Get a Good Knight's Sleep
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12 Real Castles Where You Can Stay Overnight

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Get a Good Knight's Sleep
UTBP/shutterstock

A GOOD KNIGHT'S SLEEP

Whether you're a fan of "Game of Thrones," the new "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword," or you're just a history buff, you may have dreamed about spending the night in a real castle. Thankfully there are plenty of castles around the world where you can actually stay overnight, including both affordable options and worthwhile splurges. So dust off your royal robes, saddle up your horse, and get ready for a quest to some of the coolest castles in the world.

Schloss Kapfenstein in Styria, Austria
Courtesy of wikimedia.org

VOLCANIC VIEWS OF VINEYARDS AT SCHLOSS KAPFENSTEIN

Location: Styria, Austria
At Schloss Kapfenstein in southeastern Austria, guests can enjoy storybook views of the surrounding wine country of southern Styria from atop an extinct volcano. Built in 1065, the mountain fortress was designed to defend against armies of Huns and Turks. The family-owned castle is noticeably more peaceful these days, offering 15 bright and rustic guest rooms, hearty traditional fare at the onsite restaurant, and vintages from the family winery.

Château de la Caze in Sainte-Énimie, France
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CHÂTEAU DE LA CAZE, A MEDIEVAL HONEYMOON SPOT

Location: Sainte-Énimie, France
Nestled along the Tarn River in Sainte-Énimie -- considered one of the most beautiful villages in France -- the stunning Château de la Caze provides a perfectly regal refuge. Built in the 15th century as the honeymoon home for a French noblewoman, the Château has 10 rooms with those on the top level offering prime river views and a circular turret. Dine at the excellent terrace restaurant, explore the tapestries, artwork, and surrounding gardens, or relax at the pool and massage rooms.

Castle in Clarens in Clarens, South Africa
Courtesy of castleinclarens.co.za

LET YOUR HAIR DOWN AT THE CASTLE IN CLARENS

Location: Clarens, South Africa
For those looking for a fairytale experience, the Castle in Clarens -- commonly known as "Rapunzel's Tower" -- is the perfect magical escape. The tower sleeps four with two suites, which offer breathtaking views of the surrounding Maluti Mountains. You'll have the entire castle to yourself when you stay, free to explore the tapestries from Dubai and other artwork, roam the surrounding Rapunzel-inspired gardens, or have a barbecue on the patio of the Chamber of Angels.

Thornewood Castle in Tacoma, Washington
Courtesy of thornewoodcastle.com

THE GHOSTS OF THORNEWOOD CASTLE

Location: Tacoma, Washington
While we often think of castles as relics of the Old World, many can also be found in the United States, including the supposedly haunted gothic tudor Thornewood Castle. The castle is situated on 4 acres (originally 100 acres) at American Lake surrounded by fir trees, but it was originally built in England over 500 hundred years ago. In 1907, Chester Thorne, one of the founders of the Port of Tacoma, had the structure dismantled, shipped and rebuilt in Washington for his bride, Anna. The sprawling castle features 22 bedrooms, rare artwork and stained glass from 15th- and 16th-century churches, a secret English garden designed by the famous Olmsted brothers, and reportedly sightings of several peaceful ghosts, including Chester and Anna.

Talabgaon Castle Heritage Resort in Dausa, India
Courtesy of talabgaoncastle.in

TIGER SAFARIS FROM TALABGAON CASTLE HERITAGE RESORT

Location: Dausa, India
In India's northern state of Rajasthan, you'll find the stunning Talabgaon Castle Heritage Resort, a beautifully restored, nearly 200-year-old fort with gleaming white walls. The enchanting property offers 15 rooms and nine suites, a rooftop terrace for morning chai, a pool with a bar, and gardens for dining or strolling. Enjoy live music and dancing nightly, and don't miss the jeep tours to nearby Ranthambore National Park to see tigers and other wildlife, as well as camel safaris and horseback rides.

