Bergerac is the capital of the southern part of the Dordogne, Périgord Pourpre, named after the colors of its wines. The town is considered one of the best places to base yourself while exploring the Dordogne region. Not only does it have a stunning and very lively city center but Bergerac is also surrounded by an impressive number of medieval villages, castles, and wineries. There are plenty of amazing day trips from Bergerac and I’m here to tell you about it. 

To be able to explore the region properly I highly recommend renting a car. However, if you don’t want to go through that hassle I also suggested a few amazing day trips from, Bergerac you can do by train. 
If you’re looking for what to do and eat in Bergerac, check out this travel guide with all my personalized recommendations.

 Limeuil one of the most beautiful villages near Begerac
Beautiful villages near Bergerac

Best day trips from Bergerac by car 

Visit le Château de Monbazillac for wine-tasting

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. 

wine tasting at Chateau de Monbazillac near Bergerac
Chateau de Monbazillac – by Lost in Bordeaux

The Monbazillac wine appellation is renowned worldwide 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. 

Check out the ticket website 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.

Visit 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 which is 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. 

Eymet and Chateau de Bridoire 

This cute little village with its picturesque houses and abundance of restaurants is a great option for a day trip from Bergerac. Eymet is a typical bastide or fortified town that was founded in the 13th century by Alphonse de Poitiers, the Count of Toulouse.

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

Bastide towns can be recognized by their arched central squares that were commonly built in the southwest of France between the 12th and the 14th centuries by both French and English kings. These were new towns (or “villes neuves” in French), built to encourage settlements of empty areas. There are many of them in the old Gascony region with most being small sleepy towns. 

Eymet, however, is a rather lovely, lively little town with plenty of restaurants and a small cultural scene. Ironically, while the town was originally established by the French as part of a defensive strategy against an English invasion, today it’s one of the most “British” towns in Dordogne with 20% of the local residents being British.

As you stroll through the charming lanes, don’t miss the beautiful temple on Rue du Temple and the cute flowery passage between Rue du Temple and Rue Portanel.
On your way back to Bergerac, you have to stop at the beautiful, fun-filled Château de Bridoire, which is one of the best day trips for kids in the whole region. It’s known as Le Château des Jeux, the castle of games. You can read more about this fascinating chateau in my article about the best castles to visit in Dordogne.

Chateau de Bridoire

A day trip to Limeuil – one of France’s most beautiful villages 

Dordogne has plenty of stunning villages to offer to the point where it can be hard to choose which ones to visit if you’re short on time. One of my favorites, however, is Limeuil which is located only a 45-minute drive from Bergerac, so it’s perfect for a quick day trip.

Limeuil is a medieval town, built at the confluence of the Dordogne and Vézère rivers and used to be an important port town. You can spend a full day here, exploring the stone houses on the small side streets rising from the banks of the river to the top of the hill. I dare to say that Limeuil is the most beautiful village in the region of Purple Perigord or at least the one with the most beautiful views. 

Limeuil - one of the most beautiful villages near Bergerac
Limeuil – Lost in Bordeaux

If there’s one thing you shouldn’t miss in Limeuil is its beautiful panoramic garden (Jardins Panoramiques de Limeuil). On top of the impressive vegetation in the garden, you’ll also get to enjoy a stunning panoramic view of both the Dordogne and Vézère Rivers. 

If you’re up to something more active you can go kayaking on one of the rivers.  Aquafun Canoes Dordogne, which is located on the port of Limeuil is one of the companies offering kayaking and canyoning in this region (see other kayaking options in my article about kayaking in Dordogne). 

If you find yourself going to Limeuil on a hot day, you can cross the Dordogne river to the other side and enjoy the nice little beach called Plage de Limeuil.

The beach in Limeuil one of the best day trips from Bergerac
The beach in Limeuil – Lost in Bordeaux

Wine tasting near Bergerac 

While Bergerac wine is not as famous as the Bordeaux wine region around the world, locals and wine professionals know all about the Bergerac wines. They are excellent value for money and great for a change from the more upmarket Bordeaux wines. Bergerac wines are often softer and easier to drink for everyday pleasure than wines you would age for a long time.

Bergerac is home to thirteen different appellations, the most famous being Monbazillac, alongside Bergerac AOC, Montravel AOC, and more. Whether you like red, white, or rosé, you can find it all around Bergerac!

