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TOMA Spotlight: Best Castles in Andalucia

Almodovar Castle - CC BY-SA 3.0 Castillo de Almodóvar del Río 2009.jpg Created: 2009 Uploaded: 3 January 2012

Andalucia, brimming with Roman, Moorish and Catholic history, and with that tales of conflict. It’s not surprising therefore, that it has a good many castles scattered throughout the region.

Jaen alone has almost 90 castles and fortresses. I’ve picked the best castles in Andalucia – a favourite from each of Andalucia’s provinces. But don’t let that stop you from exploring further!

Why not contact us, we’d be happy to pull together a castle-focused itinerary for you…

Alcazaba of Almería

Alcazaba of Almería

The Alcazaba of Almería is one of the largest fortress complexes in Spain, constructed in 955 AD by Abd al-Rahman III. It features three enclosures with distinct functions and offers panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. The first two enclosures are of Muslim origin, while the third was added by the Catholic Monarchs.

Castillo Guzmán el Bueno, Cádiz

Castillo Guzmán el Bueno, Cádiz

Located in Tarifa, Castillo Guzmán el Bueno was built in 960 AD by order of Caliph Abd ar-Rahman III. Named after Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, who famously defended the castle against a siege in 1294, it stands as a testament to military architecture. The castle offers views over the Strait of Gibraltar, making it a strategic and scenic landmark.

Almodóvar del Río Castle, Córdoba

1080px Castillo de Almodovar del Rio 2009

Almodóvar del Río Castle stands on a hill overlooking the Guadalquivir River. It dates back to the 8th century and was rebuilt in the 14th century. This well-preserved castle features imposing towers, battlements, and a dungeon. It gained fame as a filming location for the TV series “Game of Thrones.”

Alhambra, Granada

Alhambra, Granada

The Alhambra in Granada is not just a castle but a fortified palace complex. Originally constructed as a small fortress in 889 AD, it was later converted into a royal palace by the Nasrid emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar. The Alhambra is renowned for its stunning Islamic architecture, beautiful gardens, and intricate interior designs.

Visit the Alhambra on our Magnificent Granada Tour

Niebla Castle, Huelva

Niebla Castle, Huelva

The Niebla Castle, also known as Castillo de los Guzmanes, is a medieval fortress built on Roman and Moorish foundations. Slap bang in the middle of the town of Niebla, it features sturdy walls and several towers. The castle’s history spans from Roman times through the Islamic period to the Reconquista.

Sadly, the torture chamber in the dungeon is no longer there; you’ll have to take my word on how effective those gizmos could be!

Santa Catalina Castle, Jaen

Santa Catalina Castle, Jaen

Perched on a hilltop in Jaén, Santa Catalina Castle offers a strategic vantage point over the city and surrounding countryside. It was built in the 13th century by Ferdinand III of Castile. The castle now houses a parador (a luxury hotel) and a visitor centre, where you can learn about its history and enjoy the breathtaking views.

Fun fact: the province of Jaen has the greatest concentration of castles and fortresses of any region in Europe.

Gibralfaro Castle, Malaga

Gibralfaro Castle, Malaga Image: Malaga turismo

Gibralfaro Castle in Málaga, constructed in the 10th century by Abd al-Rahman III, was later expanded by Yusuf I in the 14th century. It was built to protect the Alcazaba below and housed troops and weaponry. The castle provides a commanding view of Málaga city and the Mediterranean Sea.

Alcázar of Seville

Alcazar of Seville Image: Junta de Andaluica

The Alcázar of Seville is a royal palace originally developed by Moorish Muslim kings. It is renowned for its Mudéjar architecture, lush gardens, and rich history. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family, making it one of the oldest royal palaces in Europe still in use.

Visit the Alhambra and Seville’s Alcazar on our Grand Andalucia Tour

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