An ancestral fortress - Château de Beynac
Perched on its hilltop, it has been watching over the Dordogne River for 1,000 years and its silhouette is famous around the world. The Château de Beynac invites to visit as-you-please with a guide book or accompanied by a guide (between 50 min and 1 h) to unlock the secrets of this fortress which only laid down its arms when challenged by Richard the Lionheart. Continue with a visit through the village, clinging to the cliff and listed as one of the “Plus beaux Villages de France” (Most Beautiful Villages of France).
In Beynac-et-Cazenac. Open daily from 10am to 7pm.
Prices: €8, €6 for 12-16 year olds and €4 for 5-11 year olds.
Tel: +33 (0)5 53 29 50 40. http://chateau-beynac.com
Hautefort… star of the silver screen
The castle, which has been used as a shooting location for a host of films, perpetuates this cinematographic identity through an exhibition entitled “50 years of cinema at Hautefort” and has a surprise in store for lovers of the 7th art. Here, they can enjoy an interactive visit on a real film set and, for a few minutes, become a camera operator, filmmaker or actor in front of a camera, in King Louis XVI’s bedroom.
Daily from 9:30am to 7pm (June, July, August). Cf. website for other periods.
Prices: €10, €5.50 for 7-14 year olds and free for children under the age of 7.
Tel: +33 (0)5 53 50 51 23. www.chateau-hautefort.com
The forgotten fortress - Château de Commarque
The main building (12th and 14th centuries) of the château de Commarque, which was wide open to the skies for centuries, recovered its flooring and roofing last year. A new chapter in history which now invites to visit, with never-seen-before perspectives from the great mullioned windows and from the Northern terrace overlooking the valley. The site proposes a 3D presentation of Commarque’s prehistoric grotto, of troglodytic dwellings and a grandiose treasure hunt: “The Treasure of Commarque”.
In Sireuil, Les Eyzies. Daily from 10am to 8pm (July-August, off-season from 11am to 7pm).
Prices: €8.80; €6.50 for students; €5 for 13-17 year olds; €4 for 6-12 year olds.
Workshops and activities (cave etching, archery, sculpture of stone, Pythagoras and medieval calligraphy workshop) at no extra charge.
Tel: +33 (0)5 53 59 00 25. www.commarque.com
A fairytale castle - Château de Jumilhac
On the border between Green Périgord and Limousin¬, the towers and turrets topped with slate roofs crowned with allegorical finials make the Château de Jumilhac clearly¬¬ look like a fairytale castle. On arrival, its monumental proportions and ¬age-old stones illustrate several centuries of architecture and history… As does the visit, which takes a host of detours, from the feudal tower to the great “Versailles-style”, parquet-floored drawing room.
In Jumilhac-le-Grand. Daily from 10am to 7pm and from 9:30pm to 11:30pm for night-time visits on Tuesdays from June to September, and also on Thursdays in July and August. Off-season, open from 2pm to 6pm; in winter at weekends from 2pm to 5pm.
Prices for the castle and gardens: €8.50; €7.50 for 12-18 year olds, students and large families; €5.50 for 5-11 year olds.
Tel: +33 (0)6 09 61 78 40. http://chateaudejumilhac.com