|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 Grotte Chauvet 2 Ardèche 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.
The number of daily visitors to most 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...
As you can tell, Les Eyzies is the place to go if you're interested in prehistory, in connecting with our ancestors from 25,000 years ago. The sensitivity of the art work is impressive and connects us across the millenia.