Looking for a romantic destination? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Where better to bring your princess, or prince charming, than the magical lands of fairy-tale French castles? Just for you, we’ve put together a few ideas, making for an unforgettable romantic stay. You’re welcome to pass them off as your own. Whether it’s for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or just as a surprise treat for that special someone, you can be sure they will fall in love with these places!
Jump into a fairy-tale 🏰
When we think of castles in France, there are two places that spring to mind, the Dordogne Valley and the Loire Valley. So, let us walk you through what makes these destinations so special and why they are perfect for a romantic break. Love in the air is guaranteed!
One thing is certain, this destination will blow your mind. With its beautiful landscapes, its natural wonders such as caves and gardens and – of course – its numerous fairy-tale castles. Bring childhood dreams to life by visiting the castles of the Dordogne valley during a romantic stay.
1 – Castles
There are many castles with different styles in this part of France. From those built during the Hundred Year War to Renaissance style. Here is a shortlist of our favourites.
Discover Beynac Castle
This castle is located at the top of a cliff that might well give you vertigo, but it will be so worth it. Dominating the village of Beynac-et-Cazenac, this superb stone castle has watched over the Dordogne for more than 9 centuries and offers an unforgettable view of the magnificent river valley. The panorama is classified with 3 stars by the Michelin Green Guide. It is open to visitors from the beginning of February until the end of the year.
Find all the details and buy tickets on the Castle of Beynac official website.
Classified as a historical monument, this castle is unsurprisingly located in the commune of Hautefort, in the Périgord Noir. It is a real jewel, for two reasons: its 30 hectare park, which includes a French garden and an English garden and offers a stunning panorama of the village and the surrounding countryside. But also, the old medieval fortress was transformed in the 17th century into a beautiful residence and you can visit this furnished castle, its underground passages and its chapel.
Find out more on the official website of the Castle of Hautefort.
Discover Des Milandes Castle
This castle was built in the 15th century and was designated a “Maisons des Illustres” in 2012. As such, it dedicates its rooms to its famous 20th century resident, Josephine Baker. You will also be able to visit the sublime Périgourdins Gardens, registered as a Historic Monument, and discover the art of falconry at the castle.
Find all the details and buy tickets on the official website of the Castle of Milandes.
There are, of course, many other castles that you can visit during your romantic stay, such as:
- La Treyne
- Tours de Merle
2 – Caves and chasms:
The Gouffre de Padirac is the most famous chasm in Europe, considered as one of the greatest geological curiosities of France. Embark on the underground river, more than 100m underground, to admire the Grande Pendeloque, a giant stalactite of 60m high. Then, continue on foot to the Salle du Grand Dôme with its vault that rises to a height of 94m.
The Gouffre de la Fage or the Palais des Chauves-Souris (Bat Kingdom) is also worth a visit! It has two galleries. One is colorful and eccentric. The second is studded with hundreds of stalactites.
The cave of Lascaux IV, which was discovered in 1940 and renovated in 2016, will amaze you with its prehistoric treasures. It is located in the heart of the International Centre of Cave Art, at the foot of the hill of Lascaux.
You can also visit the following caves:
Romantic getaway in the Loire Valley!
On the subject of castles, we often think of the Loire Valley. Since 30 November 2020, it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (cultural landscape). Like the Dordogne Valley, the castles of the Loire Valley were built in the Middle Ages for defensive purposes. Then, during the Renaissance, aesthetics came to the fore.
In addition to the romance, you’ll learn a lot about the architectural, cultural and historical heritage of the kings of France here.
1 – Loire Castles
Chenonceau, the Ladies’ Castle
This is one of the most majestic castles of the Loire Valley. Frequented by Diane de Poitiers and Queen Catherine de Medici, it embodies the elegance of the 16th century Renaissance castles built in the Loire Valley. The arches of the castle gracefully span the Cher river. With its exceptional architecture, the castle of Chenonceau is one of the most visited sites in France.
Find out more and buy tickets on the official website of the Castle of Chenonceau.
Built in the 16th century in the heart of the largest enclosed forest park in Europe, Chambord is one of the largest castles you will ever find! Indeed, its domain extends over nearly 5500 hectares, 1000 of which are open to the public. It is also one of the most emblematic monuments of the Loire Valley, and one of the most famous castles in the world.
Located in the middle of the Chambord estate and bordered by the Cosson river, 14 km east of Blois, in the heart of the Loire Valley, its setting will amaze you. It is a must for your romantic break.
Visit Chambord Castle website for more details and to buy your tickets.
The Castle and Gardens of Villandry
This was the last of the great Loire castles built during the Renaissance in the Loire Valley. You will be charmed by the elegance of its architecture and its remarkable gardens. Take the time to stroll in the medieval French and English gardens, maintained by a team of 10 gardeners throughout the year.
Find more details and tickets on the official website of the Villandry Castle.
There are, of course, many other castles you can visit during your romantic getaway in the Loire Valley, such as:
- Royal d’Amboise and le Clos-Lucé
- Royal de Blois
- Clos Lucé, the last residence of Leonardo da Vinci
- Ussé, which inspired Charles Perrault to write Sleeping Beauty. Perfect for fans of fairy tales!
2 – Tours : a great town for a foodie stay
What could be more romantic than a stroll through the quiet alleys of a pretty, historic town? If you love the charm of half-timbered houses, you’ll love Tours old town! Enjoy the green spaces of the city too: visit its botanical garden and Prébendes d’Oé Garden.
Admire the Saint-Gatien Cathedral located not far from the Loire and take the opportunity to stroll to the banks of the river. The Loire is the star of Tours. Maybe you’d like to take a trip on a boat? Contact the Boutavant company.
Then have a romantic dinner in one of the many bistrots-gourmands in the city of Tours. Taste fresh, locally produced delicacies. And don’t forget to treat yourself to specialties such as the Tours prune prepared by La Chocolatière and Tours nougat!
Love to visit villages full of charm and authenticity? Here are a few that will please you:
- Montrésor with its troglodytic houses, dug into the rocks. It is located on the banks of the Indrois river and is classified as the most beautiful village in France. Make sure to visit the Castle of Montrésor, dating from the 15th century, on a rocky spur.
- Saint Benoît du Sault is also classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France. It is a medieval village with a fort, fortified ramparts, and many other elements which whisper of its medieval past.
- Apremont sur Allier, with its castle and its floral park, is one to visit if you will be passing near Berry.
We hope we’ve inspired you with these romantic ideas! Don’t forget to follow us on social media for more!