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Bergerac, a stunning town located in the Purple Perigord (Périgord Pourpre) region of the Dordogne department in SW France. The town boasts a beautiful medieval old town with winding lanes, charming squares, and cute boutiques. This article will help you plan the best trip to the region, with tips on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in Bergerac.

Bergerac is labeled as a Ville d’art et d’histoire (Towns of Art and History) and that should tell you all you need to know about the myriad of cultural visits and activities. A maze of medieval streets and squares with half-timbering houses and pointed windows are just a couple of the architectural visions you won’t want to miss.

The stunning towm of Bergerac in Dordogne
Magical Bergerac – by Lost in Bordeaux

Historically, Bergerac was a very important port town due to its strategic location on the banks of the Dordogne. This made it an economic power in France at the time as many wines and other French products were exported through Bergerac, to Bordeaux, and across the Atlantic.

If you have more time to spend around Bergerac don’t miss my articles about the best day trips from Bergerac, Sarlat, the most beautiful villages, gardens, and castles in Dordogne. Also, check out my article about the best places to stay in Dordogne.

Best things to do in Bergerac

Discover the old town of Cyrano 

Take a stroll around the beautiful streets of the old town. You’ll see ancient timbered houses, the charming Place de la Mirpe, the buzzing Place du Docteur Cayla, and beautiful architecture. The narrow, cobblestone roads are flanked by colorful flowerbeds and charming cafés. Follow this map from the tourist office if you want a quick look at the best things to see (you can get a physical copy of it at the tourist office). 
You can also take a private guided tour of Bergerac by a local guide if you rather be guided by someone.

The charming houses of Bergerac
The charming houses of Bergerac – by Lost in Bordeaux

The town is often known for an odd but famous story about French satirist and dramatist, Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac. He wrote works combining political satire and science-fantasy in the early- to mid-1600s. There are two beautiful statues of him in his 17th-century clothing and with his hat and big nose in Bergerac and many tourists line up to take photos with them. 

Savinien  Cyrano de Bergerac
Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac – by Lost in Bordeaux

But here’s the funny part of the story – Cyrano de Bergerac never actually lived in, or even visited, the town of Bergerac in the Périgord! Cyrano was born in Paris and decided to add de Bergerac (the town his parents came from) to his name to impress people. 

Embark on a wine education at Les Maisons des Vins 

Les Maisons des Vins de Bergerac is located on the Quai Cyrano along the river in the stunning, 17th-century Cloître des Récollets. The impressive space brings together wine, culture, and tourism so there’s something for everyone! During the day wine tastings are free so don’t miss out on a chance to try the Bergerac or Duras wines.

Cloître des Récollets - taste wine in Bergerac
Cloître des Récollets – by Lost in Bordeaux

In the evening (starting at 18:00) they open their wine bar, which is an absolute must when in Bergerac. Grab a table on the terrace for a stunning view of the river or in the beautiful courtyard and snack on tapas as you enjoy local wines. Opening hours can be found here.

Les Maisons des Vins de Bergerac
Les Maisons des Vins de Bergerac – Lost in Bordeaux

Enjoy a bike trip on Quai Cyrano

The river bank known as Quai Cyrano is one of the most charming parts of Bergerac. You can take a stroll to enjoy the sights, but cycling along the river is much more fun! You can rent bikes for a fairly low price at the tourist office of Bergerac. 

a cycling path on Quai Cyrano Bergerac
Cycling in Bergerac – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you enjoy cycling, there is a 38km “voie verte” – a safe, green cycling path along the Dordogne River that offers beautiful scenery and a nice little workout. You can see all the details here.

Another option is an easy 2-hour bike trail from the tourist office to Parc de Pombonne (which I’ll talk about later). Check it out here. There are other tours you can do if you have a bike for a few days. See more trails and paths here.

Need to rent a bike in Bergerac? Here are more details about the opening hours and prices. 

Indulge in local delicacies at the market

Bergerac has a great covered market, called la Halle de Bergerac, in the city center. Currently undergoing renovations, the new market, which will reopen in November 2023, is expected to be a fantastic, buzzing spot for food, drinks, and fun. 

