Photo of French castles

Discover many of the best known of the 1000 castles in France, with our guides to their history and visitor information


Chateau de Fleckenstein

Chateau de Fleckenstein (Bas-Rhin)

The Chateau de Fleckenstein is one of the most imposing ruined castles along the Route des Chateaux in Alsace

See Chateau de Fleckenstein guide
Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg

Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg (Bas-Rhin)

The substantial Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg is one of the most visited and most substantial in Alsace, and has a fascinating history - and stunning views

See Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg guide
Chateau d'Andlau

Chateau d'Andlau (Bas-Rhin)

It is the views as much as the castle itself at Chateau Andlau that provide a substantial part of the attraction

See Chateau d'Andlau guide


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 Bridoire

Chateau de Bridoire (Dordogne)

Visit the Chateau de Bridoire, a medieval chateau with lots of games for all the family.

See Chateau de Bridoire 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 Fenelon

Chateau de Fenelon (Dordogne)

The chateau de Fenelon is half medieval and half renaissance, and sited in an imposing elevated position in the Dordogne

See Chateau de Fenelon 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 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 Pau

Chateau de Pau (Pyrenees-Atlantiques)

The Chateau de Pau is an impressive combination of the renaissance and 19th century architectural styles

See Chateau de Pau 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
Château et Jardins de Losse

Château et Jardins de Losse (Dordogne)

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

See Château et Jardins de Losse guide


Chateau de Laroque

Chateau de Laroque (Cantal)

Chateau de Laroque is a 13th century fortified castle on a hill above the village of Laroquebrou in the Auvergne

See Chateau de Laroque guide
Chateau de Val

Chateau de Val (Cantal)

The Chateau de Val is an impressive medieval castle on the edge of a lake in Cantal

See Chateau de Val guide

Murol (Puy-de-Dome)

The highlight of a visit to Murol is the Chateau de Murol that stands high on a rocky mass above the village

See Murol guide


Chateau de Dinan

Chateau de Dinan (Cotes-d'Armor)

Dinan castle is an imposing medieval castle which also has views across the town from the ramparts

See Chateau de Dinan guide
Chateau de Josselin

Chateau de Josselin (Morbihan)

The Chateau de Josselin has a 1000 year history and includes both medieval and renaissance parts

See Chateau de Josselin guide
Chateau de Pontivy

Chateau de Pontivy (Morbihan)

The Chateau de Pontivy has dominated the centre of Pontivy in Morbihan since 1485

See Chateau de Pontivy guide
Chateau Keriolet

Chateau Keriolet (Finistere)

The Chateau de Keriolet is an attractive 19th century chateau near to the coastal town of Concarneau.

See Chateau Keriolet guide


Chateau de Tanlay

Chateau de Tanlay (Yonne)

The frescoes and interior decoration are among the highlights of a visit to the moated Tanlay castle

See Chateau de Tanlay guide
Chateau d'Ancy-le-Franc

Chateau d'Ancy-le-Franc (Yonne)

The 15th century castle at Ancy-le-Franc was one of the very first renaissance style castles to be built in France

See Chateau d'Ancy-le-Franc guide


Chateau de Chamerolles

Chateau de Chamerolles (Loiret)

The chateau de Chamerolles is an attractive chateau with a pretty Renaissance garden

See Chateau de Chamerolles guide


Chateau de Cleron

Chateau de Cleron (Doubs)

The gardens of the Chateau de Cleron can be seen next to the Loue River in the village of Cleron in Doubs

See Chateau de Cleron guide
Chateau de Joux

Chateau de Joux (Doubs)

The Chateau de Joux is an imposing clifftop castle with a 1000 year history close to Pontarlier

See Chateau de Joux guide


Chateau de Peyrepertuse

Chateau de Peyrepertuse (Aude)

Visit the Peyrepertuse Castle, the most popular of the Cathar castles found in the south of France

See Chateau de Peyrepertuse guide
Chateau de Puilaurens

Chateau de Puilaurens (Aude)

Castle Puilaurens is a Cathar castle of France in a beautiful mountain location

See Chateau de Puilaurens guide
Chateau de Queribus

Chateau de Queribus (Aude)

Castle Quéribus is a famous castle on the summit of a mountain in the south of France used by the Cathars

See Chateau de Queribus guide
Chateau de Termes

Chateau de Termes (Aude)

Château De Termes is one of the most important Cathar castles in southern France

See Chateau de Termes guide
Chateau d'Aguilar

Chateau d'Aguilar (Aude)

The Château d'Aguilar is one of the most famous Cathar castles in the south of France

See Chateau d'Aguilar guide
Chateaux de Lastours

Chateaux de Lastours (Aude)

The four ruined castles in Lastours, in cathar country, were built in the 13th century

See Chateaux de Lastours guide
Fort de Salses

Fort de Salses (Pyrenees-Orientales)

The medieval fort of Salses was transformed by Vauban to create a substantial and impregnable fortress

See Fort de Salses guide
Perpignan Palace of Kings of Majorca

Perpignan Palace of Kings of Majorca (Pyrenees-Atlantiques)

