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Tautavel - a village of discovery

The charming little wine village of Tautavel, found among the foothills and gorges of the Pyrénéan Mountains in the south of France, is a place where an amazing discovery was made in 1971. A cave, containing the remains of a human being thought to be some 450,000 years old (making him the earliest such specimen found in Europe) was found, and the village now has a museum showing some relics from the cave to celebrate the discovery of "Tautavel Man".

Great location

Pre-history aside, however, Tautavel has plenty more to offer. Its location, close to the ski resorts of the Pyrénées and the beaches of the Med is perfect for holidays, yet its proximity to cities such as Perpignan and even Barcelona makes it a great place to put down permanent roots as well.

Enjoy the highly acclaimed red wine of Tautavel

Tautavel has only around 1,000 inhabitants, although this number does tend to grow a little in the summer season, but it is far from being a "dead" village. Wine production is important to its economy and lifestyle, and the red wines which are sold under the Appellation "Tautavel" are acclaimed far and wide. Tautavel has a selection of small shops, restaurants and bars, so it is quite possible to pursue an enjoyable, if low key, social life without leaving the village. Larger shops and more facilities and services can be found nearby, and there are, of course, endless possibilities for shopping, dining and entertainment in the cities of Carcassonne and Perpignan.

Discover historic cities and castles

Getting out and about from Tautavel offers infinite possibilities. For those who love the mysterious history of the Cathars and the Knights Templar there is the bewildering mystery of Rennes les Châteaux to explore, and then there are numerous Cathar castles to discover. See also the Cathar cities of Carcassonne and Béziers, and trace the history of this fascinating region through visits to towns like Bram in neighbouring Aude, with tragic tales to reveal of their turbulent past.

Explore the mountains and the coast

If that all sounds a little heavy for you, try popping across the border into Spain, where you can enjoy the lovely resorts of the Costa Brava or even gaze in awe at the Gaudi buildings of Barcelona. Closer to home once more, the Pyrénéan Mountains and their foothills and gorges offer many sporting activities, or head for the beaches and fun resorts of the Mediterranean. The town of Collioure is a particular favourite in this region, a beautiful fishing village full of character and colour and beloved of artists for centuries.

How to get there

Fly to Perpignan with Ryanair, Bmi baby and Flybe. Carcassonne is also not far away and is served by Ryanair. The TGV runs to Perpignan, meaning that train travel is a very reasonable option. Drivers can find Tautavel from the A9 auto route, heading then for the D9 or D59 roads close to the village.

Property prices and availability in and around Tautavel

Tautavel property is quite reasonably priced, certainly less expensive than seaside property just a few miles away. As the village is a popular destination for discerning holidaymakers, property for use as B&Bs, gites or other commercial purposes is recommended.

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Tautavel AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Tautavel?

Tautavel is located in the south of France, in the north-east of the Pyrénées-Orientales department, close to the border with the Aude department.

Tautavel Property Map


Languedoc-Roussillon Guide

Languedoc-Roussillon Property Map


Pyrénées-Orientales Guide

  Pyrénées-Orientales Map

Population: 910

Access: By air: Fly to Perpignan or Carcassonne. By rail: Take a TGV from Paris to Perpignan. By road: The town can be located from the D9/D59, with the A9 auto route not far away.

Economy: The economy is agricultural, with wine production and tourism important.

Interesting fact: Tautavel is famous for the discovery of a cave containing some of the earliest human remains in European history.

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