Medieval fortress of Castelnau-Bretenoux -
From fairytale castles to mighty fortresses, the Dordogne Valley is the proud owner of a stunning cultural heritage and some of the prettiest sites in France.
Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux
First stop: Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux !
The perfect example of a fortified castle in the Dordogne Valley, Castelnau-Bretenoux sits high on a rocky plateau with 6 towers, 3 bastions and 1 heck of a keep… Besides boasting fabulous views over the valleys, its walls of red stone make the fortress visible from miles around.
For info: You can get combined tickets for the château de Castelnau and château de Montal
Château de Montal
Dordogne readers, say hello to one of the finest Renaissance castles in the Valley: Château de Montal!
With its fascinating history and glorious views of the Tours de Saint-Laurent, this little gem tops the list of places to visit.
Renovated period rooms, an ornate stairwell and a courtyard brimming with mouldings and sculptures… Palace of Versailles, eat your heart out !
Château de Saint-Laurent-les-Tours
If you're looking for a village hideout to throw down your suitcase for a night or two, then rendez-vous in Saint-Céré!
Lose yourself in its maze of narrow, medieval streets before climbing the hill to discover the Château de Saint-Laurent-les-Tours. A lavish display of tapestries by Jean Lurçat and fabulous panoramas over the village and neighbouring countryside... What more could we ask for?
Château de Rocamadour
Built to defend the village's sanctuaries in the Middle Ages, the Château de Rocamadour sits proudly at the top in an extraordinary balancing act. Only the castle’s ramparts are open to visitors but the viewpoints over the Alzou Valley are simply breathtaking.
Remember to keep an eye out for the birds flying to and from the ‘Rocher des Aigles’ falconry display nearby.
Château de Belcastel
If you want to take that oh-so-romantic sepia photo of provincial France, Château de Belcastel is the place to go!
Although the castle isn’t open to the public, its lush riverside setting is definitely worth a detour. Fancy treating yourself? Carry on 5 minutes down the road and stop off for a Michelin star lunch at Château de la Treyne. Yum yum!
Château de la Pannonie
Situated 6 km from Rocamadour, château de la Pannonie has been in the same family for over 300 years.
It is a rare example of an 18th century classical castle in the area, with lovely English style gardens. It is open to the public from mid-June until the end of September.
Tours de Merle
Looking for a nice walk, a pretty spot to picnic or just soak up some of those Dordogne medieval vibes? Then head to the Tours de Merle!
Perched on a cliff overlooking the Maronne River, its forests and gorges are an absolute treat to the eye.
A few tips? Book a (un)guided tour around this 7-tower wonderland and take in the amazing views from the top!
Don’t forget to check out the events calendar too with dozens of themes, workshops and kids activities organized every year!
Château de Beynac
With soaring panoramic views over the river and neighbouring castles, a trip to the Dordogne Valley would not be complete without a visit to the Château de Beynac!
Make your way through the beautifully preserved castle quarters and catch a glimpse of the Great Hall of State and 15th century frescoes in the Oratory. Adventure seekers can park at the bottom of the village and walk (or crawl) up, however there is also parking at the top of the hill near the castle itself.
Château de Castelnaud
Hop across the river and come face-to-face with Beynac’s mighty counterpart, Château de Castelnaud!
A true medieval playground, the castle’s artillery tower and incredible collection of weapons fascinate visitors and put even the largest of fortresses to shame. It’s no surprise then that Castelnaud attracts more visitors than any other castle in South-West France.
If you’re planning a visit, make sure you take a guided tour to understand its military architecture.
If you want to take a miss, jump in a gabare and admire this tremendous site from the river.
Château des Milandes
Once home to Josephine Baker, the Château des Milandes is a 15th century masterpiece that you just can’t miss!
Kick-start the visit with a tour of the manoir and French gardens before tucking into a few local specialities on the terrace.
Couple this with a spectacular birds of prey show and you’re onto a winner!
Château de Turenne
Picture this: A charming village, stunning gardens and a hill-top castle… Wander up Turenne’s steep, cobbled lanes before rewarding yourself with a visit of the medieval castle.
Built to protect the feudal seat of the viscounts of Turenne, the site greets its visitors with two high towers separated by a superb garden.
Embellished with an arch vault, the Treasure Tower houses an 14th-century keep and guardroom whilst the round Caesar Tower offers a superb view over the surrounding countryside from the top of its spiral staircase.
Looking down from the castle across the village, visitors can also appreciate Turenne's interesting mix of flat and conical rooftops. Fab!
Château de Val
Château de Val, the Dordogne Valley's answer to Disney's iconic Cinderella castle!
Enjoy boat trip around the lake before adventuring on a visit of this storybook-plucked dreamland.
Every year, the site organizes various exhibitions as well as welcomes dozens of musicians to perform in open air concerts at sunset. One word: Perfection!
Château de Ventadour
Perched on a rocky outcrop overhanging the valley, the remains of the château de Ventadour follow the contour of the 170 m long plateau that sits underneath it.
Although only a few vestiges remain of this 11th century feudal castle, traces of a chapel, watchtower and a square keep can still be found inside the perimeter.
If these 14 castles weren't enough for you, then scroll down and take a look at the other 987... :)