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The Spanish Diaries – My top 5 Castles


Alima Rehman

02 Sep

‘Rocks in my path? I keep them all, with them I shall build my castle’

– Quote by Nemo Nox, Brazilian Writer and Blogger

Delve into the Moorish history that surrounds Andalucía and its castles during your stay in Spain. All within easy reach via the excellent road networks, you can make the most of your day trips by exploring what these towns have to offer. No two stones are the same, nor two castles.

Pick a pace that suits you best – it’s great fun for both families and couples alike. Some tips when traveling: sturdy shoes are always an advantage; audio guides are handy tools to truly understand the significance of each element; and look out for bonus deals on tickets – you might be entitled to bundle deals that allow you to enter multiple monuments in the area. Also make sure to check opening hours, as some monuments may close during the hottest peak hours of the day during the summer.

Alcazaba of Málaga

The construction of this castle dates back as far as 1050’s and 1060’s – the period of Muslim rule in Spain. It is recognised as one of the most important Muslim works in Spain, even today. This fortress offers history and beauty with views from the ruins overlooking the city and the bay. I haven’t made it there yet, but here’s hoping a soon arriving visitor will be a willing companion to go exploring!

Alcázar of Jerez de la Frontera

I visited this castle in October 2015, and suffering a late heat wave in Spain, the breeze from the turrets as we overlooked the city of Jerez was simply magnificent. Beautiful, well maintained gardens with flowers in full bloom make it easy to imagine the castle in its full glory. Built in the 11th century, one can even today see the ruins of the mosque and Arab baths, and the watch towers still stand tall and strong as they did all those years ago.

Alcazaba of Antequera

Antequera plays host to a number of historic monuments and is certainly worth the drive inland if you’re staying on the coast. My exploration came out of the blue when a friend had to do a day’s work in the town and I tagged along for the ride, unaware of what was on offer. The Alcazaba was last on my list and the lady that sold me my ticket made an excellent move by suggesting I try out the audio guide. I’m glad I did – it guides you around the castle stop by stop with a clear, detailed and fascinating  description of the history behind each section. Built in the 14th century, it was erected to counter advances by Christians from the north. Though unsuccessful in its purpose, the addition of the striking Bell Tower in the 16th century adds to the spectacular structure of this fortress. In the back of this particular picture you can see Lovers’ Rock, which holds its own mysterious tale to its name.

Royal Alcázar of Sevilla


A single picture here speaks volumes. Another stunning and historic fortress, if one was to see nothing else on a trip to Sevilla I don’t think they would be disappointed! This Moorish Muslim palace is renowned for being one of the most beautiful monuments in Spain, and certain parts are today used as an official residence for the royal family. In 1987, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Luscious gardens, glistening ponds and numerous patios await you.

Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs, Córdoba

The present day structure was built during the 13th century on grounds of Moorish ruins and there are a significant number of Islamic aspects to the design. The monument served as a residential palace, a defensive fortress and a prison, and also held one of the Spanish Inquisition tribunals. Roman mosaics, Arab Baths, Grandeur Gardens and Gothic-inspired towers are just a few things to make sure you fit into your tour.  \

by Alima Rehman

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