The Palace of Kings of Majorca is an imposing fortress and royal residence in Perpignan, built of red brick in the 13th century

See Perpignan Palace of Kings of Majorca guide


Tours de Merle

Tours de Merle (Correze)

The Tours de Merle is a group of medieval castles in ruins in a picturesque setting above a river

See Tours de Merle guide

Loire Valley

Chateau de Blois

Chateau de Blois (Loir-et-Cher)

One of the most impressive of the Loire castles, the Chateau de Blois is best known for its double helix renaissance staircase

See Chateau de Blois guide
Chateau de Chambord

Chateau de Chambord (Loir-et-Cher)

The largest castle in the Loire Valley, Chateau de Chambord exceeds all expectations with its grandeur - despite being built as a hunting lodge and rarely occupied!

See Chateau de Chambord guide
Chateau de Chaumont

Chateau de Chaumont (Loir-et-Cher)

The small village of Chaumont-sur-Loire is dominated by the Chateau de Chaumont, one of the largest Loire Valley castles and with a famous annual International Garden Festival

See Chateau de Chaumont guide
Chateau de Chenonceau

Chateau de Chenonceau (Indre-et-Loire)

The perfectly lovely Chateau-de-Chenonceau includes a renaissance gallery across the river and gardens designed by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medicis

See Chateau de Chenonceau guide
Chateau de Cheverny

Chateau de Cheverny (Loir-et-Cher)

Cheverny Castle is perhaps the most opulently furnished of the Loire castles, and also has very lovely gardens

See Chateau de Cheverny guide
Chateau de Chinon

Chateau de Chinon (Indre-et-Loire)

Château de Chinon retains more medieval elements than most Loire Valley castles

See Chateau de Chinon guide
Chateau de Clos Lucé at Amboise

Chateau de Clos Lucé at Amboise (Indre-et-Loire)

The Chateau de Clos-Lucé was home to Leonardo da Vinci and you can visit the house and also see recreations of many of his inventions

See Chateau de Clos Lucé at Amboise guide
Chateau de Langeais

Chateau de Langeais (Indre-et-Loire)

Château de Langeais is a medieval-renaissance castle with nicely furnished rooms and the oldest castle keep in France

See Chateau de Langeais guide
Chateau de Valencay

Chateau de Valencay (Indre)

The renaissance style castle and formal gardens make the Chateau de Valencay among the most interesting in the Loire

See Chateau de Valencay guide
Chateau de Villandry

Chateau de Villandry (Indre-et-Loire)

The rooms at Chateau de Villandry can be explored, but it is the world famous French style gardens here that will hold your attention the longest

See Chateau de Villandry guide
Chateau du Rivau

Chateau du Rivau (Indre-et-Loire)

One of the more modest castles in the region, both the Chateau de Rivau and its associated gardens are very pleasant to explore

See Chateau du Rivau guide
Chateau d'Amboise

Chateau d'Amboise (Indre-et-Loire)

The Chateau d'Amboise is a castle with impressive gardens and a lovely view across the rooftops of Amboise

See Chateau d'Amboise guide
Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau (Indre-et-Loire)

Not the most luxurious or largest castle in the region, it is the beauty and waterside location that gives the Chateau d'Azay-le Rideau its special charm

See Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau guide
Chateau d'Ussé

Chateau d'Ussé (Indre-et-Loire)

The imposing Chateau d'Usse, next to the Loire, is an imposing medieval-renaissance castle surrounded by gardens and park

See Chateau d'Ussé guide
Domaine Royal de Château Gaillard

Domaine Royal de Château Gaillard (Indre-et-Loire)

The Domaine Royal de Château Gaillard in Amboise is the first Renaissance manor house in France, newly restored and surrounded by lovely gardens

See Domaine Royal de Château Gaillard guide


Chateau de Bournazel

Chateau de Bournazel (Aveyron)

The Chateau de Bournazel is a charming chateau in the renaissance syle, in Aveyron

See Chateau de Bournazel guide
Chateau de Castelnau-Bretenoux

Chateau de Castelnau-Bretenoux (Lot)

The Chateau de Castelnau-Loubressac is an imposing medieval castle built in red stone

See Chateau de Castelnau-Bretenoux guide
Chateau de Foix

Chateau de Foix (Ariege)

The chateau de Foix is an impressive medieval castle on a rocky spur in the Ariege valley

See Chateau de Foix guide
Chateau de Najac

Chateau de Najac (Aveyron)

Najac castle is the impressive ruins of a 13th century castle in Aveyron

See Chateau de Najac guide


Chateau de Beaumesnil

Chateau de Beaumesnil (Eure)

The Chateau de Beaumesnil is a baroque style castle surrounded by park and gardens

See Chateau de Beaumesnil guide
Chateau de Boutemont

Chateau de Boutemont (Calvados)

Beautiful chateau and gardens in the Calvados department of Normandy

See Chateau de Boutemont guide
Chateau de Harcourt

Chateau de Harcourt (Eure)

The Chateau de Harcourt in Eure is a medieval castle now restored and surrounded by an impressive arboretum

