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Medieval Wall Walk near Les Eyzies de Tayac

Corona, California
Level Contributor
30 posts
116 reviews
Medieval Wall Walk near Les Eyzies de Tayac

My husband and I are planning a trip to Dordogne in late May-early June for about 2 weeks. We plan to fly into Bordeaux then drive to Les Eyzies de Tayac area. Is this a good place to stay for a week or so while visiting several of the caves in the area with prehistoric art? Which are the best caves to see, and should we reserve in advance? I looked at Grotte de font-de-gaume, Grotte des combarelles, La Grotte de Rouffignac, and Lascaux II. I also really wanted to walk on a medieval town wall and wondered if there were any towns/villages in the area which had accessible walls or ramparts we may traverse. Also, how is the road from Bordeaux to this area? Should we plan to spend 1 night in Bordeaux after an overnight flight from the US? Please advise. Thanks very much.

19 replies to this topic
Le Bugue, France
Level Contributor
14,097 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: Medieval Wall Walk near Les Eyzies de Tayac

Yes, you should spend a night n Bordeaux (or take a train from Bordeaux to Périgueux and spend the night there). It's about a 3-hour drive to Les Eyzies from Bordeaux, and you shouldn't be doing that after an all-night flight. If you go into Bordeaux and take the train to Périgueux, the next day you'll have only about a 45-minute drive to Les Eyzies. The road from Bordeaux to Les Eyzies is fine, but if you take the older route be advised that it's one of those roads in France that has been singled out as being particularly dangerous. I'm not even sure if they're there any more because I haven't been on that road in awhile, but there used to be black cut-outs with red smears on them at intervals along that road, signaling locations where people died in traffic accidents.

But I wouldn't stay in Les Eyzies anyway. It's a singularly unattractive town in a region that has literally hundreds of beautiful villages. Going to Les Eyzies for all the prehistory is of course a must, but I'd stay elsewhere.

I'm not even sure what you mean by a medieval wall walk. I can't think of anything that fits that description. There are ramparts at many of the castles, but no one's going to let you do anything more than walk out and stand there for the view.

Corona, California
Level Contributor
30 posts
116 reviews
2. Re: Medieval Wall Walk near Les Eyzies de Tayac

Thanks for the information. We will now spend 1 night in Bordeaux then rent a car and drive into the Les Eyzies area. Do you have suggestions of a town or country B &B to stay in near Les Eyzies? I hoped to walk on the remnants of a fortified city wall. Does Domme have a fortified wall section that we could walk on? If we reserve ahead for cave tours should we only plan for 1 cave per day? Thanks again for any guidance

Le Bugue, France
Level Contributor
14,097 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: Medieval Wall Walk near Les Eyzies de Tayac

Domme has ramparts (that were scaled by Simon de Montfort when he was on his rampage in the area), but it's more like a park now, and the scary drop-offs are fenced in, so no, you can't go roaming around on medieval walls. If you want to scramble around on medievel stones you might want to visit the Château de Commarque or the Château de l'Herme.

You're better off asking others about accommodations. I don't need them, so don't keep up with what's going on so much with accommodations. There's a poster in Carlux who I think has a nice place, or maybe several, and if you want to stay in Sarlat I can recommend a couple of places. I don't really know much about B&Bs, but there are a number of darling little auberges scattered all around the area you might like. I'd have to know what your nightly budget is in euros, though.

I've often done 3-4 prehistoric sites in a day without feeling pressed. It depends on what you want to see and the routes you're planning to get around the area. I can easily do Font-de-Gaume, Combarelles, La Roque St-Christophe,and La Maison Forte de Reignac in a day (in summer when the sun is out until 10:30 or later at night)...plus a goose farm. It's really up to you how you want to allocate your time. Some people go on prehistory overload - I don't ever.

Edited: 31 March 2015, 20:09
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
38,173 posts
11 reviews
4. Re: Medieval Wall Walk near Les Eyzies de Tayac

there really aren't many fortified towns in the Dordogne.

The closest thing I can think of in the Dordogne would be the bastide town of Montpazier, but you can't walk on the walls.

You can walk on the ramparts of the chateaux at Beynac, Castelnaud, and Belves off the top of my head -- but those are castle walls, not village walls.

StCirq, does Eymet have walls? I know it's considered a bastide, but we've actively avoided it.

Le Bugue, France
Level Contributor
14,097 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Medieval Wall Walk near Les Eyzies de Tayac

I really don't know, Sunshine. We never, ever go there because it is about 95% Brits who live there - not what we want to do when living in the Dordogne. I was there maybe 17 years ago. It's a pretty place, but if I'm going to live in France, I want to be among French people.

I just think the whole notion of walking on medieval walls is a strange one. They exist, for sure, but you'd have to have such an intimate knowledge of the back roads and remote villages of the area that it would be hard to do - plus you'd probably be trespassing on people's private properties or rights of way.

We don't have many walled villages in the Dordogne. We have bastides galore, but that's not the same at all. If you want to trek around medieval walls, head south to Aigues-Mortes. Or St-Martin on the Ile de Ré. I don't think we have what you're looking for in the Périgord.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
548 posts
81 reviews
6. Re: Medieval Wall Walk near Les Eyzies de Tayac

Monpazier does have sections of walls, but none that you can actually walk along. The closest thing I can think of may be the walls around Chateau de Biron, near Monpazier, which is, after all, a fortified chateau. You can walk along the walls between the castle and the chapel, as well as across the facade, below the main terrace. This gives you spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding valleys - and on a clear day, views across to another bastide, Monflanquin. But no ramparts in that village either, sorry! The best rampart walk experience I can think of is actually along the Romantic Road in Germany...a tad off-track!

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
38,173 posts
11 reviews
7. Re: Medieval Wall Walk near Les Eyzies de Tayac

That's the one I was thinking of, Rosemary -- I had Biron in my mind, but typed the wrong name.

There's another rampart walk at Provins just outside Paris, but I agree -- fortified villages where you can actually walk on the ramparts are quite few and very far between.

(and St Cirq nailed the reason we avoid Eymet on the first round)

Edited: 01 April 2015, 07:31
Le Bugue, France
Level Contributor
14,097 posts
4 reviews
8. Re: Medieval Wall Walk near Les Eyzies de Tayac

AH yes, Biron! Thanks for that, Rosemary. I knew there was a place I had forgotten, but it's been a long time since I've been over in that coin. Must put it on the list for this summer. Isn't that near where the dolmen (or is it a menhir) is? Somewhere near Baumont?

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
548 posts
81 reviews
9. Re: Medieval Wall Walk near Les Eyzies de Tayac

StCirq, I think you may be talking about the Dolmen Point du Jour, which is at a small hamlet called Vergt de Biron. That's on a tiny road between Biron (where the Chateau is) and Villereal, another lovely bastide, just over the border into the Lot. If you go the opposite way from the chateau, towards Lacapelle-Biron, there's a foie gras producer, La Mondine, which accepts farmgate visitors. The chateau itself is just off the D2, about 6km south from Monpazier (which you can get to from your place via the D660 and Beaumont du Perigord). So it could make a lovely daytrip.

Le Bugue, France
Level Contributor
14,097 posts
4 reviews
10. Re: Medieval Wall Walk near Les Eyzies de Tayac

Thanks, Rosemary. Sorry to misspell Beaumont. We'll head over there sometime soon and be sure to stop at La Mondine. Do you know, by chance, La Ferme de la Brunie? (not near Biron or Beaumont, but closer to me). I'm really interested in their raw milk and cheeses. Only 3 weeks from today and we're moving for good!

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