Out and About: Chateaux

The Dordogne area is rich in stunning chateaux in wonderful settings over the river or on hills commanding views over the surrounding countryside. The following are just some of these that are both fairly close-by and very well worth a visit:

Chateau Beynac (05 53 29 50 40)
Dramatically set over the river and above its village, this is the largest and most impressive of all the chateaux in the area. Not to be missed.

Chateau Biron (05 53 63 13 39)
Dominating the lands around, this incredible castle is being lovingly and restored. Worth a visit… plus there’s a good, basic cafe in the village below.

Chateau Bonaguil 

The castle of Bonaguil is located in Lot-et-Garonne, on the border with the Lot and a stone’s throw from the Dordogne. From the top of its rocky spur, it dominates the valley and the medieval village.

Castelnaud

Chateau Castelnaud (05 53 31 30 00)
Facing across the river from Beynac, this is another great place to nose around. Both Beynac and Castelnaud can be seen to superb effect canoeing down the river.

Chateau Marqueyssac (05 53 31 36 36)
This beautiful, small chateau is set in a superb position above the Dordogne with the most fabulous gardens of topiary-ed hedges and a lovely walk around the top of the hilltop on which it is situated. A great way to spend a few hours and with an attractive outdoor area to enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of tea.

Milandes

Chateau des Milandes (05 53 59 31 21)
This river-side chateau is famous as the home of the infamous but remarkable Josephine Baker. It was here that she retreated from her Parisian notoriety, looked after her many adopted children. Her ultimately sad story is faithfully recounted in the fascinating tour of this special home.