There are thousands of iconic castles in Spain, some of which have been impeccably preserved, whilst others are merely extraordinary historical ruins. Regardless of your preference, you will find each individual castle steeped in its own remarkable and unique cultural history.
In this article, we touch on just some of the many castles in Spain that the country can justifiably boast about. No matter where you choose to go or which castle you wish to visit, you can be assured of an incredible and memorable experience.
Most Famous Castle in Spain
Alcazar of Segovia Castle
The most famous castle of Spain has to be the magnificent Alcazar of Segovia Castle. Perched on the rocky hill slopes overlooking the historic town of Segovia in central Spain’s Castile & Leon region, it will only take you a short 25-minute train ride to get there from Madrid.
Alcazar Castle was built in the 12th century with modifications over the centuries. This stunning medieval castle with its rectangular tower and twelve ornamental turrets, was the inspiration behind Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World.
While you’re indulging in the fairy tale vibes and wandering around the castle, don’t forget to check out the famous throne room visited by Christopher Columbus. Segovia is a popular day trip from Madrid.
- Ancient artillery museum
- Beautiful ponds & landscaped gardens
- Tapas, wine, & coffee
Castile & Leon, Spain Castles
Located at the top of a hill in the Castile & Leon region of Spain where the rivers Sil and Boeza come together, you’ll find the Ponferrada, one of the most imposing Castles in Spain.
The castle has an irregular square ground plan with double and triple battlements, turrets, rooms, and a big courtyard all enclosed in more than 8,000 square meters. Ponferrada Castle is also famous for its well-known collections of rare manuscripts and books which are in the Templars library. You’ll also find the Ponferrada Investigation and Study Centre housing more than 1,400 including works by Leonardo da Vinci.
The Ponferrada castle is also known as the ‘Castle of the Templar Knights of Ponferrada’, because of the Knights who took possession of the castle at the beginning of the 12th century.
- Drawbridge across the moat
- Two large towers with battlements joined by an arch
- The twelve towers replicate the structures of the constellations.
- The Templars’ library collections
Constructed on the site of ancient Cauca, Coco Castle is a stunning tan brick Christian Era 15th-century castle. It also reflects Islamic traditions in the famous Arab Mudejar design making it one of the most flamboyantly Gothic castles in Spain.
Located in the town of Coco in the Segovia region and situated on a plain on the banks of the rivers Voltoya and Eresma, you’ll find some breathtaking views at this Spanish castle.
Madrid, Spain Castles
Constructed in the 15th century and made entirely of granite, Mendoza Castle is one of the best-maintained castles in Spain. It features Castillian military-style architecture, with round crenelated towers and ornamental Gothic stonework. Mendoza castle was famous for the filming of the epic movie EL Cid in 1961.
You can explore six floors of galleries and visit the towers to marvel at the stunning views of the Spanish countryside. It has amazing view of the Guadarrama mountain range next to the Manzanares river.
- Event venue for many cultural, political, and historical organizations
- Garden of Renaissance inspiration
The castle is situated in the center of a little town called San Martin de Valdeiglesias. It is close to the San Juan reservoir in the southwestern region of Madrid province. Legend has it that the 15th-century Coracera castle is one of the most renowned haunted castles in Spain.
Surrounded by imposing fortifications and featuring four round towers including the famous keep tower, the castle is used as a defense point and residence for the masters of the castle.
Legends have it that past deaths within the castle may not have all occurred naturally but could be due to Satanic worship and suicides. There are also rumours that buried within the walls are two brothers who now haunt the Coracera Castle. So if you like ghost stories, why not get booked and spooked.
- Outdoor classical music concerts
- Renaissance fair
- Wine tasting
Barcelona, Spain Castles
In the South West of Barcelona, you’ll find Montjuic Castle, one of the oldest military castles in Spain. 173 meters above sea level, Montjuic Castle boasts an impressive 155-meter-long wall facing the beautiful coastline of the Mediterranean sea. The castle dates back to the Reapers’ war during the 1600s.