Wine tasting near Bergerac – Lost in Bordeaux

There are quite a few wineries to visit near Bergerac. Here are my personal recommendations: 

Domaine du Haut Pécharmant – one of the most familiar names in the Bergerac wine region located about 10 minutes drive from the city center.

Château Feely – an excellent organic and bio-dynamic winery owned by a lovely couple from Johannesburg. 

Château de Tiregand – another great wine from the Pécharmant appellation, located in a stunning chateau that often hosts events and activities for kids.

A visit to a caviar farm in Neuvic 

One of the local delicacies that this part of Dordogne is known for is caviar. Did you know you can actually visit the farm that produces it? Talk about a unique outing!

A visit to a Caviar farm in Neuvic Dordogne
Cavian de Neuvic – Lost in Bordeaux

Their tour is very enjoyable for both kids and adults. Visiting the farm I got to discover how the Sturgeons are raised and how caviar is produced and taste it of course. Here’s something interesting I discovered there: did you know that France is the 3rd biggest producer of Caviar in the world?!

The Caviar de Neuvic farm offers a variety of visits, including a brunch at the farm. You can even do a master class tasting! They are great hosts and it’s a very fun and interactive experience I highly recommend it.

Canoeing on the Dordogne river

This is one of my all-time favorite activities in Dordogne! It’s great for couples, friends, and families. 

If you’re staying in Bergerac you have a few options when it comes to canoe/ kayak tours. You can either drive in the Bordeaux direction to Club FJEP de Pessac-sur-Dordogne. The club also has a fun bar where you can have a drink with a stunning river view. 

The other option is doing it when you’re visiting Limeuil, where you can find the Canoës Limeuil club on the beach. 

Canoës Limeuil club - canoeing on the Dordogne river
Canoës Limeuil club – Lost in Bordeaux

Here’s my comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about kayaking in the Dordogne where all your questions will be answered!

Visit the castle of Montagne 

The stunning Château de Montaigne, located about 45 minutes drive from Bergerac and built in the 14th century. It’s mostly known as the former residence of philosopher and thinker Michel de Montaigne, an important figure in French and regional history. 

However, even if you’ve never heard of Montaigne before, this is simply a magnificent castle to visit. If you’re staying in Bergerac, It can be a fun day trip for the whole family with fun activities ranging from wine tastings to games for kids on special occasions throughout the year.

You can choose to do a guided tour of the castle and learn about its history or simply walk around the gardens on a sunny day. You can snack on delicious cheese and charcuterie platters or buy some wines and souvenirs and the castle boutique.

Monpazier and Château de Biron

Monpazier is one of the most impressive bastide towns in the southwest of France, labeled as one of France’s most beautiful villages. A slice of paradise for history fans, the town has remained practically untouched since its creation in 1284. The few new cafés and boutiques match the ancient architecture perfectly and are a great spot from which to enjoy the view of the village’s main square.

If you consider the Monpazier as a day trip from Bergerac, try to combine it with a visit to the Biron castle, located within less than 10 minutes drive from the stunning village. You can see the majestic castle from far away, high on the hilltop overlooking the lush green countryside below. 

Biron originates in the 12th century and was originally a fortress for defense purposes, but underwent a makeover in the Renaissance style after the Hundred Years War. Every century’s styles are still visible today in the mixed architecture of the buildings.

During the summer months, both Château de Biron and the village of Monpazier host the fantastic Bergerac Music Festival, also known as Festival du Périgord Pourpre – “L’Ete Musical en Bergerac”.

Les Jardins de Sardy 

I already recommended the beautiful gardens of Limeuil, but if you’re really passionate about French gardens, then this is the one for you.

Located about 35 minutes by car from Bergerac, Les Jardins de Sardy are built around a fortified 18th-century Italian-style farm and underwent a total facelift in the mid-1900s. The land was acquired by the Imbs in 1956, who worked hard to turn it into a stunning English garden. Today, it is run by the son Frédéric Imbs and his family, who have opened the gardens to the public. 

Les Jardins de Sardy - gardens to visit when visiting Dordogne
Les Jardins de Sardy – Lost in Bordeaux

If you wan tot read more about the Sardy gardens, go to my article about the most beuatiufl gardens in Dordogne

Finish off your visit to the gardens at the sweet café for a drink and a view over the peaceful greenery. Les Jardins de Sardy are open every day from May to September. In summer they sometimes host classical music concerts in the gardens, which make for a very romantic outing.

