Spain’s turbulent history has resulted in the country being home to over 2500 castles, ranging from Moorish castles to military fortresses built in the “Reconquista,” medieval castles, and castles overlooking the sea… Many of these beautiful castles are perfectly preserved, others in romantic ruins on atmospheric hilltops. Here is a perhaps controversial selection of our personal ten favorites, many of them in the wine country:

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1. Segovia’s Alcazar

Segovia Alcazar

The ultimate Disney castle, the Alcazar of Segovia, is just gorgeous. And such a rich history. This is where Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand met for the first time and where King Philip (Felipe), the 2nd, married his wife (Anne of Austria). You can visit the castle’s interior and climb up over 150 stairs on a narrow, winding staircase to get to the Torre Juan II and enjoy views over Segovia and the countryside. Quite magical in winter, when you can also appreciate the local suckling pig and fab wines.

Address: Plaza Reina Victoria Eugenia, s/n, 40003 Segovia

2. Jarandilla

Castillo de jarandilla

This preserved 15th-century castle has been converted into one of Spain’s national Parador hotels and is located in the beautiful region of Extremadura (Paprika mecca). King Charles V lived here, and the castle and grounds are atmospheric. The cuisine here is rustic fare and terrific. While in this region, don’t miss medieval Trujillo and Cáceres, gorgeous places.
Address: Av. Don Antonio Garcia Prieto, 1, 10450 Jarandilla de la Vera, Cáceres

3. La Mota

Castillo de la Mota

This delightful gothic castle near the Rueda and Ribera del Duero wine regions is where Juana la Loca (Jane the Mad) lived. Over the years, it has changed from being a royal residence to a prison used for special events and art exhibitions.

Address: Av. Castillo, s/n, 47400 Medina del Campo, Valladolid

4. Ponferrada

Castillo de Ponferrada

Whimsical castle in one of our favorite wine regions, Bierzo. Impressive as it is one of Spain’s few Templar castles. From July 1-4, the local town council is organizing medieval Templar nights, which are very atmospheric.

Address: Av del Castillo, s/n, 24400 Ponferrada, León

5. Coca

Castillo de Coca

A 15th-century ornate, a perfectly preserved military castle located about half an hour from Segovia, Castillo de Coca is a very handsome castle. You can visit the inside of the castle too (not all castles allow visits). So why not make it an afternoon excursion from Segovia? Bring a picnic and munch on Chorizo and queso while sitting in the shade of the trees and sipping on some chilled Rueda…

Address: Calle Ronda, 40480 Coca, Segovia

6. Olite

Castillo de Olite

This gorgeous castle in Navarra is one of the loveliest in Spain and is set right in the middle of the historic village of Olite and overlooks vineyards. Stay the night in Olite (the Parador, also a landmark building, is the best spot in town) and enjoy the castle lit up and the excellent local restaurants. While in the area, visit the super Ochoa winery, and why not pop over to the neighboring Rioja wine region?

Address: Plaza Carlos III El Noble, 31390 Olite, Navarra

7. Peñafiel

Castillo de Peñafiel

Situated in the heart of the Ribera del Duero wine country, the Castillo de Peñafiel houses a regional wine museum and overlooks a charming medieval village of the same name. Shaped like a battleship and set right on top of a steep hill, a stop here is a must touring the wine country. You can stay nearby at the pretty Convento Las Claras.

Address: Carretera Subida al Castillo, s/n, 47300 Valladolid

8. Alarcon

Castillo de Alarcon

This Arabic fortress (dating back to the 8th century!) in Cuenca province in the La Mancha wine region has been transformed into an itty bitty Parador (only a few rooms, including the Infante Don Juan Manuel room at the top of the castle keep ). This is the land of Don Quixote, dusty and dreamy. Visit Cuenca with its hanging houses and the swish Pago Vicario wine estate.

Address: Avda. Amigos de los Castillos, 3, 16214 Alarcón, Cuenca

9.  Tossa de Mar

Castillo Torre del Mar

Overlooking the sparkling sea, this castle (fortified tower) wins for location location location. Tossa de Mar is a touristy town on the Costa Brava, close to the Emporda wine region. In the ’50s, when Ava Gardner filmed “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman,” when it was a sleepy fishing village. These days it’s a popular beach haunt. Delightful to visit in June or September when the crowds are gone, and the weather is balmy.

