Visiting Chateau de Beynac, France

Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'

by and - last updated on 4/27/2024

Travel Tile Château de Beynac is located approximately 25 kilometers south of Sarlat, and as this Chateau was used as a film set for the movie "The Last Duel", so we were eager to visit and explore.

Château de Beynac is a captivating medieval fortress perched dramatically on a limestone cliff (more than 150 meters tall) overlooking the Dordogne River in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France. This imposing castle, which dates back to the 12th century, is one of the most iconic and well-preserved examples of medieval military architecture in the country.

Beynac's strategic location and impressive defensive features, including a formidable outer wall and a steep approach, made it a key stronghold during the Hundred Years' War between England and France. Its well-preserved interior offers visitors a fascinating journey through time, with furnished rooms, medieval weaponry, and historical exhibits that provide insight into the castle's rich history.

The panoramic views from the castle's ramparts are absolutely breathtaking, offering a glimpse of the picturesque Dordogne Valley and the neighboring Château de Castelnaud. The castle's captivating ambiance, history, and stunning surroundings make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the medieval heritage of France.

A Brief History of Château de Beynac   3D Map

Château de Beynac has stood guard over the Dordogne Valley in France for over nine centuries. Construction began in the 12th century, a period of feudal power struggles. The early residents, the Barons de Beynac, built it as a formidable fortress with a keep, curtain walls, and a watchtower. This strategic perch allowed them to control the surrounding territory and the lucrative trade routes along the Dordogne River.

Over the centuries, Château de Beynac witnessed the ebb and flow of power. It played a significant role in the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) between France and England. The castle's fortifications were strengthened to withstand English sieges, and it remained under French control throughout the conflict. The castle's architecture reflects these adaptations, with later additions like gun loopholes catering to the changing warfare tactics.

Despite its military history, Château de Beynac wasn't solely a fortress. The Barons de Beynac also expanded the castle, adding residential quarters that showcased their wealth and status. The castle remained in the Beynac family for over 500 years, a testament to their enduring influence in the region.

Exploring Château de Beynac 

Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'
Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'
Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'
Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'
Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'
Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'
Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'
Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'
Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'
Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'
Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'
Step back in time at Château de Beynac, a powerful medieval fortress in Dordogne Valley! Explore dramatic clifftop ramparts, grand halls, and stunning views. Perfect for history buffs, families, and fans of 'The Hundred Year War.'

Château de Beynac Parking 

Parking is very limited in the village of Beynac, and there are several lots as you proceed up the Route de Château hill. If you were to park at either of those parking lots (both are payant types), you would still have quite a hike to get to the Château entrance. We did some research and found that if we continued to the top of the Route de Château and then turned right and followed it as it descended back towards the Chateau, it leads to a parking lot immediately behind the Château de Beynac entrance (On the map, that lot is titled as "Parking Bus Château de Beynac").

TIP: You have to get Château de Beynac very early (the Château opens at 10AM) because the parking lots fill up very quickly. We parked at 9:30AM, fed the payant machine, strolled over to the Château entrance and purchased our entrance tickets when they opened a few minutes later. If you get here later in the day, you are going to run the risk of not being able to park, or worse, you will wind up cruising around hoping for somebody to depart so you can grab their parking space.

Plan Your Visit to Château de Beynac 

   How do I get to Château de Beynac?

You could consider driving, or taking a train;

  • By Train: The nearest train stations to Château de Beynac is Sarlat at 12.1 kilometers. You would have to obtain a short term auto rental, or take a taxi to Château de Beynac.
  • By Car: Follow routes D-57, D-49 and D-703 south from Sarlat to Château de Beynac.
  • By Bus tour: Either Viator or Get Your Guide may have bus tours that you can investigate.
  • Where is the Château de Beynac Parking?: There is limited parking all around the cliff below the chateau, but those parking spots go quickly in the morning. Here is a Google Map link for Chateau parking, there aren't many spaces and they go fast, so get there early in the day.
  • Château de Beynac Tickets: Adult prices currently €11.50 per person. Please refer to their website for further details regarding prices and hours.
  • Château de Beynac Hours: Currently 10.00 – 18.00, 7 days a week.
  • Restaurants in or near Château de Beynac: Here is a Google Search Results link for restaurants near Château de Beynac.
  • Best Time to Visit: The castle is open year round but a visit is best between April and October when the weather is pleasant.
  • Accommodations near Château de Beynac: This is a small village (2015 population was 552) so there are few accommodations in the village itself. Here is a Google List link for accommodations near Château de Beynac, France.
More Info for Château de Beynac 

The first column below ("All Trip Destinations") lists all of our major trip destinations (for this trip) and the next four columns list each of our trip "basecamps" and then a list of what we explored from that basecamp. Each destination name is linked to it's page - so all you need to do is click that name.

 

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