France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   What to See & Do in Les Eyzies, France
The village of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil is among the most important locations in France to see prehistoric sites and the art they contain.

 
   

 

Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, commonly referred to as Les Eyzies, is one of the most important centers of prehistory in France.

This small village is surrounded by prehistoric caves and abris (shelters), and offers many opportunities to view and appreciate art from the Magdalenian age, some of it as much as 20,000 years old.

Although the caves in this area are not as famous or as spectacular as those at nearby Lascaux, they offer something more: authenticity. The more famous sites, such as Lascaux and La Caverne du Pont d'Arc near Orange have been closed to the public for many years because of the deterioration of the art caused by humans and carbon dioxide. Instead, these justly-famous caves offer marvellous reproductions, well worth the visit—but not the real thing.

In Les Eyzies, however, you have the opportunity to visit the actual caves. Two of the most famous are the Grotte de Font-de-Gaume and Les Combarelles, located near each other at the entrance to Les Eyzies.

L'Abri du Cap Blanc, just a little farther from Les Eyzies, provides a glimpse of a marvelous carved-rock relief that is a prehistoric masterpiece.

L'Abri du Poisson harbors a carving of a fish that is 25,000 years old!

The number of daily visitors to each of these sites is strictly limited, both to protect the art and because of the narrow spaces within the sites. Although a small number of tickets is available in advance online, most available tickets are sold on the day of the visit at the ticket office of Font de Gaume. More...

As you drive, bike, or walk around the region, you'll see signs for a variety of other prehistoric sites, some of which offer visits as well. Hours, admission fees, and interest vary.

Also in Les Eyzies is the Musée national de Préhistoire, housed in an impressive new building next to the ancient fortress. This museum provides the opportunity to learn more about the caves, paintings, and artifacts found in the area. More...


Musée national de Préhistoire

Grotte de Font de Gaume

Les Combarelles

L'Abri du Poisson

Lascaux: Centre International

La Caverne du Pont d'Arc

About Les Eyzies

Where to Stay in Les Eyzies

 

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Entrance to the Grotte de la Font de Gaume, Les Eyzies, France

Entrance to the Grotte de la Font de Gaume,
Les Eyzies, France.

       
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