Swinton Park in Ripon, England
Courtesy of expedia.com

TREATED LIKE ROYALTY AT SWINTON PARK

Location: Ripon, England
Historic Swinton Park offers rustic tree lodges and meadow yurt glamping, but those looking for a more regal experience should opt for the luxury castle hotel. Owned by the Cunliffe-Lister family since the 1880s, the Yorkshire estate features 32 well-appointed rooms, on-site dining, and 20,000 acres of land, which includes walking and bridle trails, walled gardens, hunting grounds, fishing along the River Ure, a cookery school, a golf course, a new country club and spa, and even a Druid temple.

Parador de Oropesa in Toledo, Spain
Courtesy of parador.es

THE LEGEND OF HERCULES LIVES AT PARADOR DE OROPESA

Location: Toledo, Spain
One of Spain's oldest paradores -- luxury hotels in converted historic buildings -- the Parador de Oropesa is definitely worth a visit. Legend says the 14th-century castle was built on the site of a fortress established by Hercules' soldiers in 1716 B.C., and it can be found on the Route of Don Quixote, which follows the life of author Miguel de Cervantes. The hotel features 48 rooms, decorated with historic artwork, a beautiful swimming pool, and a terrace restaurant with traditional fare and views of the surrounding Gredos Mountains.

Dornröschenschloss Sababurg in Hofgeismar, Germany
Courtesy of wikimedia.org

ENJOY YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP AT DORNRÖSCHENSCHLOSS SABABURG

Location: Hofgeismar, Germany
Surrounded by the ancient oaks of Germany's Reinhard Forest, the 683-year-old Dornröschenschloss Sababurg ("Little Thorny Rose Castle") is said to be the inspiration for the Brothers Grimm's Legend of Sleeping Beauty. So there's little doubt you'll enjoy a long, peaceful sleep in one of the 17 renovated rooms with antique furniture and beautiful views. The castle is along the German Fairytale Route, and offers an on-site restaurant, enchanting garden, and is near the Sababurg Wildlife Park, home to a huge diversity of rare animals.

Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland
Courtesy of ashfordcastle.com

ASHFORD CASTLE WAS FIT FOR THE GUINNESS DYNASTY

Location: Cong, Ireland
Ireland's spectacular and massive Ashford Castle began as a mansion in 1228 and expanded over the centuries, and was once home to the Guinness family. Surrounded by 300 acres of ancient woodlands, the fully restored castle features 83 luxury rooms and suites, plus a hideaway cottage. You'll also find a spa, on-site dining (including the dramatic Dungeon bistro), a movie theater, and plenty of outdoor activities, including the oldest falconry school in Ireland.

Pousada do Castelo de Óbidos in Óbidos, Portugal
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THE WONDER OF POUSADA DO CASTELO DE ÓBIDOS

Location: Óbidos, Portugal
Considered one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal, the 12th-century Pousada do Castelo de Óbidos is located within one of the best preserved walled cities in the world and offers just 17 luxurious rooms with canopy beds and exposed stone walls. Enjoy views of the surrounding vineyards and windmills, dine on traditional Portuguese cuisine, and for a royal adventure consider carriage rides, boat tours, or even a guided hunt.

Thornbury Castle in Thornbury, England
Courtesy of wikimedia.org

THORNBURY CASTLE, A HONEYMOON RETREAT FOR HENRY VIII

Location: Thornbury, England
Once the honeymoon home for Henry VIII and his new wife Anne Boleyn, the 16th-century Thornbury Castle is steeped in royal history. Before the castle, it was also the site of an 11th-century manor for William the Conqueror's wife, Matilda of Flanders. It's now a modern luxury hotel with 28 bedchambers with the tower suite being the most popular. Get pampered with spa treatments, feast in the upscale dining room or down in the dungeon, or wander through the historic gardens.

Castello di Pavone in Pavone Canavese, Italy
Courtesy of tripadvisor.com

A TASTE OF TUSCANY AT CASTELLO DI PAVONE

Location: Pavone Canavese, Italy
One of the most stunning Tuscan-style castle hotels is actually far from Tuscany, just an hour outside of Milan. The majestic Castello di Pavone was first constructed in the mid-1850s as a Romanesque church and became a castle in the 1300s. You'll find 28 well-appointed rooms with incredible views, upscale dining surrounded by historic tapestries and art, and beautiful grounds, including the Park of Roses and the Noble Courtyard with the enticing Fountain of the Mysteries.