See Chateau de Harcourt guide
Chateau Gaillard

Chateau Gaillard (Eure)

The evocative ruins of Chateau Gaillard, built in the 12th century by Richard the Lionheart, are one of the most imposing sites in Normandy

See Chateau Gaillard guide

Paris region

Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne

Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne (Seine-et-Marne)

The Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne is a beautifully restored 18th century chateau with extensive gardens

See Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne guide
Chateau de Rambouillet

Chateau de Rambouillet (Yvelines)

Once a Royal castle, the Chateau de Rambouillet is now the summer residence for French presidents

See Chateau de Rambouillet guide
Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte (Seine-et-Marne)

The Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte is one of the most important classical style castles in France

See Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte guide
Chateau de Vincennes

Chateau de Vincennes (Val-de-Marne)

The Chateau de Vincennes has an interesting history as an important royal residence for several centuries and

See Chateau de Vincennes guide

Fontainebleau (Seine-et-Marne)

The extraordinary decoration of the numerous rooms and royal apartments at Fontainebleau, and the lovely parkland around the house, make it a key monument in Paris

See Fontainebleau guide
Versailles Palace

Versailles Palace (Yvelines)

A short distance outside central Paris, the Palais de Versailles is an enormous and luxuriously furnished palace, with landscaped gardens to match

See Versailles Palace guide

Pays de la Loire

Chateau de Brissac

Chateau de Brissac (Maine-et-Loire)

The Chateau de Brissac is the tallest castle in France, has more than 200 rooms and extensive parkland to explore!

See Chateau de Brissac guide
Chateau de Montreuil-Bellay

Chateau de Montreuil-Bellay (Maine-et-Loire)

The Château de Montreuil-Bellay is an impressive 15th century castle surrouned by medieval ramparts and furnished n period style

See Chateau de Montreuil-Bellay guide
Chateau de Saumur

Chateau de Saumur (Maine-et-Loire)

The Chateau de Saumur stands in an impressive location with views across the Loire river

See Chateau de Saumur guide
Chateau de Talmont

Chateau de Talmont (Vendee)

The Chateau of Talmont is a ancient castle, now in ruins, in the Vendee department

See Chateau de Talmont guide
Chateau de Tiffauges

Chateau de Tiffauges (Vendee)

The Chateau de Tiffauges is a 12th century castle in Vendee, known for its medieval re-enactments

See Chateau de Tiffauges guide
Chateau du Lude

Chateau du Lude (Sarthe)

The Chateau de Lude and its lovely gardens are the closest of the Loire Chateaux to Paris

See Chateau du Lude guide
Chateau d'Angers

Chateau d'Angers (Maine-et-Loire)

The mighty fortified walls of Chateau d'Angers form an interesting contrast with the more 'beautiful' castles of the Loire region.

See Chateau d'Angers guide
Chateau Plessis-Bourre

Chateau Plessis-Bourre (Maine-et-Loire)

The most unusual feature of Chateau Plessis-Bourre is the way it combines medieval and renaissance architecture, and has been unchanged for hundreds of years

See Chateau Plessis-Bourre guide


Chateau de Chantilly

Chateau de Chantilly (Oise)

The Chateau de Chantilly is an extensive castle from the 16th-19th centuries, surrounded by extensive gardens and parkland

See Chateau de Chantilly guide


Chateau de Cherveux

Chateau de Cherveux (Deux-Sevres)

The Chateau de Cherveux, one of the best preserved 15th century castles in the region, is close to Niort

See Chateau de Cherveux guide
Chateau de la Mercerie

Chateau de la Mercerie (Charente)

The Chateau de la Mercerie is a manor house with a substantial wing added in the 20th century, and now recently restored

See Chateau de la Mercerie guide
Chateau de La Rochefoucauld

Chateau de La Rochefoucauld (Charente)

The Chateau de La Rochefoucauld is the most important castle in Charente, with both medieval and renaissance parts to the castle

See Chateau de La Rochefoucauld guide


Chateau de Lacoste

Chateau de Lacoste (Vaucluse)

The chateau de Lacoste is an 11th century castle in Provence, known for its connection with the Marquis de Sade

See Chateau de Lacoste guide
Chateau de Lourmarin

Chateau de Lourmarin (Vaucluse)

The Chateau de Lourmarin is a castle on the edge of the village of the same name, with both medieval and renaissance elements

See Chateau de Lourmarin guide
Chateau de Tarascon

Chateau de Tarascon (Bouches-du-Rhone)

The Chateau de Tarascon is an imposing 15th century castle on the banks of the Rhone

See Chateau de Tarascon guide
Château des Baux-de-Provence

Château des Baux-de-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhone)

The Château des Baux-de-Provence is a remarkable ruined castle above the village of Les Baux-de-Provence, with amazing views across the Alpilles

See Château des Baux-de-Provence guide
Papal Palace, Avignon

Papal Palace, Avignon (Vaucluse)

The Papal Palace in Avignon is the most imposing gothic palace in Europe

See Papal Palace, Avignon guide

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