Journey Through Time: Explore 9 Fascinating Castles and Fortresses in the Valencian Community

Setting the Scene

Welcome to the magnificent region of Comunidad Valenciana, where the past meets the present in a dazzling array of castles and fortresses. From medieval fortifications to ornate palaces, these architectural wonders have stood the test of time, bearing witness to the region’s rich and fascinating history.

Prepare to be transported on a journey through time, as we explore the imposing towers, formidable ramparts, and majestic courtyards of Comunidad Valenciana’s castles and fortresses. Whether you’re a history buff, architecture enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, there’s something for everyone in this treasure trove of cultural heritage.

Join us as we unveil the secrets of these awe-inspiring structures, learning about the battles they witnessed, the royalty they housed, and the stories they tell. Marvel at the intricate details of Gothic cathedrals, the opulence of Baroque palaces, and the rustic charm of medieval castles.

From the bustling city of Valencia to the picturesque towns of Xàtiva and Peñíscola, we’ll take you on a tour of Comunidad Valenciana’s most iconic castles and fortresses. Along the way, you’ll discover their significance in shaping the region’s identity, and how they have evolved from military fortifications to cultural landmarks.

So, sit back, relax, and let us transport you to a world of enchanting architecture, fascinating history, and breathtaking beauty. Let’s dive into 9 of the castles and fortresses of Comunidad Valenciana and explore the stories behind these magnificent structures.

Castillo de Biar

Nestled in the charming town of Biar, the Castillo de Biar stands tall and proud, as if to proclaim its significance in the history of Comunidad Valenciana. With its imposing walls, towers, and battlements, it’s hard not to be mesmerized by the sheer grandeur of this medieval fortress.

Legend has it that the Castillo de Biar was built on the ruins of an ancient Iberian settlement, and was later conquered by the Moors before being recaptured by the Christian kings. Through the centuries, it has witnessed countless battles, sieges, and political intrigues, making it a living testimony to the region’s tumultuous past.

Today, the Castillo de Biar has shed its military roots and become a popular tourist attraction, inviting visitors to explore its labyrinthine corridors, admire its well-preserved architecture, and bask in its scenic views. The castle’s inner courtyard is a perfect spot to take in the Mediterranean sun, while its elegant halls and rooms offer a glimpse into the lifestyle of medieval aristocracy.

For the adventurous at heart, the Castillo de Biar also hosts cultural events, such as medieval fairs and reenactments, where visitors can immerse themselves in the world of knights and ladies, jousting and archery, and indulge in the flavors of traditional cuisine.

Prepare to be awed by its majesty, enchanted by its stories, and swept away by its charm.

Castillo de Elda

Rising from the heart of Elda, the Castillo de Elda commands attention with its majestic towers and striking silhouette. Perched atop a rocky hill, this medieval fortress has withstood the test of time, bearing witness to the ebb and flow of Elda’s rich history.

Constructed in the 12th century, the Castillo de Elda has played a crucial role in the region’s defense, serving as a strategic stronghold against invading armies. Throughout its history, it has been the scene of numerous battles and sieges, its walls bearing the scars of conflicts long gone.

Today, the Castillo de Elda stands as a testament to the region’s cultural heritage, and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history and architecture. Visitors can explore the castle’s interior, where they’ll be transported to a world of knights and lords, dungeons and ramparts, and will be able to imagine what life was like in medieval times.

The castle also offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, with panoramic vistas of Elda’s quaint streets and rustic countryside. The castle’s courtyard is a popular spot for socializing, with locals and visitors alike gathering to bask in the Mediterranean sun and soak up the castle’s timeless aura.

For those seeking adventure, the Castillo de Elda also hosts cultural events throughout the year, from medieval festivals to open-air concerts, providing a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Castillo de Santa Bárbara

Now, we take you to our home town of Alicante City. Perched on the top of Mount Benacantil, overlooking the azure waters of the Mediterranean, the Castillo de Santa Bárbara is an awe-inspiring sight that dominates the skyline of Alicante. This imposing fortress has stood the test of time for over a millennium, bearing witness to the region’s rich and complex history.

