It’s not all beaches and palm trees on the Costa Blanca, if you want a bit of history there is plenty around this area to explore. There are lots of castles to visit on the Costa Blanca with interesting histories, mostly thanks to the conquests between the Moors and Christians dating back to the 8th century.
We have visited quite a few Spanish castles since moving to Spain, and have lots more of our list.
So, if you’re looking for some educational days out in the Valenican Community where you can learn more about the history of this area of Spain, here’s a list of 10 great castles to visit on the Costa Blanca…
1. El Castillo de Santa Bàrbara, Alicante
The Santa Bàrbara castle in Alicante is probably the most well known castle in the area. Sat on the top of the mountain Benacantil overlooking the city, you can’t miss it and shouldn’t visit Alicante without a trip to this castle.
Santa Bàrbara is of Muslim origin and dates to the late 9th century. It has three different levels, built at different times, and from the top (166 metres above sea level) you can enjoy some fantastic panoramic views across the city and out to sea.
Entrance to the castle is free and you can either get there from the city centre by car or on foot – be warned the road way is quite far on foot, especially in the summer! There is also a lift opposite Playa del Postiguet which costs around €2.50 per person and a much easier way to get to the top.
You can find out more here.
2. El Castell de Guadalest
Another of many fantastic castles to visit on the Costa Blanca can be found in Guadalest, a beautiful Spanish town situated high in the mountains and very popular among tourists. One of the main attractions of the town is the 11th century fortress created by the Muslims and located on a cliff top on the highest point above the town. The tower of El Castillo San José was partially destroyed by earthquakes in 1644 and 1748, as well as by bombings in 1708 during the War of the Succession.
The view from the castle is amazing, over the town, the bright blue reservoir, the mountains, and even out to sea in the distance.
You can access the castle via the Casa Orduña, a house which was built after the great earthquake of 1644 that devastated the castle. The entrance fee is €4 per person which lets you explore both the house and the fortress.
Find out more here.
3. El Castillo Fortaleza de Santa Pola
In the center of Santa Pola you’ll find the fortress-castle, built in 1554 as part of a project to defend the coasts of the Kingdom of Valencia and protect sailors and their families from frequent attacks by pirates.
In 1859 the castle became property of the Town Hall and since then it’s been used for many different purposes such as the Town Hall, Guardia Civil Headquarters, Peace Court, a hospital, and even an improvised bullring.
Today the fortress-castle is a cultural centre, home to the Maritime Museum, Fishing Museum, Exhibition Hall, Duke of Arcos Bastion, and the Virgen de Loreto Chapel.
You can walk into the Weapons Yard for free at any time, with market stalls often held here. The rest of the castle costs an entry fee of €1.6 per person.
Find out more here.
4. El Castillo de Guardamar del Segura
El Castillo de Guardamar is a walled citadel high up on a hill in the center of Guardamar, that housed the original old town of Guardamar in the 13th century until it was destroyed by the earthquakes of 1829. Inside the walls was a complex of houses, streets and squares, with the castle the highest part.
Recently work has been done to rebuild some parts of the castle, walls, and towers, and from here you have a panoramic view of the region, looking out over the new town and towards the sea.
Find out more here.
5. El Castillo de Biar
El Castilo de Biar sits 750m high on the top of a mountain above the town of Biar in the comarca of Alt Vinalopó.
The castle is of Muslim origin, built in the middle of the 12th century and rebuilt many times by the Christians, who conquered it in 1245. In 1931 the castle was recognised as a national monument and has been wonderfully restored to include a double walled enclosure, and battlements, and master tower.
From the castle walls you can take in the wonderful views across the towns and mountains.
Entrance is €1 per person. Find out more here.
6. El Castillo de Banyeres de Mariola
The castle of Banyeres de Mariola is situated on the tossal de l’Àguila (hill of the eagle) in the center of Banyeres, at 830 meters above sea level.
An Almohad fortress built in the 13th century, the castle has undergone many modifications and reconstructions. The main tower is still there, as well as a museum telling the history of the castle.
The castle was of major strategic importance in times of wars, and during the War of the Spanish Succession in the 18th century, it served as a hiding place for supporters of King Felipe V.
From the walls of the castle you can enjoy fantastic views of the neighboring provinces of Albacete, Murcia and Valencia.
Entry costs €2.60 per person. Find out more here.
7. El Palacio de Altamira
An imposing Moorish-style fortress, El Palacio de Altamira in Elche has been used as a textile factory and even a prison in the past, and today is part of the Archaeological and History Museum of Elche (MAHE).
Situated in next to the Vinalopó riverbed, in a northwest corner of the old walled city of Elche, the castle is one of the best preserved in the Alicante province. Construction of the castle began in the 8th Century by the Moors, and the first signs of occupation date back to the second half of the 10th century.
You can visit the castle to learn about it’s history, view artifacts found at the site, and walk around the castle walls to take in the views of the town and Elche’s famous palm tree park.
Admission is €3 or free on Sundays. Find out more here.
8. El Castillo de Sax
The beautiful castle of Sax is perched on a limestone rock 500m above sea level on the bank of the Vinalopó river.
The site has two distinct sections – a rectangular area to the north with a one storey stone tower dating back to the 12th century, and the 20m high keep tower to the south-west dating back to the early 14th century.
The castle is only open on Sundays, but if you visit on another day you can get the key from the police station.
Find out more here.
9. El Castillo de Castalla
One of the best preserved castles in Alicante, the castle of Castalla is recognised as an object of cultural heritage. Built by the Muslims in the 11th century, the castle was rebuilt by Christians in the 14th and 15th centuries.
The fortress is located on a hill and Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iberian, Roman and Arab settlements have been found here.
From the Torre Grossa tower you can enjoy magnificent views of the comarca La Hoya de Castalla and the surrounding mountains.
Entry costs €3 per person. Find out more here.
10. El Castillo de Polop
The castle of Polop stands on a hill in town of Polop in the Alicante province, in the area known as Old Cemetery and can be accessed by a path from the town.
The castle is of Muslim origin, and was built at the beginning of the 12th century. It was an important fortress with an important strategic value in the region, but due to the conflicts the buildings inside were demolished. Numerous sections of the walls that made up its double enclosure have been preserved, but little remains the castle’s original structure.
Find out more here.
We hope that this list of castles to visit on the Costa Blanca has given you some ideas for some interesting and historical days out to learn more about the history of this region of Spain.
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