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Chateau de Beynac, Beynac-et-Cazenac

Cliff top 12th century fortified château above the river Dordogne

featured in Sights & sites

This fabulously preserved cliff top château overlooks the town of Beynac and the river Dordogne. It was built as a fortress in the 12th century with the cliff on one side and double walls and moats on the other.

Despite such heavy fortifications, it was taken and held by Richard the Lionheart for 10 years in the late 12th century. The keep is the oldest remaining element and inside, impressive tapestries line the walls. Its current excellent state is thanks to a huge restoration project which is scheduled over a 100 year period. 

Beware - the short walk up to the chateaux can be steep! But at least you can get a cup of tea at the top. There is very little within the actual castle but exploring all the rooms, nooks and crannies can be rewarding in itself - especially for the little ones.

Watch out for

The road that leads up to the castle are steep and cobbled so not suitable for those with reduced mobility or for pushchairs. You can access the castle by road and enter directly from the top of the town. Parking is available just one minutes walk from the castle entrance.

Visitor comments

  • "I studied architectural history in school, but it is another thing to see it in person. Bring your comfortable shoes and your camera. The views are amazing, especially with the hot air balloons taking off from the valley below." - Trip Advisor
  • "What an amazing place! This privately owned Chateau is a must see. It has incredible views over the Dordogne and is a renovation work in progress. Discovering that King Richard I (Richard the the Lionheart) stayed here for 10 years was even more amazing. Perched high above the pretty village of Beynac, one can combine it with lunch or coffee in one of the local eateries." - Trip Advisor
  • "Chateau de Beynac is the best castle experience I have had to give me a sense of what life in a castle fortress must have been like. The layout of the castle rooms, the furnishings and items retained in each room (like the kitchen with an ancient butcher block and many cooking utensils, pots, pans) give a realistic presentation of castle life in centuries past. The entire complex was enjoyable to explore." - Trip Advisor

When to come

The chateau is open to visitors every day. From November to March it opens daily from 10:00 until dark. April to October it is open from 10:00 until 18:30.

How to book

You can enjoy a guided tour of the castle (only in French) that departs every 30 minutes during April to October (from 10:00 to 12:00 & 14:00 to 18:30). There is no need to book in advance but in the peak summer months this may be busy.

If you do wish to book in advance or make a group booking then you can do so by using the enquiry button on this page.


Map of the surrounding area