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Bored of walking along the beaches? Witness some of the most stunning fortresses and castles in Spain. You might think of serene hills, beaches, and various natural landscapes when visiting Spain. But one thing you tend to overlook is historical landmarks.
Spain is a country full of history and has a fair share of beautiful paradors in Spain to explore. There are thousands of castles in Spain. So, it was tough to choose a handful of them. Spain has faced a lot of conflicts over time, and every culture has tried hard to protect itself and build strong forts.
The best part is that Spain has been endowed with endless fortresses to witness over the centuries. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful castles to visit in Spain.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Paradors in Spain: Top 10 Best Castles in Spain to Visit!
- 2 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Paradors in Spain: Top 10 Best Castles in Spain to Visit!
This Romanian landmark is strategically positioned in Huesca and is believed to be one of the oldest castles in Spain which have been built in the 11th and 12th centuries between Christian and Muslim lands. You may explore the chapel, armory room and the dungeons, which were once a prison and then pantries for monks. This giant Romanesque fortress stands tall on a promontory and is covered only by countryside in the community of Aragon in the northeast of Spain.
Sancho III of Pamplona built this castle in the 11th century to halt and accommodate the Moors and to protect the fertile lands of Hoya de Huesca. It was founded with limestone bedrock which couldn’t be tunneled inside. Due to this reason, this castle has become impenetrable.
From this time, a lot of castles which survived were made by Islamic rulers. Hence, Loarre is one of its kind because of being a Christian castle. You will be able to test every inch of this complex on a guided tour, including the mighty Tower of the Queen, which is 22m tall and stands just behind the drawbridge.
Castle of Coca
When Spain was recovered from the Moors, there was a trend of adopting Arabic architecture, and a lot of new landmarks were built in mudéjar style. Constructed in the 15th century for the Crown of Castile, the Coca Castle in Segovia showcases it at its best.
The towers and walls have the pointed merlons of Moorish style, and the interiors have a lot of signs from the Islamic era. One thing which is different Coca is not located atop the hill like a lot of castles in Spain, and it is effortless to approach.
The complex was built not really for fighting, but for showing off. It also didn’t see any tension until the 1800s when the French rulers occupied it in the Peninsular War.
It is one of the well preserved and best medieval castles in Spain. This beautiful castle was built in the 15th century and is also one of the Parador hotels in Spain (a group known for its hotels in palaces and castles).
It will indeed take you back in time when you visit it. Don’t forget to have a royal dinner in the courtyard for a complete vintage feel or also visit the nearest cafes to taste some authentic wines and food.
Alcázar of Segovia
This Disney-themed castle is covered with conical roofs with its tall and curved towers, and it is also well known more like a paradise of luxury as compared to a military powerhouse. The Kings of Castile have had a great time here, and you will undoubtedly know why when you get here.
This castle had to mix well with its environment like Peñafiel. Well, it has some ship-like, slender look on its rocky promontory. With 12 stunning turrets on the roof, the Torre de Juan is a tourist attraction here. There are 156 steps of views of the old town of Segovia to level the spiral stairways.
There is a lot of attractions to see in the palace, including the mighty Sala de Los Reyes, which is beautified with a gilded frieze which is the symbol of 52 Kings of Leon, Castile, and Asturias.
Alcazaba of Málaga
This 11th-century fortified castle is yet another beautiful epitome of Islamic glory, and it holds a bit behind the Malaga’s harbor. The Alcazaba protected the east of the whole walled district when it was developed, with a smart sewer mechanism which was very high-tech in that era.
Though only a small part of it remains, it won’t make you aware of the exquisite refinement of upside enclosure in the two sets of crenelated walls.
You may want to visit the Nasrid Palace courtyards, which will grab your eyes in every intricate detail, just like the centuries-old Kufic inscriptions on its columns.
Palacio Real de Olite
This fairy-tale palace was the seat of Kings of Navarre in medieval periods, and it was the last one in the royal history of Europe. A German traveler wrote in the 1100s, “There is no king with a more striking palace or castle and with a lot of golden rooms.”
It has a quirky jumble of towers and walls of various outlines and sizes, which adds to its legendary charm. As you stroll through the courtyards, chambers, and gardens, you can explore how kings lived in the past.
It also includes hanging gardens which were placed 20m off the ground, and it also had space even for menagerie where lions were kept.
Located in Castile and Leon in Medina Del Campo town, this castle was entirely made from the standard red brick in the 14th century. The Torre Del Homenaje will grab your eyes right away. The 40m high keep of the castle has protected on four sides by turrets at the top.
You will notice how different sieges left pockmarks in the 1400s due to cannonballs in the walls of its tower when you get closer. The castle was the heart of a vast citadel for a time. But there are only a few signs remained of this settlement. Another best thing is that there is no entry fee. The castle is located atop a little hill, and Mota refers to ‘hillock’ in Spanish.
There is an Anglo-Saxon charm associated with La Mota castle, and it is styled as per the Valladolid school (escuela de Valladolid) castles. One can find a scale model of this castle in Valladolid at the Parque Tematico Mudejar, a park with a lot of scale models of famous landmarks in Europe.
Castillo de Colomares
This monument is more than just a castle. It has been erected in the 80s and 90s as a tribute to Christopher Columbus, who discovered America. It is one of the most famous palaces in Spain, and it is famed well for its beautiful interiors and exteriors.
This castle has a charming church which is known as the smallest church in the world recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. The palace is constructed in Spanish designs namely Mudejar, Gothic, Romanesque and Byzantine.
King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile sponsored the journey of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. They were famed well as Catholic Monarchs. Cristóbal Colón (Spanish) aka Christopher Columbus was not Spanish actually. Genova city in Italy was the origin of him, where he was called Cristoforo Colombo.
The fortress in the 1000s was the very first complex built at this well-known garden and palace, so La Alhambra is located atop the most stunning castles of the nation. You could explore the Barbican, walls, and tower of the citadel on the west of Sabika hill and spend a few hours there before you move on to the palaces as well as a lot of patios there. Also, visit the Generalife.
The Moors constructed the Alhambra who adopted it as a hideout for Sultan Yusuf I. The court was held here by the Catholic Monarchs when Granada was conquered again. It is indeed a very captivating place in Spain.
To those who don’t know about Moors, they were Muslims who were identified as Moors in the 8th century. They entered Christian Spain and lived for around 800 years in Granada. An interesting fact is that they didn’t live that long in any other place in this country.
This period of 800 years is called reconquest or Reconquista, during which Christian forces tried hard to force out the Moors of the nation. When Spain’s monarchy funded the trip of Columbus to America in 1492, the Moors were defeated by the Christians in Granada, and the Moorish rule was finally finished in Spain.
Castillo de Peñíscola
It is yet another castle which is well known for its exotic location. On the Castellon Province, the Peñíscola port is also known as one of the most stunning hamlets of Spain.
It is a medieval and walled quarter located on a massive rock at the tip of the isthmus which is flanked beautifully by white sandy beaches.
This castle was built in the 1100s by the Knights Templar. Antipope Benedict XIII lived here in the 15th century for the last six years. The sea almost entirely covers it. It has excellent views of the parapet of the central tower, especially when you visit here early in the morning.
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Founder of Pretty Wild World and one of the leading experts in Europe travel, the Nordics, and Scandinavia Destinations.
Evan Kristine has been mentioned in big publications such as The Huffington Post and the Thought Catalog has been sharing her useful travel tips and hacks to the world for more than five years now.
Nowadays, she is a full-time traveler exploring and documenting her journey around the world providing you the next best travel idea for your great next adventure.