12 Most Exciting Castles in Spain

castles in spain
Photo by Julia from Flickr

There are some of the world’s most iconic fairy-tale castles in Spain, along with medieval citadel. It includes the palace that influenced Walt Disney’s vision of Cinderella’s castle.

The majority of Spain’s castles were constructed to serve as either royal palace or military headquarters, resulting in forts that are both beautiful and commanding. The designer pattern varies symbolically depending on region and era, but some of the most dazzling palaces comprise the ornate flourishes of Moorish architecture, with the utmost impressive examples found at Granada’s Alhambra.

Many of these fortresses have a combination of designs that reflect the changes and modifications made after subjugating rulers took over, encompassing the addition of churches to former Islamic architectures. For inspiration, have a review of the list of the best castles in Spain.

12 Most Exciting Castles in Spain

1. Alcázar de Segovia

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First on the list of popular castles in Spain is Alcazar de Segovia, one of the best castles. Squat on the rocky lean of a hill that omits Segovia, the Alcázar was created to deliver as a fortress as well as a royal family residence. 

It is most extensively known as the castle that sways the idea of Cinderella’s fairytale Castle built at Walt Disney World. Architectural components, like its plentiful conical ceilings and minaret towers, have developed into the model for the consummate fairy-tale castle.

The fortress was first built during the 12th century and set up as the mansion of King Alfonso III. It was rebuilt and bolstered over the centuries by successive rulers, one of them was Isabela I who was crowned here in 1474.

Among the castle’s most remarkable traits are the Torre de Juan (Tower of John II), which is the greatest sector of the castle. This rectangular column is adorned with a dozen exquisite turrets, and those who are passionate to climb its 156 stairs can enjoy stunning and all-encompassing views from its canopy.

Another optimal area to visit for fantastic views is the Sala de Galera, factoring in tall windows that disdain the valley below. The authority room, also known as the Sala de Los Reyes, has a wondrous number of adorn features including an astounding ceiling and an embellishment that depicts the 52 kings who governed the law. 

Chambers and galleries are fully rigged up as the expression of medieval style, featuring real and reproduction tapestries, This palace reminds of the Highgate area in London in so many ways. Visitors can ingress all space in the castle, and an audio mentor is available.

castles in spain
Photo by Selbymay from Wikimedia

2. The Alhambra in Granada

The Alhambra is one of the famous castles that acquires a number two position in the list of castles in Spain. The massive Alhambra fort, which stands to protect the Granada is the town’s crowning ornament.

Earlier the site of a Roman citadel and afterwards ninth-century fortress, the Alhambra as you witness it today was initiated in earnest during the thirteenth century by Moorish Nasrid Sultans.

Instead of its consequent fall to Ferdinand and Isabella in the late 15th century, a great deal of the medieval fortress has retained the gorgeous decorative ornamentation of Moorish styles, and it is recognized as one of the finest symbols in the world.

castles in spain
Photo By Helen from Pixabay

Just near the entryway to the structure but facade of the main walls lies the Generalife area, which was once delivered as the entertainment area for the sultans in the mansion. Along with the magnificent buildings, there is the extensive Jardines Bajos (Lower Gardens), as well as the Escalera de Agua, a dazzling feat of engineering that administered inundation.

As you move towards the backyards, you approach toward the heart of the castle, home of the Palacios Nazaries (Nasrid Palaces) and the Palacio de Carlos V, a grand square architecture with a portion circular lawn at its centre. This structure now shacks the Museo de Alhambra and the Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum), as well as sundry temporary illustrations.

The trio of Palacios Nazaries consists of the Palacio de Comares (Palace of Ceremonial territory), Palacio de los Leones (Fort of the Lions), and the Palacio Real (Royal Mansion).

Each has an identical form in the Andalusian way, with all of the prime rooms opening up onto a key courtyard. The most popular lawn is the Patio de Los Leones, residence to a reservoir made of a dozen marble lions inundated by 124 arcaded queues.

Each area has numerous focal points, but one of the exceedingly impressive parts is the intricate designs and ornamentation that imply covering every nook and corner of the castles.

In continuation of a seemingly unending number of cabins, patios, and reservoirs, numerous towers keep a look over the fort. The broadest of these is the Torre de Comares, the habitat of the Sala de los Embajadores.

This room is undoubtedly one of the most dazzling rooms you will find anywhere in Europe, flanked with lanky windows and bereted with an intricately molded wooden dome.

Those attracted to the military sections of the fortress can also take a tour of the smaller Alcazaba section, placed at the distant end of the mansion. It sits just after the massive doorway of the Puerta del Vino, which was once the key entryway.

