Each beautiful castle in Spain can be tied to a major event in the country’s history. Home to more than 2,500 castles, it’s not easy deciding which fairytale fortress to add to your itinerary: here’s our guide to some of the best.
Castle of Coca
Though many castles in Spain were built in Islamic style, the Castle of Coca is predominantly Christian in architecture, complete with an attractive exterior made entirely of brick. It was built in the 15th century, a representation of undeniable luxury, its tan walls standing out among their surroundings. One of the biggest protection points of this castle was the 40-foot-deep moat, which you can admire on your visit.
Castle of Coca, Ronda del Castillo, s/n, 40480 Coca, Segovia, Spain, +34 617 57 35 54
Alcazaba of Málaga
Alcazaba of Málaga, or ‘Citadel of Málaga,’ is the most well-preserved citadel in Spain. The entire castle is enormous and can be seen from far away, as it sits on top of a hill overlooking the sea. This castle has several notable quirks: its courtyard, the Torre Del Christ; the Cuartos de Granada; and, to the side of the entrance, a Roman theater that dates back to the 1st century.
Alcazaba of Málago, Calle Alcazabilla, 2, 29012 Málaga, Spain, +34 630 93 29 87
Castillo de Colomares
Castillo de Colomares was built by an expat named Dr. Esteban Martín y Martín, who wanted to see something bigger and better dedicated to the man who discovered his home, the Americas. The entire exterior of the castle is awesome, but don’t forget to visit the church inside, which holds the Guinness World Record for the Smallest Church in the World! The castle was made in all four significant Spanish styles: Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic and Mudéjar.
Castillo de Peñíscola
The Castillo de Peñíscola is the highlight of this small beach town in Valencia. Spend the morning exploring the castle and then enjoy the afternoon at the beach. Pope Benedict XIII lived here until his death in 1423 and since then, the castle has been restored several times.
Ponferrada Castle, or Castillo de Ponferrada, is the last stop on the French route of Camino de Santiago. It’s located in the town of El Bierzo, which was once a huge mining town during the Roman Empire. The castle itself is absolutely magical, as are the endless mountains surrounding it. Though it might take you a bit of a hike to get there, you’ll be mesmerized the second you walk through the two towers that form the entrance.
Ponferrada Castle, Av. el Castillo, s/n, 24400 Ponferrada, León, Spain, +34 987 40 22 44
Burgalimar Castle, which can be found in Baños de la Encina, is the second-oldest castle in Europe and one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Europe. It’s a Moorish castle that dates back to 968, built on the order of caliph Al-Hakam I. The castle has passed through many ruling hands over the centuries but when you arrive you will still see the original oval shape of its mortar walls, as well as its 14 towers.
Overlooking Granada, La Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has influenced film, music, literature, art, and even video games throughout the world. The castle was created in a true Andalusian style, and you’ll be blown away by its extraordinary architecture and captivating interior, built during the 13th century. The structure is an authentic Islamic castle and has been called ‘a pearl set among emeralds’ – the trees being the gems surrounding this beauty.
La Alhambra, Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain, +34 958 02 79 71
If you’re looking to find something truly magical, then spend a day at the charming Loarre Castle in the foothills of the Pyrenees. It dates back to the 11th century and is one of the most remarkable castles in the entire province. Though it has been restored quite a few times, there are two original towers that stand, providing awesome views of the surrounding land.
Loarre Castle, Carretera del Castillo, s/n, 22809 Loarre, Huesca, Spain, +34 974 34 21 61
Alcázar of Segovia
Alcázar of Segovia is probably one of the most recognizable castles in the country. It’s said to be the castle that inspired Cinderella’s castle, the symbol for Disney. It’s one of the only castles in Spain that was used as more than a fortress, since royalty once called it their home. Walk through the castle and see the famous rooms, all while pretending you’re Isabella I during the 1400s.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.