Local produce at the Bergerac market
Local produce at the Bergerac market – Lost in Bordeaux

For now, however, you can enjoy the open market which is one of the best markets in Purple Perigord. Bergerac is strategically located between many famous agricultural areas in Dordogne, Gironde, and Lot et Garonne. That means you’ll find all the best local products from walnuts to duck products, wines and sweet treats, and the best fruits and vegetables in the region. 

The weekly market takes place all year long every Wednesday and Saturday morning at Place Gambetta and around the church from 7 am to 1 pm.

Weekly market in Bergerac
The weekly market of Bergerac – by Lost in Bordeaux

In the summer you can also enjoy a special summer market, Les Estivales: Les Tablées du Terroir, which usually takes place on Monday evenings at Port de Bergerac Quai Salvette. There’s a variety of delicious regional food and live music concerts, perfect for sunset drinks and dinners. As you know by now, the French love night markets in summer, and there are many to be found in this foodie region! You can see other night markets in the region here or here.

Savor delicious wine at Château de Monbazillac 

Château de Monbazillac is one of the most stunning, imposing castles of Perigord Pourpre and is located only about 10 minute’s drive from Bergerac. It’s a must-see when you visit the region both for its wines and for its architecture. 

Chateau de Monbazillac - visit wineries near Bergerac
Château de Monbazillac – by Lost in Bordeaux

The Monbazillac wine appellation is renowned around the world for its sweet white, with Château de Monbazillac being the focal point of this appellation. One of the best things to do when visiting Bergerac is a few hours’ trip to the chateau for wine tasting. While you’re there, take some time to discover the interior of the gorgeous chateau and the charming garden. 

You can book your visit to Château de Monbazillac –  here.

Apart from the traditional winery at Château de Monbazillac, you can also enjoy a variety of interactive activities in the Monbazillac vineyards such as electric scooters (a longer version of the same trip), quad biking, and more.

Stroll through one of the best markets in the region in Issigeac

Issigeac is one of the most charming villages in Perigord, which is well worth a visit when in the region. However, the main attraction is the famous Sunday morning market, one of the best and most beautiful markets in the southwest of France.

Issigeac - one of the best markets in Dorogne
Issigeac market – Lost in Bordeaux

Rows and rows of colorful stalls selling cheese, strawberries, nuts, wine, handmade picnic baskets, flowers, fresh bread, and much more are spread all over the cobblestone streets of this beautiful medieval town. 

If you’re traveling in the Bergerac area on a Sunday, this market is a must. Just be sure to be there early as the market gets very busy and crowded after 11 am. 

Take a dip in Lac de Pombonne 

Five minutes’ drive from the center of Bergerac will get you to the Pombonne park where you’ll find a beautiful lake with a swimming beach. That’s where the locals go in the summer months and it’s perfect to cool down if you’re visiting in summer but want to escape the heat of the town center. There are toilets and a play area for kids nearby.

Lac de Pombonne - a lake beach in Bergerac
Lac de Pombonne – by Lost in Bordeaux

There’s a great beach restaurant with delicious food by the lake called La Guinguette de Pombonne. If you want to have a table in the summer, be sure to reserve a spot. Every Friday, there are live music concerts at the Guinguette which you can enjoy even if you didn’t book a table. They also offer takeaway which you can take to the beach.

Visit one of Bergerac’s impressive museums 

Bergerac is labeled as the city of arts and history and there’s always something there to remind you of that, from the statutes on the streets to the fascinating museums in the city center. 

Bergerac labeled as Ville d'art et d'histoire
Art in Bergerac – Lost in Bordeaux

Start your trip with a visit to Dordonha, a free art museum located in the historic center of Bergerac. There are three exhibitions, all located in a stunning building. The first one is the Costi Museum which displays a collection of bronze and plaster sculptures. The first floor is dedicated to the Center for the Interpretation of Architecture and Heritage with an immersive exhibition that details the long history of Bergerac. The museum is open from July to September – see the opening hours here

Dordonha museum in Bergerac
Costi Museum in Bergerac – by Lost in Bordeaux

Another interesting museum to visit if you have time (but is not a must-see if you only have one day in Bergerac) is the Musée du Tabac, situated at the stunning Maison Peyrarède. The museum tells the history of the tobacco industry in the region and the history of the plant in general. Note that the explanations are in French.

