paintings are less dramatic than those at Lascaux but the knowledge that you are stood in the exact same place as the original artist gives these paintings a particular poignancy).
In addition to the many caves and cliff settlements to visit in and around Les Eyzies, there are also a number of prehistoric parks in the region recreating life 10,000 years ago. Some are focussed more on childrens entertainment than historical accuracy!
Les Eyzies is at the heart of a very beautiful region of France. There are numerous cliff and rock formations, surrounded by rivers, hills and tranquil countryside to explore in the vicinity.
The cave-lined Vézère Valley, occupied since prehistory, has now been classified in its entirety as a heritage site by UNESCO. It is interesting to note that it was here at Les Eyzies that so called 'CroMagnon man' was first discovered, when three skeletons were found towards the end of the 19th century.
As well as Lascaux cave and Font-de-Gaume the cave system of the Grotte de Rouffignac, also know as the cave of a hundred mammoths, is well worth exploring.
Map of Les Eyzies and places nearby
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Address: Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, Vallée de l'Homme, Sarlat-la-Canéda, Aquitaine, 24620, France || GPS: latitude 44.936, longitude 1.018
Plan your visit to Les Eyzies, Dordogne
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Decorated caves of the Vezere Valley: national monument
- Abri de Cap Blanc: national monument
- Abri of Laugerie-Haute: national monument
- Grotte du Grand Roc: site of natural beauty
- Font-de-Gaume: national monument
- Eglise de saint-Pierre (Audrix): religious monument (8 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 (12 km)
- Abbaye de Saint Martial (Paunat): religious monument (13 km)
- Jardin de Planbuisson: remarkable garden (13 km)
- Jardins du château de Losse: remarkable garden (14 km)
The French version of this page is at Les Eyzies (Francais)