Grottes de Maxange

You don’t want to miss one of the most breathtaking caves in Dordogne. Situated about 50 minutes’ drive from Bergerac, Les Grottes de Maxange is one of the most interesting geological sites in the center of Dordogne. The caves, covered with thousands of speleothems looking like crystals, were discovered in 2000 and are supposedly date back 60 million years. 

Grottes de Maxange
Grottes de Maxange – Lost in Bordeaux

Les Grottes de Maxange are located in le Buisson-de-Cadouin, a small town with a very famous abbey that is well worth a visit. It’s a perfect spot for a hot summer’s day because the temperature inside as you wander through remains a cool 13 degrees Celsius/55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

There is parking onsite as well as a fun boutique where you can buy crystals and other mineral souvenirs, a bar to stop for a drink and a snack, and a kids’ play area. I recommend booking your tickets online to avoid any potential queues in the summer months.

The castle and village of Duras

Duras is a charming little town in the Lot et Garonne department known for its imposing chateau and its wine. Located only 45 minutes’ drive from Bergerac, this small but very buzzing village hosts plenty of events. One of the best night markets takes place in the town center every Thursday during the summer. While you’re there, don’t miss the Maison des Vins de Duras, to try and buy some of the excellent local wine.

Night markets in the Southwest of France
Night markets in the Southwest of France (Duras) – Lost in Bordeaux

The Château de Duras has a great 4G screen that projects beautiful light shows onto the castle and attracts many tourists to the village three times a week during the summer season for open-air entertainment. Each school holiday and all through summer, there are plenty of fun activities at the castle.

Best day trips from Bergerac by train 

Here’s a map that will help you understand which towns in the area are connected by train. From there, plan your train trips accordingly and get around France the local way! It’s also better for the environment and a fun experience.

Visit wineries in Saint Emilion 

Saint-Émilion is a breathtaking medieval village located midway between Bordeaux and Bergerac. It’s famous worldwide for its prestigious wine and indeed, when in the region, a visit to Saint-Émilion can’t be missed!

what to do in Saint emilion
The center of Saint Emilion

Here’s my ultimate guide on a day trip to the beautiful village and all the things you can’t miss. If you’re planning on visiting one or more wineries in Saint-Émilion, check out this article about the best chateaux to visit in Saint Emilion..

You can easily get there by train from Bergerac – the quickest and easiest way. Buy your tickets here.

A day trip to Sarlat for a market day 

No visit to the Dordogne region is complete without at least a few hours in the stunning capital of Périgord Noir. Here’s an article on what to do, eat, and drink in Sarlat with detailed information about the most famous squares and cafés, the sights to see, and the best places to enjoy local delicacies like foie gras, walnuts, cheese, and wine.

Le Badaud de Sarlat - one the most interesting monuments in Sarlat
Le Badaud de Sarlat – by Lost in Bordeaux

Sarlat-la-Canéda is stunning every day of the year but the best days to visit it are Wednesday and Saturday, the market days. Sarlat is known as one of the best markets in Dordogne, but I must add here that it’s one of my favorites in the whole Southwest of France. You can even take a gourmet market tour in case you want to explore the local cuisine in more depth.

You can easily reach Salrat by train from Bergerac, so there’s no excuse not to visit this magnificent medieval town! Check out tickets here

A day trip to Bordeaux – the capital of the Southwest 

I may be biased because I live in Bordeaux but I think it’s one of the most exciting, beautiful cities in France. There’s so much to see, do, eat, drink, and taste! And it’s a great city to visit with or without kids – there’s something for everyone. 

The beautiful town of Bordeaux
The center of Bordeaux – Lost in Bordeaux

As someone who lives and writes about Bordeaux, I think you need at least a weekend to discover Bordeaux and its surrounding sights. But if all you have is one day, then a day trip to the capital of the southwest is definitely worth it!

In a day you can check out the historically covered Capucins market, taste some cannelés (traditional cinnamon pasties), cool off at the Miroir d’Eau, check out one of the state-of-the-art museums, and eat great food at one of the countless restaurants the city has to offer.

I’ve summed up the things you can’t miss when you have one day in Bordeaux in this article.

The same train line you take to Saint Emilion continues to Bordeaux, you can buy tickets here.

I have plenty of other articles about the Dordogne you may find useful when planning your trip, so be sure to check them out!

Where to stay in Dordogne
What to do in Bergerac
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:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*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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