the most famous castle in Germany.
With a little
planning, you can stop dreaming of castles and actually visit
one... or perhaps stay in one for a romantic night dreaming of
the days of medieval chivalry.
You can even
gather family or friends to rent a castle and be surrounded
by breathtakingly beautiful countryside and centuries of history
for your entire stay.
the great castles of Europe
The most renowned of Europe's castle routes is located along Germany's Castle Road in the southern part of the country encompassing some 70 castles along a well-traveled route.
The Loire Valley chateaux of France offer more famous trips back in time to dozens of French castles located between the towns of Tours and Blois.
Poland's castles are widespread throughout the country and, although more numerous, still less well-known and less traveled.
Ideal castle touring in Europe might include the cable car ride up to Heidelberg Castle (left) on
Germany's famous castle road; a tour of the incredibly ornate Alhambra Palace in Granada,
Spain; (middle) or the Chateau Chambord in the Loire Valley in France (right).
Farther west, Spain's castles at one time numbered some 8,000, but the 2,500 that remain are still considered some of the world's most beautiful, of which the Alhambra Palace in Granada is considered perhaps the best well-known and historic.
To visit all
of them would take a lifetime, but luckily host countries have
established specific "castle routes" that can be done
in a single day (or several days - again, you might stay overnight
in one along with way) in arranged tours or self-guided driving
open to the public, visitors can take pride in knowing they are
helping preserve a special part of living history, since tickets
and admission prices usually help defray the costs of upkeep.
Once inside, you can learn more about castle construction, listen to
harrowing stories of prison towers, or get up close views of castle
art, furnishings, armor and weapons.
castles and castle hotels around the Web:
Web, discover more about the great castles of Europe, the UK and
Ireland offering photos, visitor information, and historical background.
Elsewhere, also check out luxury castle hotel or French chateaux
accommodations where, along with all the modern amenities, guests
can expect to be treated just like royalty ...
in England A-Z - A complete directory of castles and fortifications
including map locations, contact details, nearest hotels and official
castle Web sites where available.
- The premier site for finding romantic and historic chateaux
to visit or sleep in, with a searchable database by name or location
or browseable menu including wedding arrangements, rentals, historic
tours, online booking.
of Europe - Expert guide to must-sees with photos, visitor
information and resources for finding castle hotels and rent-a-castles.