The Best Castles near Madrid

Madrid, one of Europe’s most famous and easily recognizable cities, and also Spain’s capital, is a cultural, artistic, and culinary hub, with an endless number of galleries to spend an afternoon exploring, eateries offering tempting treats and local delicacies to indulge in, and an abundance of live events, nightlife, and friendly, welcoming locals.

Yet, step a little further outside the city, and uncover a multitude of historical castles, that give visitors a totally different taste of Madrid and the surrounding area. This list will highlight the best castles near to Madrid, the key points of interest, as well as practical information, such as location, and opening and closing times.

The best 9 castles to visit near Madrid

1. Castle of the Mendoza

Sometimes known as the New Castle of Manzanares el Real, is a beautiful palace fortress that dates back to the 15th century, and is located in the town of Manzanares el Real, which is just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Madrid.

Construction began in the year 1475, and it was built in the contemporary Romanesque style; it served primarily as a residential palace for the House of Mendoza, but today it is the site of a fascinating museum, that entices many visitors each and every year.

Where: Manzanares el Real

When: 15th century

Style: Romanesque

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

2. Castillo de Pioz Guadalajara

Situated in the Guadalajara region of Spain, lies the beautiful and impressive Castillo de Pioz, or sometimes just referred to as Pioz Castle; construction on this fortress began in the year 1468, under the decree of the Cardinal of Spain.

This castle’s construction and architectural style was inspired by the palaces of Italy and functioned as both a luscious and impressive residence, as well as a safe house. The castle has a fantastic and vast history, that attracts and entices many visitors every year; it makes for a perfect day trip from Madrid.

Where: Guadalajara

When: 15th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

3. Alcázar de Segovia

Translated as ‘Segovia Fortress’, Alcazar de Segovia is a large and impressive medieval fortress that is a famed UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the beautiful Spanish city of Segovia. The castle is totally awe-inspiring, as it towers proudly out of a dramatic rocky crag, that confidently protrudes over the rivers in the Guadarrama mountain range.

The history of the castle dates back to the year 1120 after the city was granted back to the Christians; over the centuries, it has changed shape multiple times, in line with the artistic style of the era.

Where: Segovia

When: 12th-century origins

Style: Neo-Gothic

Open for visit: 9:00am – 18:00pm

4. Castillo de la Coracera

Castillo de la Coracera, or often just referred to as Coracera Castle, was originally built in the 15th century by Alvaro de Luna; it was originally built with the purpose of being a hunting lodge and a residence for its guests.

Though the castle that stands today was constructed in the 15th century, a castle is believed to have existed before this, which is likely to have dated back to the time of Alfonso VIII of Castile, who reigned during the 12th and 13th centuries. For its age, the castle is in a very good state and is regularly restored to maintain its grandeur.

Where: Coracera

When: 15th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:30pm

5. Castle of Torija

Located in the scenic region of Torija in Spain, lies the stunning Castle of Torija, or locally known as Castillo de Torija. The castle was originally constructed in the 11th century by the Nights of Templar, who was a Catholic military order that was prominent in the Middle Ages.

The castle served as a primary military fortress and played a primary role during several important battles and conflicts during the medieval period. Today, the castle functions as the primary headquarters of the Centro de Interpretacion Turistica de la Provincia de Guadalajara.

Where: Torija

When: 11th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 16:00pm

6. Castillo Almonacid de Toledo

Castillo Almondacid de Toledo, or Toledo Castle, towers beautifully above the Spanish city of Toledo, as it is perched upon a hill that offers breath-taking views of the surrounding scenery.

Toledo Castle is likely to have been built between the years 848 and 854 by the Moors, and during this time, it played a critical military role and served as the backdrop for many important battles, including those between the Emir of Cordoba troops, and the Toledo rebels.

Today, the castle is open to the public and is a very popular site, both for its impressive and fascinating history, and for its short distance away from the liveliness and vibrancy of Madrid.

Where: Toledo

When: 9th-century origins

Style: Moorish

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

7. Castillo de Barcience

Situated near to the village Barcience in the Toledo province of Spain, lies the beautiful Castillo de Barcience, which is an incredible medieval fortress.

Before the current castle came into existence in the 15th century, an earlier castle is believed to have stood in its place; it is believed to have dated back to the 11th or 12th century, having belonged to the Order of Santiago.

The castle has a fascinating structure and is incredibly well protected, which was very important during its prime medieval years of battle and conflict.

Where: Barcience

When: 15th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 16:00pm

8. Castle of Zorita de los Canes

With views of the small Spanish village of Zorita de los Canes, and perched picturesquely on a hill, lies the gorgeous and irresistible Castle of Zorita de los Canes. The history of the castle dates back to the 9th century, where an original castle was constructed and was then altered and reconstructed over the following centuries.

The castle’s primary function was for commerce and military events, and saw many famous and important battles over its several centuries of action; today, the castle is open to the public, where fascinating artifacts are on display.

Where: Zorita

When: 9th-century origins

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

9. Castillo de Villarejo de Salvanes

Originally built in the year 1203, Castillo de Villarejo de Salvanes is a fantastic Spanish castle located in the Villarejo de Salvanes area. The architecture of this castle is one of its key highlights, with its unique and quirky eight towers, rather than the traditional number of four.

There is also a gorgeous church on the grounds, named San Andres, which was constructed in the 14th century in a traditional Gothic architectural style. The castle today is incredibly well-preserved for its age, and it’s a popular site for tourists visiting Madrid.

Where: Villarejo de Salvanes

When: 1203

Style: Gothic

Open for visit: 10:00am – 18:00pm

Madrid itself is a fantastic city to visit, for its vibrant hustle and bustle, no end of bars, restaurants and enticing nightlife, as well as its overall charming and artistic culture. Yet, step outside the confines of the city and you will uncover some of Spain’s historical and architectural hidden gems, that offer something truly unique to any visitor.

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