Sitting at the top of Montjuic Hill, you can access the castle by the Montjuic cable car. Montjuic Castle is built into the hill and the terrace parade ground is the highest part of the castle. You’ll be able to enjoy a stunning 360-degree views overlooking the vibrant City of Barcelona.
- Exhibitions including The Montjuic Funicular (a cable railway system)
- Night at the Museum, being part of many major city events
Santa Florentina Castle
Built on the foundations of an ancient Roman villa, the 11th-century Santa Florentina Castle is one of the most spectacular Medieval castles in Spain. It is located in Canet de Mar on Spain’s northeastern Balearic coast.
In the 14th- century, two towers and medieval gates were added for extra protection against the pirates of the Mediterranean. Although modernist elements have been incorporated over the centuries, you’ll notice on your visit to the castle that conservationists have retained the Gothic traditions. This made it the ideal, and now the famous location for the filming of the 6th season of the Game Of Thrones Series in 2015.
- Annual classical music festival
Here are other popular things to do in Barcelona. You can also check out the famous landmarks in Barcelona.
Majorca, Spain Castles
You’ll find Bellver Castle standing proudly on a hill 3 km to the west of the center of Palma. This castle on the Island of Majorca is one of the best-kept castles in Spain.
This 14th-century Gothic-style castle is beautiful and was once a house for royalty, but later served as a prison. Reminiscent of the Colosseum, it is well worth a visit to this immensely vast construction.
Featuring a surrounding castle moat and two stories of stunning arcaded patios that are visible from around the city and out to sea, this famous Spanish castle is a distinguished local symbol of Palma.
- Historical museum
- Vast central courtyard hosting cultural events & concerts
Constructed in the 14th-century and situated on top of a mountain, Capdepera castle is a strong, walled fortress. This is one of the largest and most historic castles in Spain, that was built to protect its inhabitants from pillaging pirates.
Inside the grounds lies the former Governor’s house, whilst at the highest part of the castle is the tower of Miquel Nunis. This is also a chapel, that is well worth a visit, to see the figure of Christ sculpted from the wood of an orange tree.
Capdepera castle is famous for having some of the best panoramic views of the island. It overlooks the dazzling Mediterranean coastline, the channel to neighboring Minorca, and the beautiful landscape of the inland countryside.
- Watch the show of birds of prey in free flight
Other Famous Castles In Spain
Penafiel Castle (Valladolid Province)
At 210 meters in length and 33 meters at its widest, you’ll find this imposing and stunning elongated castle resembles a huge ship riding on the crest of a rocky ridge.
Constructed in the 10th century and re-designed in the 15th century, this Spanish castle boasts 8 turrets and 2 courtyards. Penafiel Castle is one of the best examples of German Gothic-style castles in Spain, and offers some of the most stunning views of the beautiful valleys of Duraton and Botijas.
- Two floors with a stone vault
- Provincial Museum-Foundation of the wines of Valladolid
Peniscola Castle (Valencia & Tarragona)
Built by the enigmatic Knights Templar, this 12th-century Castle is located on the southeastern coast of Spain between Valencia & Tarragona. It features famous walls of carved stone & Barrel-vaulted rooms.
The castle is also known as one of the most Moorish castles in Spain. It is erected 64 meters above sea level, so you’ll be standing on the highest point of the city while overlooking one of Spain’s stunning beach towns with panoramic views of the Mediterranean.
- Botanic Park
- Interpretation Center & artillery park
- Exhibition in the gunpowder magazine building
The Santa Barbara Castle (Alicante)
Perched 166 meters on Mount Benacanti in central Alicante, this 9th-century Santa Barbara Castle is one of the most legendary and remarkable castles in Spain.
Discover the oldest remains and the Santa Barbara chapel. Don’t forget to take the lift that has been excavated out of the rock to enjoy the spectacular 360-degree views. You can marvel at the city and the old quarter from the top, whilst enjoying a refreshing drink.
- Museum of the city of Alicante
Burgalimar Castle (Banos de la Encina, Jaen)
Notably, one of the oldest preserved castles in Spain and located in Northern Andalucia, Burgalimar Castle was constructed in the 10th century, using clay-based ponded earth.