Built by the Moors in the 9th century, the Castillo de Santa Bárbara was named after the Christian saint who was said to have saved the town of Alicante from the plague. The castle’s strategic location and robust defenses made it a prized possession for many centuries, changing hands between the Moors and the Christian kingdoms.

Perfect photo day of Castillo Santa Barbara-19-02-2023

The photo above was taken during a Legends and Mysteries of Alicante Tour with Javi of AlicanTours.

Today, the Castillo de Santa Bárbara is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of Alicante’s cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the castle’s ramparts, towers, and dungeons, and learn about its fascinating history through interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations.

But it’s not just the castle’s rich history that draws visitors – the panoramic views from the top of Mount Benacantil are simply breathtaking. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the island of Tabarca, and the city of Alicante unfolds like a miniature toy town below.

The castle also hosts cultural events throughout the year, from live music concerts to medieval fairs, and is a popular spot for socializing and relaxing.

More often times than not, the elevator that takes you to the top is out of order. However, there is a shuttle bus available. Click here to read the details.

Castillo de Sax

In the charming town of Sax, nestled in the heart of the Vinalopó Valley, stands the magnificent Castillo de Sax. This impressive fortress has been a symbol of power, strength, and endurance for over a thousand years, and has witnessed countless battles and sieges throughout its long and storied history.

Built by the Moors in the 10th century, the Castillo de Sax was strategically located on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside, serving as a formidable stronghold against invading armies. Over the centuries, it passed from the hands of the Moors to the Christians, with each successive conqueror adding their own unique architectural elements and embellishments.

Today, the Castillo de Sax is a popular tourist destination, and a testament to the town’s rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the castle’s impressive walls and towers, and marvel at the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The castle’s interior is equally impressive, with well-preserved architectural features and artifacts that bring its rich history to life.

The Castillo de Sax is also home to cultural events throughout the year, such as medieval fairs, live music concerts, and theatrical performances. Visitors can step back in time and experience the castle as it was during its heyday, and witness firsthand the daily life of the knights and lords who once called it home.

But the castle is not just a museum piece – it’s a living part of Sax’s cultural heritage, and a place where locals and visitors alike can come together to socialize, relax, and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the Vinalopó Valley.

Castillo de la Atalaya

The Castillo de la Atalaya is a magnificent fortress located in the town of Villena, in the province of Alicante, Spain. This castle has a rich history, with its origins dating back to the 12th century when it was built by the Moors as a defensive stronghold.

Over the centuries, the Castillo de la Atalaya changed hands many times, and it played a significant role in many battles and conflicts. One of the most famous legends associated with the castle tells the story of a brave knight named Diego de Villena who, in the late 14th century, challenged the Moors to a duel outside the castle walls. The legend goes that he managed to defeat the Moors and save the castle from their siege.

Today, the Castillo de la Atalaya is a popular tourist attraction that draws visitors from all over the world. Visitors can explore the castle’s ramparts, towers, and courtyards on guided tours, and learn about its rich history from knowledgeable guides. One of the most exciting events held at the castle is the Moros y Cristianos festival, which takes place every September. This festival commemorates the Christian reconquest of Spain from the Moors during the Middle Ages, and it features a colorful procession of participants dressed in traditional costumes, engaging in mock sword fights, and other displays of medieval combat.

In addition to the festival, the castle hosts a variety of other events and activities throughout the year, including concerts, exhibitions, and theatrical performances. The castle’s strategic location atop a hill also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, making it a popular destination for photographers and nature lovers.

Castillo de Sagunto

Perched on a hilltop overlooking the town of Sagunto and the Mediterranean Sea, the Castillo de Sagunto is a remarkable testament to the region’s rich and complex history. This impressive fortress dates back to Roman times and has been a strategic stronghold for centuries.

Originally built by the Romans in the 1st century BC, the Castillo de Sagunto served as a key defensive post against invading armies. Over the centuries, it passed from the hands of the Romans to the Moors and later to the Christians, with each successive conqueror adding their own unique architectural features and embellishments.

Today, the Castillo de Sagunto is a popular tourist destination and a symbol of the town’s cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms, towers, and courtyards, and marvel at its impressive defensive features, including a massive wall that runs the perimeter of the fortress.

