Castillonnes is a bastide town to the northern edge of Lot-et-Garonne, 12 kilometres west of Villereal.
Why have I chosen an old postcard to represent the town rather than a modern picture (I live within 15 kilometres of Castillonnes)? Because they have unfortunately decided that the historic centre should be a car-park, and it was more attractive in 'the olden days'! Those attractive arcades/arches on the left now lead to the tourist office.
But Castillones still deserves a visit, of course - it is an active town,and with some attractive medieval buildings to discover around the square and along the side streets. It is also little given over to tourism - in itself, a characteristic not always easy to find in south-west France (Villereal is another other big success in this respect).
The town was founded in the 13th century, and the central square, with church on one corner, is the usual 'bastide town' layout.
From one edge of the town, the land falls away and there are nice views over the countryside and the valley of the Dropt River.
Make sure you are in Castillonnes at meal time and book a table in the restaurant Des Ramparts, in the street that runs parallel to the 'main street' - very good food and very good value. Then, after eating, amble up to the top of the main street, and look at the cloth-shop across from the cinema - a real shop, still in use, that is completely unchanged since 100 years ago (not by way of a trendy fashion statement, but because the owners presumably resist change!)
The cinema in Castillonnes sometimes shows English-language films.
Map of Castillonnes & places nearby
Castle Town village