Address: Tossa De Mar

10. Loarre

Castillo Loarre

Very close to the Somontano wine region (featured in our Spanish wine odyssey tour) in Huesca, you’ll find the mystical castle of Loarre. This castle complex dates to the 11th century and is Unesco protected.

Address: 22809 Loarre, Huesca

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Other incredible castles, big and small (some abandoned), include the Alcazaba of Guadix, Butrón in Vizcaya, the castle of Vejer in Andalucía, Málaga’s Alcazaba, Coyanza, Burgalimar, Peralada (home to a wine estate to and featured on our Catalonia wine tours), Castillo de Bellver (just above Palma de Mallorca)  and Castillo de Almansa.

More on Spanish castles and architecture here.

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21 thoughts on “Ten Most Beautiful Castles in Spain

  1. bunkycooks says:

    Beautiful castles! Now I want to go back to Spain to see these. I went to Spain for the first time last year and fell in love with Barcelona.
  2. Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron says:

    Your photos are amazing! I have to admit that I was so excited when I first saw this post because I'm planing the trip to Spain in October! I will have to check one of these castles out!
  3. Mhe-Lhanee Benito says:

    Ive seen temples but not castles. really beautiful and jaw dropping view and architecturals. wish i could go there and see at least one of them.
  4. Duques says:

    I would recommend that you add "Manzanares el Real Castle" to your list.
  5. Maryluz says:

    My dream is to visit Spain with my children and husband. I don't get tired of looking at the castles day after day. I believe every Hispanic should visit Spain since most of our ancestors are from Spain! Beautiful Spain!
  6. Wines of the Camino de Santiago- Wine Tasting along the Way of Saint James | Cellar Tours Blog says:

    [...] Leon´s outstanding cathedral, Astorga, Ponferrada with its fairy tale castle (featured in our most beautiful castles in Spain post), unique landscapes in Las Médulas, the abandoned castle of Corullón, the Cistercian [...]
  7. King size comforters says:

    Hi, just wanted to comment and tell you cool post!
  8. Lorenzo Armendariz says:

    Back in 1966, when in the US Air Force, I went to Spain, up around Seville. I was going down a road and out there in the middle of farm land, on a nicely plowed field, there was an abandoned castle standing there in all her beauty with no way to reach her other than trespassing.
  9. tyler says:

    great pictures
  10. Neville says:

    Beautiful. I love castles and there are some great ones here and fantastic photography. I also am hoping to holiday in Spain in the near future and see some of these beauties.
  11. loulou says:

    love the pictures good website and spain is awesome.
  12. Era Hambelton says:

    good post cheers.
  13. HJDman says:

    i like # 1 2 5 6 and 9.....8 is ok. the color is very pretty in the 8. i am very big disney fan so 1 and 6 are my favorite! 3 has a good sky in it.
  14. HJDman says:

    i love castles
  15. Wine Tasting along the Saint James Pilgrimage | sumosommelier says:

    [...] Leon´s outstanding cathedral, Astorga, Ponferrada with its fairy tale castle (featured in our most beautiful castles in Spain post), unique landscapes in Las Médulas, the abandoned castle of Corullón, the [...]
  16. Jennifer Lee says:

    We're in Barcelona now!! Which castles should we go tour??? We would prefer one with a city close! I want to see where a king and queen slept!!! Let us know. Thank you Jennifer lee
  17. eliza says:

    i thik that the castles in sevilla is the prettiest. The best, in my opinion was the castle of king ferdanand and queen isabella
  18. Rachel says:

    I´ve seen a lot of castles in Spain but none on your list, several are on my - ´to-visit-list´. What a collection! I think you´ll like this one
  19. Isabella says:

    What about "The Alhambra and the Generalife" in Granada? One of the best of the world
  20. Hailey says:

    Omg that would be the first thing to do in Spain!!!
  21. Justine says:

    Some of these castles look so well-preserved, especially the one in Mota. I've never even heard of it I once went to Segovia 20 years ago..but, sadly I don't remember much. I feel a new motivation to go back :) I have been to Tossa de Mar, and it really is a great sight when you're lying on the beach!

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Cellar Tours is a Luxury Travel Specialist, operating since 2003 and offering exclusive Mercedes chauffeured Gourmet Vacations in Chile, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. We specialize in luxurious custom designed vacations, events and incentives related to food and wine. We are proud members of Slow Food, UNAV (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).

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