France is a country steeped in a rich history, most is glorious, some is gory and the rest is just downright beautiful! Just like the fairytale castles of Scotland or the breathtaking castles in England, France has a rich history of stunning castles that dot its historic landscape. It doesn’t matter where you visit in France, you’re almost guaranteed to be able to find a castle within close proximity – so what’s stopping you? 🙂

Here are some castles that are well worth a visit when you’re in France…10 Fairytale Castles You Must Explore In France (1)

1.) Castle Peyrelade

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This beautiful castle is precariously perched on top of a dramatic rock in the town of Rivière-sur-Tarn. A beautiful place to explore about 40km south east of Rodez. Although ruined, it still provides a breathtaking backdrop over a pretty town in the French countryside.

2.) Château de Chenonceau

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Definitely my favourite French castle, Château de Chenonceau is a stunning piece of architecture that spans the River Cher in the picturesque Loire Valley. Don’t forget to visit some of the historic towns of Orléans and Tours which are all close by.

3.) Château de Chambord

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One of France’s most iconic castles, Château de Chambord is a dramatic castle built in a French renaissance style. Unlike the medieval castles of England – Château de Chambord is an intricate and beautifully crafted piece of history that is open to visit. With almost 500 years of history to explore Château de Chambord is a true French gem!

4.) Château Gaillard

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This 12th century castle is situated roughly 50 miles north of Paris near the town of Rouen. Visit Château Gaillard for the panoramic views and lush green countryside that blankets northern France.

5.) Château de Villandry

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This unbelievably grand Château is a picture perfect place to explore when visiting the close town of Tours. Don’t forget to take some time to explore the ornate gardens that are still maintained to this very day! And do try not to get lost in them. 😉

6.) Château de Foix

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Situated in the heart of Foix, Château de Foix is one of France’s most popular Château’s to visit (you can probably see why).  There’s been a fortification on this site for over 1,300 years – making this one of the oldest castles to still remain in France. When you visit, do check out the exhibitions that are housed within the Château.

7.) Château de Montbrun

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Nestled within a deep valley, Château de Montbrun is surrounded by a natural landscape that’s perfect to explore. Restored in the 19th century, Château de Montbrun is pristine example of glorious French architecture.

8.) Castle of Falaise

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Arguably one of Frances most famous castles, the Castle of Falaise is was the birth place of William The Conqueror, who went on to conquer England in 1066. Set yourself around 3 hours to take a tour and learn all about the historic importance of the Castle of Falaise.

9.) Château de Murol

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Château de Murol is a dramatic hilltop castle that keeps watch over the town of Murol below. There are lots of historic re-enactments that take place here so if you’re in for something slightly different, try to coincide your visit around those times.

10.) Château de Roquetaillade

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Based within Mazères, Château de Roquetaillade is a beautiful medieval castle that boasts quite a few similarities to these Scottish castles. It’s a fantastic piece of French gothic architecture so set aside some time to wander around and soak in all of its gothic charm.

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  • Love the Loire Valley castles! I’ve only visited Chenonceau, but they are all amazing!!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Same! I just love the diversity and ‘types’ of castles in France. They’re magical aren’t they Anna

      Lloyd x

  • SWOON. These are AMAZING. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t realize France had so many DIFFERENT kinds of castles, if that make sense. xx

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly! I felt the same way too Sarah. It feels like there’s a real diversity in all the different ‘styles’ etc. I love them all 🙂

      Lloyd x

  • Wow, I can’t believe these castles! I assumed the Versailles would have to be on this list, because I had no idea there were so many! I’ll have to visit them all! 😀

    — LisaLDN.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly! You’re totally right about Versailles, but I’d always thought of it more as a palace than a castle… ahhh it might be both! Haha!

      xx

      • That’s true, didn’t think about that! 🙂 I absolutely love it, though – one of my favourite places! 🙂

  • wonderful! What about Versailles? You don’t like it?

    • HandLuggageOnly

      I LOOOOOOVE Versailles so much! It’s not on the list as we’ve always thought of it more of a Palace than a Castle though 🙂

      xx

  • Annie Roth

    Thanks, guys! I’ve been binge watching Reign about Mary Queen of Scots at French court on Netflix. It really has almost nothing to do with the real Mary, Queen of Scots and, I believe, was filmed in Canada. BUT, it is deliciously scandalous, beautifully shot and has made me very curious about French castles. Now, I really want to go visit some of these!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Wow! This sounds amazing Annie – thanks so much for letting us know! We’re definitely going to check it out on Netflix!

      The castles are stunning aren’t they!

      xx

  • Wow, how beautiful! I love castles! The ruins one is incredible. Definitely leaves it up to your imagination!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      They really are aren’t they Rachel. Can you imagine what it was like before the ruins. Magical 🙂

      xx

  • Probably an odd question, but did you need a special drone permit to fly over Chambord?

    • HandLuggageOnly

      We don’t have any permits (but that doesn’t mean you don’t need them). 🙃 ekkkkk!

      Hope all is good with you, Anna xx

      Lloyd & Yaya xx