One of the most impressive features of the Castillo de Sagunto is its location, offering stunning views of the town, the sea, and the surrounding countryside. Visitors can climb to the top of the castle’s highest tower and soak in the breathtaking vistas, or attend one of the many cultural events hosted at the castle throughout the year, such as live music concerts and theatrical performances.

But the Castillo de Sagunto is more than just a historical monument – it’s a living part of the town’s cultural heritage, and a place where locals and visitors alike can come together to celebrate and socialize.

Castillo de Peñíscola

Perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the Castillo de Peñíscola is a stunning fortress that has captured the hearts and imaginations of visitors for centuries. This impressive castle was built in the 13th century by the Knights Templar, and served as a stronghold for various military orders and monarchs throughout its long and storied history.

Perhaps the most famous moment in the castle’s history came in the early 14th century, when Pope Benedict XIII (also known as “Papa Luna”) made the castle his home. Benedict XIII was one of three popes who claimed to be the rightful leader of the Catholic Church during the Western Schism, and he resided in the Castle of Peñíscola for several years during this tumultuous period. Today, visitors can explore the pope’s former chambers and admire the castle’s stunning views of the surrounding countryside and sea.
Knights Templar meeting at Peniscola Castle 2016

In more recent years, the Castillo de Peñíscola has become a popular filming location for movies and TV shows. Perhaps its most famous on-screen appearance came in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, where it was used as the setting for the city of Meereen in season six. Fans of the show can explore the castle and imagine themselves in the world of dragons, kings, and epic battles.

The day we visited, there was a meeting and reenactment by the Knights Templar. That was something to witness in person!

Today, the Castillo de Peñíscola is much more than just a relic of the past – it’s a vibrant part of the town’s cultural fabric, and a gathering place for locals and visitors alike.

Castillo de Játiva

Perched atop a hill overlooking the town of Játiva (Castell de Xàtiva in Valenciano), the Castillo de Játiva is a stunning example of medieval architecture and a testament to the region’s rich and complex history. This impressive fortress has been a strategic stronghold for centuries, and has played a key role in many of the most important events in Valencian history.

Built by the Moors in the 10th century, the Castillo de Játiva was later conquered by the Christians in the 13th century, and passed from the hands of one noble family to another for several centuries. It was also the site of several important battles during the Spanish War of Succession in the 18th century.

Castillo de Játiva - Valencian Community, Spain

Today, the Castillo de Játiva is a popular tourist destination and a symbol of the town’s cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms, towers, and courtyards, and marvel at its impressive defensive features, including a moat and drawbridge.

One of the most impressive features of the Castillo de Játiva is its location, offering stunning views of the town and the surrounding countryside. Visitors can climb to the top of the castle’s highest tower and soak in the breathtaking vistas, or attend one of the many cultural events hosted at the castle throughout the year, such as live music concerts and medieval reenactments.

There is also a cafe at the top where you can sit down, have a drink and a snack and enjoy the views.

Castillo de Denia

Perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the town of Denia and the Mediterranean Sea, the Castillo de Denia is a remarkable fortress that has stood the test of time. This impressive castle dates back to the 11th century, when it was built by the Moors to defend against invading armies.

Over the centuries, the Castillo de Denia has been expanded and renovated by various conquerors, including the Christians in the 13th century and the Spanish in the 16th century. Today, the castle is a testament to the region’s rich and complex history, and a popular tourist destination for visitors from all over the world.

Visitors to the Castillo de Denia can explore the castle’s many rooms, towers, and courtyards, and marvel at its impressive defensive features, including a moat and drawbridge. The castle also houses a museum with exhibits on the history and culture of the region, as well as a cultural center that hosts concerts, theater performances, and other events throughout the year.

One of the most impressive features of the Castillo de Denia is its location, offering stunning views of the town, the sea, and the surrounding countryside. Visitors can climb to the top of the castle’s highest tower and soak in the breathtaking vistas, or relax in the castle’s gardens and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

So whether you’re a knight in shining armor, a princess dreaming of a fairytale castle, or simply a curious traveler seeking adventure, the castles and fortresses of Comunidad Valenciana offer endless possibilities for exploration and discovery.

Postcards from the Road