If you’re looking for places to add to your fairytale bucket list, then the Chateaus in Dordogne are a must add. Dordogne, named after the river Dordogne that runs through it, has to be one of the most beautiful and magical regions in France.
It’s a real fairytale landscape, lush green valleys, ancient woods, tiny roads which twist and turn, and then suddenly, a glimpse of something extraordinary: a hilltop village, a slowly turning waterwheel, the turrets of a chateau just beyond the trees.
Dordogne, France is a region rich in history and its landscape is littered with monuments to the power struggles of the past: there are incredible chateaus everywhere, some are in private hands, some you can visit and some you can even stay in. Below are some impressive chateaus in Dordogne that you might just want to live in after seeing these spectacular views.
Here are a Few Chateaus in Dordogne to Daydream About
Chateau De Monbazillaclong
If you’re a wine enthusiast, you’ll recognize the name immediately, the three-and-a-half thousand hectares of vines that surround the chateau have been producing one of the most famous sweet wines in the world for centuries.
Sitting high above the surrounding countryside, this is one of the Chateaus in Dordogne that commands your attention as you approach it down a long straight road.
As you can see, its external appearance is pure fairy-tale; turrets, arrow slits, pointed roofs, a moat, but when you get inside there are beautifully light and airy Renaissance rooms with gorgeous wooden floors and seventeenth-century furniture. This chateau is visible from quite a distance.
Learn about the history of the chateau as you explore its rooms. There is a very educational wine museum in the cellar and delicious wine tasting in beautiful wine glasses.
Chateau De Beynac
This is one of the most dramatic and best-preserved of Dordogne’s impressive chateaus. Crouching above the river for nine centuries, it’s big, bold, and brutal. In the guardroom, lit by flickering oil lamps you get a real sense of what life in a medieval chateau might have been like.
Take a walk through time as you stroll through the living quarters, kitchens, and dungeons, and don’t forget to look at the amazing views from inside the chateau of the green landscape and beautiful river.
Chateau De Hautefort
Whichever way you decide to come, this chateau is an absolutely stunning sight. During the 17th century, this medieval fortress was turned into a home, as the weapons and defenses were replaced by peaceful gardens.
This is a much more elegant and sophisticated building than Beynac. Your approach is through amazing topiary gardens, over a drawbridge, and into a Renaissance courtyard where all is symmetry and harmony. It’s not hard to imagine yourself as royalty in such surroundings and you can wander around as you wish.
Chateau De La Malartrie
A modest little chateau but one that is in a stunning location. High above the Dordogne River, it overlooks La Roque Gageac, one of the most beautiful villages in France.
A steep limestone cliff and the Dordogne River surround the picturesque La Roque Gageac and some of the houses even send to merge into the cliff. It is a fascinating sight and interesting to know that the cliff keeps the cold temperatures away so that the approximately 400 people who live here enjoy a subtropical climate while other villages close by experience the colder ocean climate.
Today, the Chateau is available to rent out in its entirety and is a far cry away from its history as a leper hospital. With an average price of around £720/night, this is one of the more expensive estate properties in the region, however, La Malartrie’s elevated location above the Dordogne River offers an unmatched vantage point to enjoy the banks of the Dordogne.
Chateau Des Milandes
Although this chateau was built in 1489 by François de Caumont in order to please his wife, it’s famous for its twentieth-century occupant, for this was the home of jazz legend and one of the first black women superstars, the extraordinary and wonderful Josephine Baker. She came to live in the chateau in 1940 and subsequently spent all her money restoring it.
And what a restoration, it’s still got all the fairy-tale turrets and pointy roofs and gargoyles, the lovely stained-glass windows, but it’s also got amazing Art Deco bedrooms and bathrooms. You can also see the notorious dress made from bananas which Josephine Baker wore at the Folies Bergere in 1928.
The chateaus of Dordogne, France are gorgeous, magical, and breathtakingly beautiful and even seem to transport you into the pages of a romantic fairytale. Become royalty, a princess, knight, king, or queen as you step through time to stroll through these elegant surroundings and enjoy the stunning picturesque views.
Looking for more beautiful Chateaus in France? Check out these Chateaus in the Loire Valley.