Visitors should buy their tickets before their visit to ensure access and plan to reach early to adore as much of the ancient site as they want.

3. Castillo de Coca 

The third castle among the best castles in Spain is Castillo de Coca. Situated in the city of Coca in the Segovia area, Coca Castle is a stunning Christian-era mansion featuring a tan slab exterior and numerous towers. Although it was constructed in the 15th century, the medieval fortress engineering echoes the ongoing fame of the Arabic Mudejar style.

Unfortunately, the internal part of the castle is in a poor state, however, organized visits provide a vision of what the fortress looked like in its glory days as the chair of the monarchy of Castillo.

The Moorish castle and its various crenellated battlements with their sharp merlons are more ornamental than utilitarian, as this was constructed to be a showy habitat and not a military citadel. This is even more visible in the castle’s area on a low escarpment, with a 40-foot-deep moat as its primary safeguard from unauthorized access.

Today, the moat sits bare, circling the fort in an arrangement that reflects the blueprint of large circular towers situated at each nook and corner.

castles in spain
Photo By Lironcareto from Wikimedia

4. Castillo de Loarre 

Castillo de Loarre stands fourth in the list of castles in Spain. Situated in northeastern Spain about a few hours from Pamplona, Loarre citadel sits branched on a hill glancing at the Pyrenees mountain village of Ayerbe.

It is discrete for its chain of barrel-shaped towers that seem to edge up the hill to the fort properly, the rest of defensive posts that once rank guard along the fractional ruined outer block. These, as well as the citadel’s main towers, have notched-up parapets with rectangular merlon, similar to a storybook Gothic castle.

Castillo de Loarre
Photo by Guillen Perez from Flickr

Designed as both a combatant fortification and an imperial residence, this citadel is particularly well-guarded by the limestone base that forms its groundwork support, barring sneak charges from an underground underpass. It was constructed in the late 11th century.

 This is one of those Spain’s few fortresses that does not have any kind of Moorish influences in its construction.

5. Olite Castle (Royal Palace of Olite)

Amid the famous castles in Spain, Olite Castle is at 5th position in the list. The original category is recognized now as the Palacio Vieja (Old Palace), and the Palacio Nuevo (New Palace) was summated in the 15th century. Comprehensively, it is a symbol of predominantly Gothic architecture.

castles in spain
Photo By Cesar from Flickr

The palace was recognized for its lavish ornamentation and over-the-top component that were the urge and pride of the Kings of Navarre. Among the miracles that once filled the palace were wide-ranged hanging gardens, a space that showed exotic creatures, and an inside area that hosted jousting contests and bullfights.

This is one of those specific photogenic beautiful castles, thanks to its brick-and-stone surface and irregular blueprint. Capped towers, barriers, and keeps seem to have been arbitrarily put, but the disproportional just sum up to the charm. Visitors can relish impressive views from the top of the large flat ceilings, parapets, and towers.

The mansion has been under the supervision of the Spanish government since the early 20th century, and it has been carefully reconstructed to give guests an idea of what it looked like during its peak days. The citadel has been a popular national monument since 1925 and it is nearly 30 minutes from the Pamplona district.

6. Castel de Bellver 

The sixth castle among the castles in Spain is Castle de Bellver. The Bellver Castle sits on a mountain just west of the harbor at Palma in Mallorca.

It was built by King James of Majorca amid the 14th century as both a mansion and fortification, protecting the monarch through several barricades until it fell in the 16th century. Today, it is known as a symbol of Palma.

Castel de Bellver 
Photo by Vitor Oliveira from Flickr

This massive citadel was constructed in an authentic unique design, with most of the structure consisting of an oblique building that is redolent of Rome’s Colosseum. The interior yard is expansive, encircled by two stories of arcaded balconies. Four circular towers support guards near the central castle, with the contour of the old moat chisel around them.

Once host to court appearances, the central yard is now used as a concert venue and centre for cultural events. Guided tours of the fort are available, and it houses an excellent archival museum.

7. Peñafiel Castle 

Peñafiel Castle is the seventh castle amidst the list of beautiful castles in Spain. Located in the district of Valladolid, Peñafiel Castle is an enforcing and beautiful sight atop a long ridge.

When lit from beneath at night, the castle resembles an enormous ship due to its astonishing elongated shape. The ancient fortress spans to a length of 210 meters while only reaching 33 meters at its broad, making the best use of the complete height of the rocky backbone.