Embark on a Gabarre boat journey on the historic Dordogne river

Gabarre boats are traditional riverboats that were historically used for transporting goods along the Dordogne River. Today the Gabarres are popular for leisure cruises, offering visitors a unique way to explore the picturesque Dordogne River and transporting them back in time. It’s one of the most charming and unique ways to discover the history of Bergerac. 

The tour starts at Quai Salvette and operates from April to October. During the summer there’s a high demand for these tours so reserving your places ahead of time is highly recommended. You can see all the details, including opening hours and ticket prices here.

Discover one of the Bastide towns of Dordogne

Bastides are fortified towns that were built all over this region, known as Gascogne at the time, during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Dordogne department is home to ten bastide towns, some of which are located close enough to Bergerac for a little day trip!

There is usually a main square with arcades dividing the town into different blocks. Today, many of the bastide towns have turned those squares into lively spots with cute cafés, boutiques, and brocades. Some of them have been ranked in the official listing of France’s most beautiful villages.

The closest one to visit near Bergerac is Eymet, a charming village where you’ll certainly be able to find your way around speaking English as many Brits own properties here. The town offers plenty of restaurants, fun summer events, and a weekly market every Thursday. Read my article about Eymet before you go there on a day trip from Bergerac. 

Eymet - a beautiful Bastide town near Bergerac
Eymet – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you don’t mind a little drive, I highly recommend visiting Monpazier, another stunning bastide, which is labeled as one of France’s most beautiful villages.

Monpazier - one of the most beuatiful villages in France is located near Bergerac
Monpazier – by Lost in Bordeaux

Where to eat in Bergerac

There are plenty of great restaurants in the city center and enough variety to cover everyone’s taste, from traditional French or Perigordian food to more modern fusion or worldly cuisine.

Bergerac has plenty of amazing restaurants
Restaurants in Bergerac – by Lost in Bordeaux

Here are a few I can personally recommend:

L’authentique – they serve delicious, elegant food for relatively reasonable prices.

Aux Cèpes Enchantés – This is a traditional restaurant that will transport you back in time with its Perigordian cuisine.

L’Imparfait – This restaurant is more upmarket and chic, and also a little more pricey, but is a great spot for a special treat

Where to stay in Bergerac

Bergerac offers a variety of accommodation options, from fancy hotels to beautiful B&Bs and cozy countryside houses. Here are some of my recommendations for where to stay in and around Bergerac:

Le Logis Plantagenêt

A small, charming B&B right in the center of Bergerac, near the famous Place de la Myrpe. Location is everything!

Les Appartements du Palais

If you’re staying for more than just a weekend and want to be able to cook, I recommend this apartment in the city center.

R & R BERGERAC

A 10-minute walk from the center of Bergerac you’ll find this stunning B&B with an outdoor pool. This little gem has only three rooms and is located in a quieter part of town.

Des Vignes et des Songes

If you want to have a more unique experience when visiting the region, I highly recommend Des Vignes et des Songes with their five quirky huts.

Where to stay in Bergerac
The promenade in Bergerac – by Lost in Bordeaux

How to get to Bergerac

You’re in luck! Bergerac is one of the easiest cities to travel to in Dordogne. There is an airport and a train station. The airport serves cities in Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the Baltic Sea.

If you decide to travel by train, it’s an easy trip that lasts just over an hour from Bordeaux. Check out the SNCF website for times and ticket prices.

Be sure to check out my other article about the Dordogne region before traveling there:

Where to stay in Dordogne
What to do, see and eat in Sarlat
The most beautiful villages to visit in Dordogne 
The best castles (chateaux) to visit in Dordogne
The most beautiful gardens in Dordogne
The best things to do with kids in Dordogne
The most beautiful villages in Purple Perigord
The best places to do Kayaking on the Dordogne River
A day trip to Eymet, a beautiful village in Dordogne.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

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*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

France is one of the best countries in the world for visiting castles, or châteaux in French. There are an estimated 45,000 castles, each holding a special place in the country’s history. Dordogne, a rural department in the southwest of France is famous for its medieval castles and fortified towns. In this article, you’ll discover the best castles to visit in Dordogne, some of which are located in France’s most breathtakingly beautiful villages.

Château de Castelnaud – Lost in Bordeaux

The Dordogne Valley is said to be home to 1001 castles. Not as refined as the ones you can visit in the Loire Valley, which were built as decoration for kings in more recent times, the fortresses and châteaux in Dordogne were built for defense and as lookout points. Instead of lavish, gold interiors, picture knights in armor and medieval feasts.