If you look closely, you’ll see that this was actually painted at one point to make it look like stone, giving it the visuals of looking stronger than it actually was. You should certainly visit to admire the 100 meters long and 50 meters wide elongated and oval silhouette.
- Interior courtyard
- Gothic style keep
- 14 rectangular fortified towers
- Parade ground
Lorca Castle (Murcia)
This 13th-century castle of medieval origin is situated in the southeast part of the Iberian peninsula and is the famous hallmark of the city. You can see the Guadalentin Valley and its impressive defensive structures which make the castle one of the most impregnable castles in Spain.
The Lorca castle boasts a unique Jewish Quarter with a synagogue and has some fascinating exhibits, including archaeological finds from the surrounding area.
- Special suppers in the courtyard
- Workshops for all the family
- Children’s workshops & activities throughout the year
Alcazaba Castle (Almería)
By its name, this 11th-century castle is a walled fortification and was used as a military fortress and as a residence for the central government. The castle included homes, a mosque, baths, and stunning views of the Bay of Almeria in the Southern corner of Spain.
Due to its classic look, it became one of the most celebrated castles in Spain within the movie industry. It has attracted film companies on several occasions to shoot such major movies as James Bond’s ‘Never say Never again’ and ‘Indiana Jones and the last Crusade’. ‘Game of Thrones’ enthusiasts might recognize it too.
- Guard Tower
- Tower of Mirrors
- Justice Gate
Loarre Castle (Ayerbe)
Constructed in the 11th-century and sitting on a cliff 1070 meters above sea level, Loarre castle is known for being one of the highest positioned castles in Spain.
You will find this castle in Spain between the Ebro river valley and the Pyrenees mountain range. Loarre Castle is considered the oldest Romanesque and the best-preserved castle in Europe, which dominates the Hoya de Huesca landscape.
Look out for the famous Romanesque chapel of Santa Maria, the monastery, and the 170-meter wall, which were all phased in throughout the 11th-century
- Church of San Pedro
- Weapons room
- The Queens Tower
- The crypt of Santa Quiteria
Belmonte Castle (Cuenca)
Just outside the village of Belmonte, you’ll find one of the most emblematic castles in Spain. Positioned on the hill of San Cristobal and built-in Mudejar Gothic style dating back to the middle of the 15th-century, the star-shaped Belmonte castle is unique and unrivaled in its Mudejar splendor.
- Medieval Bestiary
- Four thematic areas
- Forty siege machines still in working order
- Cultural tours
Almansa Castle (Albacete)
Climbing the winding and circuitous route to Almansa Castle, you’ll find yourself on a hill overlooking the whitewashed houses of Almansa. You’ll find out why this beautifully preserved 14th-century castle is one of the most impressive castles in Spain when you visit.
Rising from the rock it’s on, the natural ground forms part of the formidable outer exterior walls. Stone masonry was added later on to give them more height. The original vaulted chambers and the tower of homage are also definitely worth a visit.
- Court of arms
- New interactive exhibition area
Xavier Castle (Javier)
Built in the 10th-century and located in the town of Javia, Xavier Castle has three main parts constructed at different times.
Enter through the drawbridge into the courtyard and make your way to the Cristo Chapel to experience one of the more macabre castles in Spain. Look out for a mural of grinning skeletons depicting ‘The Dance Of Death’ and the Gothic walnut crucifix. Legend says there were droplets of blood on the crucifix on the anniversary of Saint Francis of Xavier’s death.
- Important works of art and historical documents
- Museum of Saint Francis of Javier
Benissano Castle (Valencia)
Constructed in the 15th century, and built on the base of an Arab tower, Benossano Castle is one of the smallest castles in Spain. It has a moat and drawbridge and a solid barbican with arrow slits. You should check out the courtyard, main hall and the remarkable ceramic tiles when visiting.
- The court of arms
- The gallery floor
- Guided tours
Discovering Famous Castles In Spain
This is just a small insight into the thousands upon thousands of magnificent and famous castles in Spain. Whether it’s fairy tale magic you’re after or the nostalgic history of knights in shining armor, adding a visit to one or more of these castles during your vacation is a good option!