If you’ve ever dreamed of spending a night in a fairy-tale castle, Europe has no limit to centuries-old chateaux and estates to enchant you. Here are some of the best that we’ve collected on our travels:
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1. Amberley Castle, West Sussex, England
This medieval castle was first built in the 12th century, and encompassed by fortifications more than a century later. A Relais & Chateaux property, you can bet that it is luxurious and splendid. Guests can sleep in a four-poster bed in front of the fireplace, or warm up their toes in the whirlpool bath beneath stone arches. The castle grounds also include an 18-hole putting course, tennis courts and croquet lawn.
Nearby: South Downs National Park, so you can bet that there are a lot of hiking paths, traditional pubs and vineyards to explore.
2. Borgia Castle, Tuscany, Italy
The sumptuous medieval Borgia Castle lies on the border of Tuscany and Umbria. Rent out all 13 rooms for a family retreat, and soak in elegant chandeliers, carved furniture, frescoes and giant fireplaces.
Nearby: Lake Trasimeno, swimming pool, medieval villages, olive groves and Sienna and Florence.
3. Chateau de Bagnols, Rhone-Alpes, France
Constructed in 1217, the darling stone fortress overlooks Beaujolais Vineyards and includes a moat, drawbridge, and lavish 5-star interior with period murals and fireplaces. The Michelin-rated restaurant offers tastings and a wine-pressing room.
Nearby: Lyon, Beaujolais wine route.
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I spent a night in a suite at the Witchery in Edinburgh to celebrate my birthday in 2014. Here is my partner enjoying the fantastic bath tub. I could get used to that kind of living but at that price it's going to be reserved for very special occasions. #thewitchery #witchery #witcheryedinburgh #edinburghphotographer #edinburghvideographer #birthdaystyle #livingitup #posh #quirky #5dmarkiii #tokina1628
4. The Witchery, Edinburgh, Scotland
While not really a castle, this accommodation indulges all the dreamy elements of your Gothic fantasy: from tapestries to ornate paintings and gilded ceilings, plus views of romantic Edinburgh.
Nearby: Edinburgh Castle
5. Glenapp Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland
This tranquil, award-winning Scottish castle was finished only in 1870. It offers a secluded, intimate level of service complemented by natural scenery and exquisite views of neighboring islands—Ailsa Craig, Arran and Mull of Kintyre.
Nearby: Galloway Forest Park, hiking trails, wild goats, eagles, golf courses, Castle Kennedy Gardens, Culzean Castle
6. Pousada di Óbidos, Portugal
The magnificent Obidos is a 12th-century medieval castle, recently up for the desirable UNESCO World Heritage status. Though only accommodating a handful of rooms, this historic hotel is charming, intimate, and Obidos town offers spectacular tourist attractions like medieval squares and excellent restaurants.
Nearby: 1 hour north of Lisbon
7. Pousada Mosteiro Crato, Portugal
Another Portuguese delight is the Pousada Mosteiro Crato, at times a Gothic church, manor house, and Renaissance convent. Originally built in the 14th century, this square-towered castle lies on the Portugal-Spain border. The definition of seclusion, these peaceful grounds offer an outdoor pool, horseback riding, and rugged regional cuisine.
Nearby: 30-minute drive to Parque Natural da Serra de Sao Mamede
8. Castlehotel Schoenburg, Oberwesel, Germany
We’re heading to the banks of the Rhine River for this one. The romantic and imposing Schoenburg is the epitome of coziness, with fireplace rooms, cobblestone pathways, libraries four-poster canopy beds, panoramic river valley views.
Nearby: Oberwesel town, riesling vineyards
9. Ashford Castle, Ireland
The elegant, gray Ashford Castle offers pinched turrets, handsome ramparts, rococo gilt mirrors and oak panelling—everything you didn’t know a castle could have. Built originally in 1228 by the de Burgo Family, and owned later by the Guinness family (of cervisial fame) this Irish Staple offers a whopping 83 bedrooms, spa and 140 hectares of woods.
Nearby: Lough Corrib, Cong