Summers at the castles are wonderfully festive as many of them host events, child-friendly adventures and games, night markets, musical evenings, and even candlelit picnics. Whether you’re looking for romance or family fun, the châteaux of Dordogne have it all!

Just a bit of history before we start – fortresses and châteaux in Dordogne

The chateaux of the Dordogne were mostly built around the 10th and 11th centuries. The sites for these castles were chosen because of their natural geographical advantages. Many of them were built near rivers for easy transport and to make passing boats pay tolls. Others are found on high ground to look out for enemies. 

The Hundred Years War between France and England heavily impacted the region in the Late Middle Ages and castles were built all over the Dordogne Valley for defense purposes.

fortresses and châteaux in Dordogne - the best castles to visit
Fortresses and Châteaux in Dordogne – Lost in Bordeaux

Fun fact: the Dordogne department is referred to colloquially as the Périgord and is divided into four parts, named by color after each one’s resource. This article breaks down the castles worth visiting by area, making it easier for you to plan your vacation.

some practical informatiion

One thing to know before your trip is the fantastic Périgord Pass – an electronic pass that gives you a 20% discount at all the top tourist sites in Dordogne, including castles, gardens, and caves. It’s definitely worth it if you plan on doing multiple visits and outings, especially in groups or with the family.

Importnat- most of the castles in Dorodgne require a car to get to, so be sure to book one advance to get good prices.

Now let’s discover some of the most impressive castles to visit in Dordogne!

Châteaux to visit near Sarlat-la-Canéda – Perigord Noir 

Château de Beynac: the most famous castle in the Périgord

First on my list is one of the most impressive medieval castles in the region, Château de Beynac. Located about 20 minutes from the famous village Sarlat-la-Canéda, this imposing château originated in the 12th century and is perched high up on a cliff. Sweeping views overlooking the river and castles on the opposite banks as well as its historical importance make Château de Beynac a must-see.

The castle is open all year long, every day from 10 am – 7 pm with audio guides or solo visiting options. You can do a 15-minute walk up through the breathtaking village of Beynac or drive to the castle where parking is available. If you’re visiting with babies, be sure to take a carrier with you as there are quite a lot of stairs to climb.

Chateau de Beynac - one of the most impressive castles to visit in Dordogne
Chateau de Beynac – a photo from my Canoe

If you’re staying in Sarlat, take advantage of a fantastic guided tour for you and the whole family. One of the best views you’ll get of Château de Beynac is from the river if you’re doing a kayak tour! You can also do a little stop in Beynac and enjoy the town during the tour. 

Château de Castelnaud

Located just down the river from Beynac you’ll find the magical Château de Castelnaud in one of the most beautiful villages in the region. With a history dating back to the 12th century and having changed hands between the French and the English during the Hundred Years War, it’s the perfect home for the Museum of Medieval Warfare. 

The Castel of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle
The castle of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle near Sarlat – Lost in Bordeaux

The museum was created with the aim of preserving and educating about the military history of the region. There are incredibly interesting displays of all kinds of medieval weapons, creepy dungeons, and armory. 

It offers an immersive experience that transports visitors, including kids, to the tumultuous times of medieval warfare. The Catelnaud castle is one of the best places to visit with kids in Dordogne

Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle - activities for kids at a chateau in Dorodgne
Cool activities for kids at the castle – by Lost in Bordeaux

In summer they host special medieval plays about the history of the castle and the region as well as free guided tours in English, old-fashioned trébuchet (catapult-like) firing displays, blacksmith demonstrations, and evening performances.

Château de Castelnaud is open every day of the year. It’s recommended to get tickets online ahead of time as this is one of the gems of the Dordogne, with many tourists visiting in the summer months. You can get a discount if you buy it as a twin ticket with the Jardins de Marqueyssac, one of the most beautiful gardens in Dordogne

Château de Milandes

This charming, dainty, Gothic château was built in 1489 by the Caumont family, who were also the owners of Château de Castelnaud. The Milandes castle, with its stunning stained glass windows and Renaissance architecture, became their permanent residence as it was more appropriate and beautiful to live in. This was in contrast to Castelnaud’s austere, fortress-style architecture.

