Photo of Dordogne castles

The Dordogne is said to have 1001 castles. Many of these are not open to the public, however, and also the name 'chateau' can be applied to any house that has been a centre of wine production - so many places that are called 'chateaux' will be distinctly less imposing than others.

Be that as it may, the Dordogne region has many of the finest castles in France, often in spectacular locations, and frequently surrounded by carefully manicured gardens with far-reaching views over the Perigord countryside.

Many of the castles date from the turbulent times and wars between England and France in the 12th-14th centuries during the Hundred Years War and typically still in their medieval condition(by contrast with the Loire Valley castles which were often transformed during the renaissance period).

Chateau de Beynac

Chateau de Beynac (Dordogne)

High on a clifftop and beautifully restored, the Chateau de Beynac is our favourite castle in the region

See Chateau de Beynac guide
Chateau de Biron

Chateau de Biron (Dordogne)

The Chateau de Biron is a perfect way to discover the history and countryside of the southern Dordogne

See Chateau de Biron guide
Chateau de Bonaguil

Chateau de Bonaguil (Lot-et-Garonne)

The medieval Chateau de Bonaguil, in a lovely woodland setting, is one of our favourite castles in France

See Chateau de Bonaguil guide
Chateau de Bourdeilles

Chateau de Bourdeilles (Dordogne)

The Chateau de Bourdeilles consists of a medieval defensive castle and a Renaissance castle in the pretty village of Bourdeilles.

See Chateau de Bourdeilles guide
Chateau de Castelnaud

Chateau de Castelnaud (Dordogne)

The extensive Chateau de Castelnaud and the associated Museum of Medieval Weapons are very popular with both adults nd children

See Chateau de Castelnaud guide
Chateau de Commarque

Chateau de Commarque (Dordogne)

The Chateau de Commarque is an imposing ruined castle that was 'found' in the forest and has now been cleared and opened to the public.

See Chateau de Commarque guide
Chateau de Fumel

Chateau de Fumel (Lot-et-Garonne)

The Chateau de Fumel is not open to the public but a walk through the adjacent gardens can be pleasant in spring

See Chateau de Fumel guide
Chateau de Gavaudun

Chateau de Gavaudun (Lot-et-Garonne)

Chateau de Gavaudun, a ruined medieval castle, sits high on a rock in the scenic Gavaudun Valley

See Chateau de Gavaudun guide
Chateau de Hautefort

Chateau de Hautefort (Dordogne)

At Chateau de Hautefort you can see a vey imposing castle and also extensive and carefuly maintaind garden

See Chateau de Hautefort guide
Chateau de Jumilhac

Chateau de Jumilhac (Dordogne)

The Chateau de Jumilhac is in the northern Dordogn, within the Perigord-Limousin Regional Natural Park

See Chateau de Jumilhac guide
Chateau de Lanquais

Chateau de Lanquais (Dordogne)

The Chateau de Lanquais - sometimes called the Louvre of the Perigord - combines medieval and renaissance architecture

See Chateau de Lanquais guide
Chateau de Losse

Chateau de Losse (Dordogne)

Close to Montignac, the Chateau de Losse is an interesting castle that also has very pretty gardens

See Chateau de Losse guide
Chateau de Montfort

Chateau de Montfort (Dordogne)

Close to Sarlat, the Chateau de Montfort is an imposing setting above the river - but unfortunately not open to the public

See Chateau de Montfort guide
Chateau de Puyguilhem

Chateau de Puyguilhem (Dordogne)

Extensive renovation work at the Chateau de Puyguilhem has brought a new lease of life to this Renaissance style castle

See Chateau de Puyguilhem guide
Chateau de Puymartin

Chateau de Puymartin (Dordogne)

The views, the furnishings and the legend of a resident ghost all combine to make Chateau de Puymartin an interesting destination

See Chateau de Puymartin guide
Chateau des Milandes

Chateau des Milandes (Dordogne)

The beautifully restored Chateau des Milandes, in Renaissance style, is best known for its association with the jazz dancer called Josephine Baker

See Chateau des Milandes guide

Actually I have cheated a bit, because some of these castles are across the southern border of the Dordogne region and are actually in the Lot-et-Garonne department. All are easily visited on a visit to the Dordogne region however.