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Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac, Perigord Noir

In Vézère valley, this is the centre of the region's prehistoric sites

featured in Towns & villages Updated

The town and the surrounding prehistoric sites have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nearly 150 sites have already been discovered and contain significant finds dating back as far as the Middle Stone Age - about 300,000 to 40,000 years ago.

Situated within the dramatic Vézère valley, Les Eyzies has a very good National Museum of Prehistory where you can find a guide to the area's caves and their paintings. With a tourist industry that emerged in 1860's with the first prehistoric discoveries, you can travel back in time through around 450,000 years of human existence.

The town itself is situated in an exceptionally beautiful natural environment, where the cliff faces reveal traces of troglodyte settlements and the old town offers a pretty setting to sit and enjoy a coffee in between those visits to historical sites.

There are numerous caves, other archaeological and prehistoric sites in the area, numbering nearly one hundred, including fifteen classified by Unesco. However, not all are open to visitors.

History & Culture in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil

An area that has been inhabited since the Paleolithic and Neolithic times, it comes as no surprise that there are a wealth of prehistoric remains in and around the town.

In March 1868, the geologist Louis Lartet, discovered the first five skeletons of Cro-Magnons, the earliest known examples of Homo sapiens, in the Cro-Magnon rock shelter at Les Eyzies-de-Tayac. These skeletons included a foetus, and the skulls found were remarkably modern-looking and much rounder than the earlier Neanderthal.

The village has been registered as the 'Capital of the Prehistoric Times' and has developed as a tourist destination since the time of the first archaeological discoveries.

Sights & Attractions in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil

The main reason to come to this pretty little town is to discover the wonders of the archaeological sights. There are numerous caves, shelters and museums to explore, as well as the very special Musée National de la Préhistoire. This town is known as the capital of prehistory, and it's for good reason.

Things to do in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil

Hiking, walking and canoeing on the river are just a few of the past times that you can enjoy is particularly beautiful part of the Dordogne.

If you're 'caved-out' then taking in the scenery from the water as you paddle gently down stream is always a welcome relief.

Dining in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil

Most of the better quality restaurants are situated within the hotels of the town. there are of course plenty of cafés along the main drag which runs directly under the cliff face where you can pick up a quick snack or a coffee to keep you going. One of the more popular restaurants is La Maison Tartines, Vins and Jardin. 

Hotels in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil

At the far end of Les Eyzies de Tayac you'll find the four-star Les Glycines Hotel and Spa; a touch of contemporary design in this centre for prehistory. In addition to this the town has several other decent hotels and some rather charming B&Bs - to be expected in the Dordogne region.


Map of the surrounding area