It’s no secret that France is always a hit holiday destination for the whole family. Superb food, breathtaking scenery, world-famous wine and, of course, the romance. But here at Oliver’s Travels we like to take it that little bit further to make your holiday extra special! So forget the uninspiring hotels and ditch that overpriced breakfast for a luxurious retreat in one of our exceptional chateaux! We’ve sifted through our extensive collection and we’ve picked our top 20 chateaux to rent so you can have a taste of the good life.
1. Chateau des Bijoux, Burgundy
Best for: Exploring the outdoors
Prices from: £39pppn (approx. $51USD)
Proudly set amongst seven hectares of parkland and woodland, this glorious 18th-century chateau is ideal for an unforgettable trip with the extended family. In the spring and summer, the gardens are bursting with colour and the nearby wild-flowering meadow is perfect for a lazy picnic in the sun. Hire bikes to explore the two local towns or take the kids to visit the neighbouring pony who resides in the field!
Top tip: If you’re planning a special event, why not rent some stunning Art-Deco jewellery from the gemologist owner to make your stay even more lavish?
2. Chateau Beau Village, Dordogne
Best for: Stylish interiors
Prices from: £39pppn (approx. $51USD)
Beautifully restored and lovingly decorated, Chateau Beau Village is a real chic retreat. With ensuite bathrooms in all six bedrooms, a monumental fireplace in the communal living room and an up to date sound system, the chateau is the perfect mix of old and new. Dine al fresco and admire the star studded skies or take a relaxing dip in the heated pool. Surrounded by 25 acres of parkland, privacy is guaranteed while the nearby town of Montpazier is only a leisurely 2km walk away, giving you the best of both worlds!
3. Chateau Arize, Midi Pyrenees
Best for: Multiple families
Prices from: £39pppn (approx. $51USD)
From tennis courts and a private chef to a brand-new gym, at Chateau Arize you’ll be spoiled for choice! Set in the heart of the Natural Regional Park of the Ariège Pyrénées, outdoor activities such as golf, cycling, kayaking, fishing and horse-riding are in abundance amongst its lakes, mountains and forests. With many adjoining rooms, huge grounds to play in and a heated swimming pool, this chateau is the perfect place for large families. You wont want to leave this French paradise but if you can tear yourself away, make sure to visit the medieval castle in the local town of Foix.
4. Chateau Chamborigaud, Languedoc
Best for: Sports and outdoor activities
Prices from: £69pppn (approx. $91USD)
Built in 1575, this Disney-style chateau is set in a lovely 5-acre park in the Cevennes mountains. For those looking for an active holiday, the chateau couldn’t be better placed. The possibilities are endless; with local hiking and cycling routes right on your doorstep, only 20 minutes from skiing and 30 minutes from a reservoir for water-sports. Come back to the chateau after a long day of activities and enjoy a barbecue on the terrace.
5. Chateau Beaucharm, Champagne
Best for: Wine lovers
Prices from: £17pppn (approx. $22USD)
This charming stone chateau is a peaceful haven nestled in the French countryside. Set in between Champagne, Burgundy and Chablis – three of the most famous wine regions in the world – dine al fresco and kick back with a glass of local wine and a view of the rolling hills. Get involved in relaxing country activities such as hiking, horse-riding, golfing or swimming in the nearby lake. Or enjoy some much needed ‘me time’ at the nearest town of Bourbonne-les-Bains, which is known for its hot springs and spas.
6. Chateau de la Cheine, Dordogne
Best for: Kids
Prices from: £16pppn (approx. $21 USD)
Set in picturesque private grounds, you’ll feel right at home in Chateau de la Cheine. With extensive outdoor space and a large swimming pool, kids can play all day! Younger kids will love exploring the woodland and teenagers can enjoy a game of pool in the games room. Don’t miss out on a wonderful four-course dinner prepared by the delightful owners on request!
7. Chateau les Peintures, Aquitaine
Best for: Peace and quiet
Prices from: £39pppn (approx. $51USD)
Situated on a wine estate, the recently renovated Chateau les Peintures is set amongst three hectares of peaceful parkland. Elegant interiors and breath-taking scenery make this the perfect place for a quiet retreat. If you fancy a trip away from this tranquil oasis, why not visit UNESCO classified Saint-Émilion where you can indulge in world-class restaurants that sit beside ancient ruins!
8. Chateau des Temps, Champagne
Best for: Local culture
Prices from: £42pppn (approx. $55USD)
Placed in a desirable countryside setting, this chateau is located in a quiet village that will have you living like a local. The stunning 17th-century masterpiece has been restored to its former glory, giving guests a glimpse of its ancient charm. The dedicated owners have created a variety of interesting tours with a friendly English-speaking guide so guests can learn about the history of the area. And if that isn’t enough, get involved in the French cooking lessons hosted by the talented local caterer!
9. Chateau de Grazay, Loire Valley
Best for: Any time of year
Prices from: £38pppn (approx. $50USD)
This rural manor is settled in the heart of the beautiful Loire Valley region and makes for a perfect holiday all year round. In summer, you can sunbathe on the terrace, strike up a game on the tennis court and explore the local region. In winter, get competitive in the games room and snuggle up by the fire in the cosy living room. The atmospheric kitchen will act as a social hub for your group at any time of year and it’s perfect for cooking up a tasty family dinner.
10. Chateau le Brun, Loire Valley
Best for: Quirky interiors
Prices from: £26pppn (approx. $34USD)
Owned and decorated by a talented artist, this 17th-century chateau offers an arty and warming ambiance. Originally owned by the Minister of Finances under Louis XIII and Louis XIV, this historic home is located near the Loire River where captivating views and outdoor activities can be enjoyed. The beguiling interiors and extensive grounds make for a quirky and private retreat that you’ll have a hard time topping next year!