Peñafiel Castle 
Photo by Santiago Lopez-pastor from Flickr

Construction on the castle started during the late 10th century, with most of the presently visible structure dating since the 15th century when it was expanded and re-designed.

A wine museum now takes up one wing of the castle, and visitors can probe the other wing by a guided tour. 

8. Castillo de La Mota 

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Castillo De La Mota is number 8 on the list of castles in Spain. Perched on a man-made mountain overlooking the town of Medina del Campo in Spain’s Valladolid district, the original architecture was built during the 11th and 12th centuries employing concrete with a slab façade.

The holes left from the timber framing are often confounded as scars from old battles regardless of their regular spacing. The castle has been gone through extensive renovations during the 15th century before falling under the rule of Ferdinand and Isabella.

The most imposing part of the citadel is the Torre del Homenaje (Homage Tower), a 40-meter-tall oval tower that sits on the northeast edge of the inner section of the castle, capped by a crenellated keep and four lesser turrets. It is often assigned to as the Great Tower of Castillo de la mota.

The castle can be toured on an easy day trip from Salamanca; advanced booking of citadel tours is recommended.

9. Alcazaba de Málaga

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Alcazaba de Malaga is in the 9th position in the 12 castles of Spain list. Situated on a hill glimpsing the Mediterranean Sea on Spain’s southern coast, the Castle of Málaga and its immediate circumferential enclosing contain significant Roman, Arabic, and Rejuvenation sites.

A first-century Roman hall sits at the base of the mansion on Gibralfaro Hill, and just above this is the seminal Arab defence, which was built in the 8th century. A passageway associates this to additional fortifications and residential spaces that were added during the 11th century.

The defensive section of the citadel is described by a series of formidable square turrets and parapets. The castle’s interior features certain ornamental gates, patios designated for the backyard, orchards, and the pool, three leading towers, and the imperial chambers, as well as the fort’s dungeons. The citadel has been restored and can behold via guided tour.

10. Castillo de Peñíscola (Peñíscola Castle)

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Number 10 in the list of castles in Spain is Castillo de Peniscola. Located on the southeastern seashore halfway between Valencia and Tarragona, Peñíscola Citadel overlooks one of Spain’s lovely beach cities from a height of 64 meters above sea level.

It is known for being constructed by the mysterious Knights Templar in the 12th century and features blocks of carved stone and barrel-vaulted rooms. Perhaps because of this substantial construction in one of these templar castles, very few modifications have been made to the structure in the centuries afterwards.

Today, large portions of the fort and grounds have been turned into a botanic garden, full of indigenous trees and flowers. This is a lovely place to visit for the gardens, as well as the scenic views of the Mediterranean from atop the outlook perspective.

11. New Castle of Manzanares el Real

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Also recognized as Castillo de Los Mendoza (Mendoza Castle), named for the imperial family who resided here, this citadel is known for being used in the shooting of El Cid, the epic 1961 movie.

This is the 11th out of 12 beautiful castles in Spain. With its photo-worthy outer, one can easily see why it was selected – the stately, round crenellated towers are decorated with exquisite Gothic stonework, and various layers of walled fortification and double-towers convey to its use as both a fort and a palace.

Constructed exclusively of granite, the castle features a major tower that is hexagonal and has four rounded towers. Visitors can visit the palace, including all six floors, numerous galleries; and the towers, which provide magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.

The castle is regulated by the Community of Madrid and houses an admirable museum dedicated to the history of Spanish citadels. This medieval castle is one of the most chosen day trips from Madrid.

12. Castillo de Burgalimar (Burgalimar Castle)

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The Moorish Burgalimar Fort is also known as Castillo Baños de la Encina, named for the city it watches over. This is the 12th monument in the castles of Spain, situated in northern Andalusia.

Built-in Built-the Moors, it was developed using rammed earth that was based on clay. It was over time by the Christian military in 1225. Much of the original design remains, however, structures were added in the following centuries.

Some of the most significant additions occurred during the 15th century, including the Christian Tower of Homage, one circular tower, and a Gothic keep, which was construed to be one of the original towers.

As a fortification, this castle was among the toughest, with double walls and fifteen protected towers. The site was declared a National Historic Monument in 1931.

The Last Word

Spain is your perfect destination for viewing castles as it is a place full of old and medieval castles. All the 12 castles in Spain were built for either the purpose of a mansion for the royal residence or as a fortress to act as a barricade. 

 Since Spain has a mixture of old, modified, beautifully decorated, and well-maintained castles, you are going to have a splendid experience viewing these castles in Spain.  


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