Apart from the castle, which unfortunately was closed when we visited Bourdeilles, there are not many must-see sights in the village. Instead, what you should do is strolling through the village streets and taking in the atmosphere of Bourdeilles. I particularly liked the old stone bridge crossing the river Dronne and the park behind the castle from where you can enjoy some magnificent views over the Dronne valley and beyond.
Bourdeilles has an abundance of sports facilities for all ages. The river Dronne, which ambles through the town has canoes for hire and fishing permits are readily available. Right by the river one can enjoy tennis and an open-air swimming pool. There is also a cycle hire facility in the town. Just a few minutes from Bourdeilles,is Paussac a well known centre for rock-climbing and rambling. With a hotel catering especially for these sports.
Within a short ride one can enjoy a fully equiped 18hole golf course.
Accomodation can be found at: http://www.wellearnedbreaks.com/self-catering.php
You can tell it's a sleepy little provincial town when a mill hits the "must see" list. However, the 17th century Bourdeilles mill is a beauty. . .now covered with vines and flowers. There a particularly nice view of it from the keep, but a walk across the town bridge also gives a different angle.
The chateau is particularly interesting because it has inherited several collections of antiques ~ each room and hallway is filled with furniture, statues and art. The labelling is minimal, but the pieces themselves are so decorative that they can be enjoyed without explanation.
No photographs are allowed inside, so this is simply another shot from the keep ~ with the Bourdeilles church in sight.
The Renaissance Chateau found next to the fortress was built to impress Catherine de Medici, who was supposed to ~ but never did ~ visit Andre de Bourdeilles and his wife. The room that was intended to host the visiting Catherine de Medici, the Salon dore, was in fact left incomplete when news of the cancellation broke.
It's still a stunning room though (decorated floor to ceiling) and I'm not sure what additional plans were in store for it.
You can enter and climb the octagonal keep up to a slanted rooftop, overlooking the chateau, church and town.
One of the higher "floors" of the keep has been inhabited by a large number of pigeons and you must watch your step. . .and your head. . .as you cross to the staircase on the opposite side of the room.
The fortress is dominated by a 35-metre high octagonal keep (which you can climb to the top of. . .see the following tip). There are 4 vaulted stories with 2-metre thick walls.
The interior courtyard of the fortress was all ours (no other visitors in sight during our stop in at Bourdeilles), so we enjoyed exploring the windows and area around the well as well as the interior, at our own pace.
The Bourdeilles Fortress dates from the 13th century and its neighbouring Renaissance chateau from the 16th.
During the off-season, the fortress and chateau are closed on Tuesdays. . .although out of the way, Bourdeilles merits a visit for both these historical buildings and the beautiful surrounding countryside.