From fairy tales
Collected by Adriana Yampey , AFAR Local Expert
77300 Fontainebleau, France
A quick 40-minute train ride from the Gare de Lyon in central Paris takes you to one of the best day trips out of the city: a forest preserve surrounding a palace that dates back nine centuries. The Forêt de Fontainebleau offers a hundred square...
Dromoland, Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare, V95 ATD3, Ireland
Dromoland, with its towers, turrets, and suits of armor, dates back to 1014. Your room is appointed with ornate furniture, vibrant fabrics, and fairy-tale garden views. While you’re there, try your hand at the regal art of falconry. Dromoland...
Nicholas St, Limerick, Ireland
Limerick doesn't draw nearly as many visitors as some of its neighbors — not with trendy destinations like Cork and County Clare nearby. Perhaps it has something to do with the nickname; Stab City doesn't roll off the tongue and, well, it would...
Avenue de Paris, 94300 Vincennes, France
Built in the 14th century by Charles V, the Chateau is one of the most important castles in French history. The Sainte-Chapelle (Holy Chapel), on site was founded in 1379 and is well worth a visit. The chapel construction started just before the...
R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa, Portugal
The Castelo de São Jorge, is one of the Alfama neighborhood’s most historically significant monuments. Plan a visit late in the afternoon so that you can explore every nook and cranny and learn about the castle’s abundant...
Kingsdown Rd, Walmer, Deal CT14 7LJ, UK
Built during the reign of King Henry VIII, Walmer Castle is one of the most fascinating visitor attractions in the South East. Originally designed as part of a chain of coastal artillery defenses it evolved into the official residence of the Lord...
Groot-Bijgaarden, 1702 Dilbeek, Belgium
Most garden-lovers have heard of the Dutch tulip garden, Keukenhof, a few hours north of Belgium. Few, however, have heard of Belgium's own wonderful spring tulip garden at Groot-Bijgaarden Castle. Also called Grand Bigard (in French), the castle...
Broomfield, Maidstone ME17 1PL, UK
Going to Leeds Castle last Spring was a real treat as daffodils and tulips were in bloom everywhere and ducks, swans and peacocks were roaming the castle grounds, a big hit for our kids. Inside is as spectacular as the outside. The rooms are...
Rue du Château 11, 7970 Beloeil, Belgium
We went there last Spring and loved it. At the time it was hosting a lilies exhibit so it was ornamented with the most beautiful lilies I had ever seen. I am not sure if it happens every year, I wish I would have asked...but exhibit or not this is...
Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany
The most famous castle in Germany—and one of the best known in Europe—Neuschwanstein is renowned not just for its fairy-tale architecture (which directly inspired the Disney Castle) but also for its creator, “mad” King...
Av. des Hêtres 13, 1421 Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium
The Marquis of Béthune built the Château de La Hulpe in around 1840 in the style of Louis XII and François I. At the end of the 19th century, the estate was purchased by chemist and soda tycoon Ernest Solvay. Today it belongs to the region of...
Ooidonkdreef 9, 9800 Deinze, Belgium
The lovely Ooidonk castle, once the home to the Earl of Horne, is one of the finest in the country and is still inhabited by the owner. The castle was involved in numerous conflicts between cities during the 14th and 15 century and saw its fair...