Spain is a land of castles. From north to south, from east to west, discover the charms of Spain’s most historic sites.
Because of its rich history, Spain has been and still is a land of castles. From austere mountain fortresses to palace-like castles in the centre of towns and villages, there are so many across Spain that it’s hard to choose just a few. Skyscanner makes it easy for you and has selected 15 of the most beautiful castles in Spain, perfect for a getaway or a great driving tour.
The Middle Ages are full of great legends, from tales of heroism and battles fought to conquered fortresses. Medieval strongholds are scattered throughout Spain, especially in the regions of Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Aragón and Andalusia.
From the Castilles of Andalusia to the Basque Country, we examine some of the most incredible castles and fortresses on the peninsula. Some of which seem straight out of a fairy-tale, that you’ll never believe your eyes. Road tripping through Spain to see the castles it has to offer is a perfect summer plan. Pay attention, as one of our mentioned castles features in the highly-acclaimed series of Games of Thrones!
What secrets do Spain’s fortresses hide? Why were they built? Who conquered them? Join us on this journey into the past and let your imagination run wild.
1. Castillo de Cardona, Barcelona
In the heart of Catalonia stands the most important medieval fortress in the region. This great mass of stone buildings crowns a hill, from which you can see an unparalleled landscape. Built in 886 and is Romanesque and Gothic in style, it reached its peak of splendour during the 15th century, under the rule of the Dukes of Cardona, the most important family of the Crown of Aragon.
Part of the site houses a National tourist viewpoint, with the rest of the grounds free to roam around. Among its jewels are the majestic Romanesque church of San Vicente and the minyona tower, dating from the 11th century.
Castillo de Cardona, Barcelona
2. Castillo de Loarre, Huesca
Loarre Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Spain, is located 30 kilometres from the city of Huesca and is considered to be the best-preserved Romanesque castle in Europe. It is an imposing fortress built in the 11th century. It is made up of various buildings, most of which are in an excellent state of conservation.
One of its most striking features is the queen’s viewpoint, from which you can enjoy fantastic views of the castle’s surroundings. All these ingredients make it one of the best places to see in Spain.
Castillo de Loarre
3. Castillo de Olite, Navarra
Its full name – The Royal Palace of the Kings of Navarre in Olite is a fortress that was built between the 13th and 14th centuries as the seat of the Court of the Kingdom of Navarre. This palace is a fascinating ensemble of rooms, gardens, moats and noble outbuildings that live in the shadow of legendary towers and which help us to understand why it was considered one of the most beautiful in Europe in its time.
Having suffered a fire during the War of Independence, it aggravated the process of deterioration. In 1937 it began to be restored to restore it to its former glory and despite the fact that much has been lost, today you can sleep within its walls in a Parador de Turismo or stroll through charming corners such as the Galería del Rey, or the King’s Gallery. Castillo de Olite
4. Castillo de Almodovar, Cordoba
22 kilometres from the city of Cordoba is the Castle of Almodovar, a fortress originally built by the Arabs in 760, which passed into Christian hands in 1240. Since then it has undergone several remodelling works that have given it its current appearance.
Fans of the Game of Thrones series will recognise it, as in the series this castle appears as that of “High Garden”, one of the places where the saga takes place. If you have the chance to visit it, don’t hesitate, buy your tickets and enjoy this fantastic fortress.
Castillo de Almodovar
5. Alcazar de Segovia
We bet you didn’t know that the Alcázar of Segovia is also a castle? And it is not only one of the most beautiful castles in Spain but also the most important on this list in terms of the country’s history.
It was built in 1112 and we owe its current appearance to Philip II, who ordered the renovation that gave it its current appearance. If you visit it, don’t miss the views it offers of Segovia, as it’s one of the 15 cities declared World Heritage Sites in Spain. Climbing all steps is quite arduous, but we promise you that the views are well worth it!Alcazar de Segovia
6. Castillo Templario de Ponferrada, León
The Templar Castle of Ponferrada is another film fortress among those that dot our land. It is in the region of El Bierzo, on a hill at the confluence of the rivers Boeza and Sil. Although its origins date back to an ancient Celtic Castro, it was the Knights Templar who gave it its name. When the Order of the Templars was dissolved in the 14th century, the castle passed into the hands of the Counts of Lemos. This fortress full of beautiful corners is the result of centuries of renovations and extensions.
Don’t miss its parade ground, which is the remains of the barbican, the promenade and the main gateway with its two towers. Unfortunately, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it lost a great deal when the locals used it as a quarry, walls were demolished to build a football pitch and some of the interior rooms were even blown up. In 1923, it was declared a National Monument, thus halting its deterioration and promoting its recovery.
7. Castillo de Butrón, Vizcaya
Although it is now closed and for sale, Butrón Castle is a marvel of medieval origin that was remodelled in the 19th century. This fantasy of towers, turrets, battlements and decorations was based on the tower-house of the Butrón family and converted into a striking Bavarian-style castle.
The fortress is located in a privileged environment of great natural wealth and its walls of more than 4 metres high house several halls, the old chapel, a large hall of 200 square metres, the typical parade ground, a library and a dungeon. For years it was used as a hotel with medieval shows, but today it is closed and for sale.
Castillo de Butron