11. Chateau Seiguier, Loire Valley
Best for: Local amenities
Prices from: £29pppn (approx. $38USD)
This countryside chateau offers elegant accommodation within a superb location! The house itself has a spacious kitchen, a large swimming pool and beautiful grounds, and the possibilities in the local village are endless. With restaurants, bars, shops, a church, a weekly market and even a hairdresser for a bit of holiday pampering, you’ll have anything and everything you need.
Top tip: The local butcher provides excellent (and very affordable) catering and a delivery service, so after a long day exploring you can appreciate the local cuisine from the comfort of your chateau!
12. Chateau Gaillac, Midi Pyreness
Best for: Nature lovers
Prices from: £41pppn (approx. $54USD)
This enchanting chateau is set among one of France’s oldest wine-growing regions and benefits from a captivating view of neighbouring vineyards. Chateau Gaillac gazes over its rural setting of lofty Cedars and sits just back from the banks of the river la Tarn (where kids will enjoy a paddle!). Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife as wild roe deer can be spotted drinking from the fountain at dawn and by evening owls and nightingales serenade alfresco diners.
13. Chateau Les Douves, Normandy
Best for: Beaches
Prices from: £54pppn (approx. $71USD)
Fancy a beach holiday that mixes family fun with luxurious indulgence? Chateau Les Douves’ high ceilings, grand interiors and huge pool will give you a taste of the high life while kids can enjoy the local beaches. Embark on a 10-minute cycle to the golden sands of Fontenay-Sur-Mer or make a 10-minute car journey to local beaches with shallow waters perfect for little ones!
14. Chateau de Garmeaux, Picardy
Best for: A day trip to Paris
Prices from: £53pppn (approx. $70USD)
This serene countryside chateau will feel like a home from home. Expect a blissful setting, comfortable interiors and a heated swimming pool for ultimate relaxation. Paris is only a 45-minute drive away so you can explore the busy yet enchanting capital before returning to your peaceful chateau. Kids will be pleased to know Disneyland Paris is only a short drive away too!
15. Chateau de Jaques, Champagne
Best for: Weddings and events
Sleeps: 12 -32
Prices from: £30pppn (approx. $39USD)
If you’re looking to host a grand event in 2020, the bewitching Chateau de Jaques is the perfect choice. Built in the 17th century on the foundations of a medieval castle, this chateau is layered in history and charm. Three original medieval towers stand tall on the grounds and with gardens designed by the same architect that created the gardens of Versailles, your guests will feel like royalty! Weddings can be conveniently held in the private chapel and followed by a slap up meal prepared by the talented caterers.
16. Chateau Quatre Saisons, Normandy
Best for: A bit of everything
Prices from: £64pppn (approx. $84USD)
If you can’t decide what you want from your chateau holiday, don’t worry because Chateau Quatre Saisons has something for everyone! Delve into French history and take a 50-minute drive to visit historic sites such as Mont St Michel, Bayeux and the D-Day landing beaches; get active on local cycling routes using the chateau’s complimentary bikes; pop to the local market and get your hands on fresh produce such as local vegetables and live lobsters; take a leisurely hike all the way to the coast and admire the sea views or cook up a storm in the chateau’s well-equipped kitchen! This countryside retreat is a real crowd pleaser that will keep even the fussiest guests occupied!
17. Chateau de Baloigne, Rhone Alps
Best for: A touch of magic
Prices from: £28pppn (approx. $37USD)
When we say ‘why do ordinary?’ we really mean it. Chateau de Baloigne is set within the ruins of a medieval castle and is government protected as a Historic Monument. Gaze over the medieval ruins from each of the six bedrooms, sleep under the stars on the rooftop terrace or explore the original dungeon dating back to the 12th century. You better pack your sandals because this one will really blow your socks off!
18. Chateau Lignol, Brittany
Best for: Country living
Prices from: £36pppn (approx. $47USD)
Experience rural French living at its finest in this 14th-century hunting lodge. Surrounded by farmland, this is ideal for anyone wanting to escape busy city life. Immerse yourself in the peaceful countryside, light up that BBQ aaaand relax. If you fancy a laid back day out why not get involved in the local activities, such as fishing?
19. Chateau Alarie, Loire Valley
Best for: A digital detox
Prices from: £18pppn (approx. $24USD)
Take a step back in time at this historic castle in the Loire Valley. Chateau Alarie’s architectural beauty boasts charm and character and the lack of a TV is a blessing (even if the kids take some convincing!) With an abundance of rich heritage, including local flower shows, famous markets and historic buildings, this is the ideal opportunity to ditch your modern technology and immerse yourself in culture. Keep teenagers entertained on day trips, such as the nearby world-famous zoo at Beauval or the train-touristique.
20. Chateau Noble, Midi-Pyrenees
Best for: Local produce
Prices from: £45pppn (approx. $60USD)
It’s not called Chateau Noble for nothing! This captivating castle was founded 400 years ago by a Lord using funds gifted to him for his service in war by King Louis XIII. Today, the dedicated owners preserve the history of the house and devote their attention to giving their guests an unforgettable experience. Even the ducks are treated like royalty in their very own duck pond chateau – aptly named ‘Duckingham Palace’! This unique stay offers an array of goodies produced on site and by local friends, including honey, jam, herbs and fruit. Nearby Samatan is world-renowned for their duck and foie-gras and is also home to one of the most famous markets in France. Get stuck into local culture and experience the real France at this southern gem.
What about those, then?! If we’ve inspired you to book a 2020 French getaway, why not check out our full collection of stunning chateaux? Our friendly concierge team are always happy to help – give them a ring and they’ll do all the fiddly bits for you!