The view of the Garden from Chateau de Milandes - one of the best castles in Dordogne
The view from Château de Milandes – Lost in Bordeaux

However, it became very famous thanks to another resident. In the 1940s, American-born dancer, entertainer, WWll resistance agent, and civil rights activist, Josephine Baker, bought the castle. She lived there with her husband and grew her family, adopting 12 children and working for the French resistance movement during the Second World War. 

Today, you can see incredible displays detailing Joséphine’s life at Milandes, including stage costumes and stories about her life. That’s what attracts most of the visitors to the impressive Château de Milandes. 

Chateau de Milandes - home to a musuem dedicated to Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker in Chateau de Milandes

There is also a magnificent garden, a very pretty chapel, a parakeet aviary, and fantastic birds of prey shows. Children can do falconry workshops and feed exotic birds, play with swords in a musketeer workshop, and feed goats while adults can also participate in a range of fun, educational activities all summer long. For more ideas for things to do with kids in Dordogne, click here

The castle is open daily from February to December (and the first week of January), see the opening hours here. There is a restaurant onsite and various shady areas with picnic tables if you want to bring your own lunch.

Château de Hautefort 

Way up in the northeast of the department, you’ll find what is often referred to as the most beautiful castle in the entire Dordogne. Château de Hautefort, overlooking the Beuze and Lourde river valleys. 

Built in the 12th century for military purposes, the castle became more suited to everyday use after a series of renovations to modernize and beautify it in the 16th century. During the French Revolution, Hautefort was used as a prison for suspected rebels and thus saved from destruction. 

In 1929, after a period of neglect and abandonment, the Baron de Bastard and his wife, Simone, fell in love with the castle and decided to restore it to its former glory. Simone moved in as a widow in 1957, but a devastating fire almost destroyed the castle once again in 1968. 

That didn’t stop Baroness Simone –  she started fixing her home up again almost the very next day! It’s thanks to her passion and the foundation she created that the Château de Hautefort is what it is today.

Visiting the castle gives you a good idea of the mix between defensive fortress architecture and gorgeous Renaissance architecture. It’s a great outing for children who enjoy exploring the castle interiors with its perfectly-preserved rooms and furniture.

The castle of Hautefort is open every day from April until November, see the opening hours here. In the summer the chateau offers different evening events, such as Theatrical nights this year, these must be cooked in advance. There is a great café for food and drinks and you can also picnic in the stunning, manicured gardens. 

While you’re there, you can discover the small but charming village of Hautefort and for children on hot days, a water park nearby. Also nearby is the charming village of Excideuil. 

Château de Commarque

Situated high on a rocky hill, about 15 km from Sarlat, Château de Commarque allows you to travel back in time. This unique gem of a castle is far less renovated than the others on this list and therefore plunges you back into the Medieval, or even prehistoric, times.

The building itself dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries, but mankind had settled there long before. During the visit, you can see how they lived in caves carved out of the rocky cliffs nearby. You’ll also discover the troglodyte houses, pushed underground by centuries of soil deposit build-up, a testament to ancient life in the region. 

It was during the Wars of Religion that the Château de Commarque fell into ruin and abandonment, swallowed up by lush green forests and almost disappearing completely. The castle was neglected and forgotten for four centuries, from the 16th to the 20th century. 

In 1962, the descendant of the Commarque family, Hubert de Commarque bought the castle back and made it his life mission to bring the castle its glory back. Since then he has been working on restoring and renovating the castle and in 2011 it was opened to the public.

Château de Commarque - one of the oldest chateaux in Dordogne
Château de Commarque – Lost in Bordeaux

As you arrive for a visit you park your car under big trees, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, and walk along a path until the castle suddenly stands tall, majestic, and breathtaking in the clearing right in front of you. The parking near the chateau is reserved for people with reduced mobility. 

There are plenty of fun activities taking place in the summer, such as evening visits with lights projected onto the castle, outdoor plays, and music concerts. The chateau offers cool activities like an escape game and adventure-seekers and kids can even abseil down the castle walls to the dungeon. Check out even more activities and games on their website.

*I find it a perfect chateau for a bit older kids but personally, I wouldn’t recommend it to families with very young kids. There are a lot of stairs there that feel a bit unsafe for very small kids. 

Château de Commarque is open from April to the beginning of November, see the opening hours here. Buy your tickets online to avoid disappointment. There are food trucks available for different snacking options.

