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Real-life castles you can rent

Billie Cohen
March 6, 2013

So far, we've featured beachfront villas, gorgeous rental mansions with pools, and even villas with cool modern architecture. But now we're talking real luxury: castles you can rent. And not just any old castles—castles approved by our carefully vetted villa specialists.

Chateau La Merveille
Between Le Mans and the Loire Valley, France


The family that owns this chateau dates back to the era of William the Conqueror (and they traveled with him). They’ve had the property for 600 years and it shows: A screen in one of the bedrooms is made from one of Marie Antoinette’s day dresses, and one of the bedrooms still has authentic 18th-century wallpaper.

The only caveat (though we can’t imagine you’d care as you study the family portraits of court attendants and cardinals): no swimming pool. From €20,000 a week for five suites, including continental breakfast, cleaning and laundry; extra rooms and cook on request.

Contact: Marina Gratsos, Carpe Diem Luxury Travel

Girona Castle
Near Girona, Catalonia, Spain
Mary Vaira of El Sol Villas tells us that from the lookout tower, you can see the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean coast and the French border—useful views in case you need to protect this 11th-century castle's giant stone-vaulted dining room and two kitchens from unwelcome vacation invaders. From $8,000.

Contact: Mary Vaira, El Sol Villas

Villa il Borgo
Siena, Tuscany, Italy
Pool: check. Tennis courts: check. Room for 34 guests: check. Plus you’ve got Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and all of Tuscany around you. From €40,000 a week; longer stays are discounted.

Contact: Countess Simonetta Brandolini d'Adda, The Best in Italy

Ferniehurst Castle
The Borders, Scotland
This 16th-century castle is the seat of the Clan Kerr, and you can dine just like them in your giant banquet hall. Build up an appetite big enough to deserve such a grand room while salmon fishing on the nearby River Tweed or practicing your swing on local golf courses.

Contact: Andrew Loyd, Loyd & Townsend-Rose, Ltd.

Rocaberti Castle

Near Girona, Catalonia, Spain
As you curl up in front of the fireplace—or sunbathe by the pool or stroll under the pergola—think back on this four-floor stone structure’s long history: It was built in the 11th century and restored in the 16th. From $12,500.

Contact: Mary Vaira, El Sol Villas

Castello delle Loggie
Veneto region, Italy

Built in 1610 on the remains of an earlier fortress, this villa has six bedrooms, fresco-adorned living rooms, and huge outdoor loggias for lounging around like a king—not to mention a staff to make sure you feel like one.

Contact: Countess Simonetta Brandolini d'Adda, The Best in Italy

Balfour Castle
Isle of Orkney, Scotland
Nine bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a drawing room, a formal dining room, a billiard room, a private chef, a private chapel, a cinema, and a golf room with a 56-course simulator—and if you're not satisfied indoors, you can always go seal watching, shoot clay pigeons, or play paintball.

Contact: Andrew Loyd, Loyd & Townsend-Rose, Ltd.

See more photos of these and other spectacular castles.