Château et Jardins de Losse

Heading North along the Vézère River, you’ll find the Château et Jardins de Losse. The castle is perched on the river banks, overlooking the beautiful valley and boasting some of the most incredible gardens in the whole region. 

Le Château de Losse was originally built as a medieval fortress with protective walls and a ditch. In the 16th century, a Renaissance Hall was built within the castle. The decor of the chateau is a testimony to the luxurious lifestyle of Marquess Jean II de Losse in the 16th century. Today the castle and its extraordinary gardens are listed as a French historical monument. 

The famous Jardins de Losse consists of a rose garden, an arbor, manicured lavender fields, carefully trimmed, lattice-shaped hedges, various ancient fountains, and trees with magical blossoms. Taking a walk through the château gardens is like taking a trip back in time – you’ll be transported by the smells of fresh flowers, the sound of the river below and the birds in the trees, and the peacefulness of the lush greenery.

If you’re traveling with kids, there’s a variety of fun activities at the castle and in its gardens. The most unique and fun idea is the treasure hunt, which is perfect for kids aged 5-11 years old. You can book online ahead of time. Other activities include Chivalry shows, pony rides, and more. Be sure to check the schedule before going to see what activities are currently offered. 

The castle is open from May to October – see opening hours here. The Losse castle also offers beautiful vacation houses to those wishing to stay near the chateau – you can book them here.

Château de Marzac

Sitting along the banks of the Vézère River is the stunning Château de Marzac, famous for its original escape game and breathtaking, manicured gardens. This UNESCO World Heritage Site sits high above the valley and floats above clouds on gray days, making for a picture-perfect visit. 

For 6 centuries, Marzac remained in the same family, until it was eventually bought by a Danish family in the 1980s and sold again in 2019.

The best-known attraction at this fairytale castle is an escape game that takes you on an adventure of the buildings and grounds while you race against the clock. There’s also a labyrinth for kids and adults alike and a murder mystery party adventure. 

Château de Marzac is open daily in July and August, and if you’re planning on doing a game during your visit, be sure to book your tickets online. You can snack on the grounds with their yummy lunch options. 

Château de Marzac is located just 15 minutes drive from Saint Léon sur Vézère, one of the most beautiful villages in Dordogne. And just a few minutes’ drive from Les Eyzies, the prehistoric center of the Dordogne. 

Château de Fénelon

Situated on the border between the Dordogne and the Lot departments you’ll find the ancient, understated Château de Fénelon, perched on a hilltop near the village of Saint-Modane. 

Originally built in the 13th century, this castle changed hands between the French and the English during the Hundred Years War and was renovated for residential living in the 15th century. One of this castle’s highlights is the view!  it’s perched so high up that you catch a glimpse of the charming surrounding countryside out of every window.

While Fénelon might be a little more modest-looking than some other castles on this list, it’s by no means any less impressive. With its typical yellow stone walls and fairytale-like gray lauze (stone) roof towers, you can easily picture a Disney princess living here. In fact, this castle’s medieval architecture and interiors are so beautifully preserved, it’s been the shooting location for a number of Hollywood films, such as Ridley Scott’s The Last Dual.

It’s a great place to travel with kids as they have armory and weapons on display in the castle, as well as picnic spots with great views where the family can enjoy refreshments.

The castle is open for self-guided visits or tours with a guide from April to October, but be sure to check the website before you go as they’re closed on some days. Château de Fénelon is located in the east part of Dordogne, on the border with the Lot department. When there you can also visit the beautiful villages of Carlux and Carsac-Ailla. 

Castles to visit in other parts of the Dordogne – Green and Purple Perigord

Château de Jumilhac

Another Disney-looking castle on our list is Château de Jumilhac in the very north of Dordogne in Périgord Vert (green). In fact, it’s sometimes nicknamed the ‘Sleeping Beauty Castle’! Sitting high above the Isle River valley with sweeping views of the countryside, Juilhac is breathtaking from every angle.

It was built in the 13th century and underwent many renovations through the centuries. The most notable one was by Antoine Chapelle, Count of Jumilhac, who turned it into a stunning Renaissance residence in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Between the French Revolution and the 20th century, the castle again passed through many hands before finally being bought by the descendants of the original family. Today Henry de la Tour-Du-Pin is in charge and continues the passionate work of his family.

During your visit, you’ll find plenty of magnificent, extravagant gems like grand fireplaces, a perfect reconstruction of a medieval kitchen, and a delightful garden overlooking the valley. There’s a salon de thé where you can stop for a sweet treat and a cold drink during summer.

Château de Jumilhac hosts plenty of fun activities at night all summer long. Picture the fairytale castle with candles, costumes, music, and food – it’s a fantastic experience. Be sure to check out their website for upcoming events and ticket sales.

On the way to the château stop by Thiviers, one of the best market towns in Dordogne. 

Château de Biron 

Located in the Purple Perigord, Château de Biron is a nearby option if you’re visiting Bergerac. You can see the majestic castle from far away, high on the hilltop overlooking the lush green countryside below.

Like many other châteaux on this list, Biron originates in the 12th century and was originally a fortress for defense purposes. After the Hundred Years War it underwent a makeover in the Renaissance style. Every century’s styles are still visible today in the mixed architecture of the buildings.

This official Historic Monument is publicly owned today and is home to vaulted kitchens, an ancient bakery, State chambers, and a beautiful chapel. The most impressive part of the visit is the panoramic views which stretch far out over the villages below, so be sure to snap some photos! 

During the summer months, Château de Biron hosts fantastic events including evening concerts in the courtyard, exceptional art exhibitions inside the castle, and a musical festival. So be sure to check out their event calendar when planning your trip. 

While you’re in the area you should head to Monpazier, one of France’s official Most Beautiful Villages. It’s only a 10-minute drive and the village is definitely worth a visit. If you’re planning to visit the castle on Saturday, don’t miss the lovely market in Villareal, one of the most beautiful villages in the region. 

Château de Biron is open from April to the beginning of November, see hours here. You’ll find a restaurant and picnic tables onsite. You can also do a fun weekend out of it and spend a night in the delightful Le Prieuré du Château de Biron.

Château de Bridoire

If you’re visiting Bergerac in the Purple Périgord, this castle is a great place to explore as it’s not far away. Château de Bridoire is one of the best day trips for kids in the whole region. Start your visit with lunch in the stunning village of Eymet, just a few minutes away, before heading to Le Château des Jeux, the castle of games.

The fairytale-like castle is a private historic monument dating back to the 15th century. You’ll visit 15 different rooms, from the kitchen to the dining room and the working office, but what makes this château special is that it’s much more interactive than the others in the southwest of France. 

For example, there’s the games room where you can touch and play with all the fun wooden games. The highlight of the visit is the garden where adults and kids alike can have fun with a variety of huge, human-sized games.

Château de Bridoire - the chateaux of 1000 games - the best castle with kids
Château de Bridoire – the castle of 1000 games – Lost in Bordeaux

Today Château de Bridoire is a popular tourist destination but it also knew some dark times. In the 1980s the castle was left abandoned and for 22 years plenty of items were stolen, wrecked, and damaged. 

Thanks to volunteers, the French state, the Guyot family, and lots of passionate, hard work, the castle was beautifully restored. It opened its doors to the public for the first time in 2012, drawing in 40,000 visitors in its first season.

Château de Bridoire is open from February to the end of October, but not every day, so be sure to check out the opening hours before going. 

Other châteaux worth a visit in the Dordogne department if you have time

Château de Puymartin in Sarlat

If you’re visiting Sarlat, Château de Puymartin is an easy visit as it’s located only a few minutes away. The legend of the haunted castle is a fun one to explore and you’ll find plenty of activities, games, and shows happening all summer long.

Le Château Manoir de La Salle in Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère

Manoir de La Salle is an impressive 15th-century house that also has a stunning dungeon, both make a very enjoyable visit. The chateau is located in Saint Léon sur Vézère, a delightful little village sitting snugly in a curve of the river and is full of quaint, meandering lanes and charismatic old houses. It’s one of the most beautiful villages in Dordogne

Le Château Manoir de La Salle – Lost in Bordeaux

If you need more information about amazing stuff to do and see and Dordogne, check out my other articles about Dorodgne.
The most beautiful villages in Dordogne 
The most beautiful villages in Purple Perigord
The most beautiful gardens in Dordogne
A family vacation in Dordogne 
What to do in Sarlat

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

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*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